Watson, United States, Arnold Palmer discussed on No Laying Up
The right when the person's just doubled and so I told him he was lucky son of a gun because what was he came out at that right time. Yeah what's what could without while that's happening. What are you guys saying you joe like can you believe all this month because it was everybody kind of freaking out during that time period of inflation inflation? I don't remember that I just you know 'cause you're in it but I do remember you know thinking that I just want three hundred sixty thousand dollars in two weeks On the tour I mean. How cool is this in You know I I never played for the Mo- I it's not the money thing for me. I played because I love the competition. I Love I'm doing what I was doing. And it just so happened that just started going higher and higher and higher and it's it's amazing what What these guys are playing for today and I think is fantastic with when you won your your second event in a row? They're like you'd never won before were you. Were you running on fumes at the beginning that second week and and Kinda it came in with low expectations like hey everything's gravy now after one kemper. I want I win camper then I go to. I go to would Mont Golf Club on the day after after and Qualified for the US Open. And then I go to Westchester and I bump into Jay Haas before the first or sixty eight in the first round he goes. How'd you play and I went? I shot three-under. I don't know how the Heck I did it. I'm exhausted. I haven't slept. Whatever he goes? Well you know the best the best time to win your second tournaments after your first one and he won. When I was in college he won back to back weeks On the tour this early early eighties so I remembered that because I was in school and I was roommates with with his brother. So as I can't you know what time vendor and then so it was it was it was. It was some crazy number. Twenty one under the Kemper broke the record slough and I shot that. beat him in a play-off off shot ten under at Would Mont to be the low medalist for that and then I go I go the next day it was an outing. I had to do at quaker acreage. I shot sixty five and then I go to Westchester and I shoot eleven under and then I go to the. US Open First Round I think I was five hundred after ten leading the tournament. And then we had hazeltine storms came in people Get hit by lightning and stuff and It was crazy crazy day and I I'd that's when I hit the wall hit the water over that I was going to say any type in billy android on Youtube. The first result that comes up is billy I android disaster. US Open. Yeah and it's the he's not right. Yeah hit hit my third shot. I think over the green in between these routes of this tree and I just I couldn't get it there. I just started within it. I think but Yeah I had a pretty big meltdown there but I didn't care you need to fix the Google searches. This is what What I was getting at though going back to what you said earlier about playing practice rounds with like Watson and some of these older guys? What's is it? Just the factor going away or are they the plane of practice route a specific way. That really helped you as a young guy like a sponge. Yeah some Spungen and I'm just trying to learn and and if you're playing with the greats of the game it doesn't matter what sport you play in a what you're doing if you're hanging out with with the greats and you're hanging out with the savant the best of the best. I I just think as a sponge you just GonNa get better by Osmosis is just going to happen. And that's what happened to me. I just I I learned observed and that's what I would tell any kid today. You know kids that come out of college today. And they play practice rounds with their buddies that they went to college with You're not gonNA get better you you'll be okay but I think you need to play with great players so What happened with Watson is I played four or five practice rounds with them? And then I got paired with the final-round the Honda Classic and and that was my rookie year. It's just two months later and there was no all playing with them. You know I didn't I already. I know didn't have There wasn't Nur there was nerves but not nerves because I up because him not because he's not GonNa Change my attitude And I think that that's That's it you just when you're around greatness and you ask questions and you watch and you observe and see how they do their business And then and you pick what what you WANNA take out of that in little things. That Watson did that made me think. Okay I need to do this more chip more. Maybe over here work on this part of my game. Are you playing a match you you like to some of the guys seemed like they like to gamble when they play. Yeah no there was. No there was no gambling going on with in those days as it was just Just me just learn how to how to do how to go about how they you know. Hey this is one of the greatest players of all time. I'm just I'm just a sponge watching him. He's doing something right and I know you're really really good golf. I mean Your Age Aga Rolex player year your all American College. You've kind of checked all the boxes at every step along the way. When did it Kinda dawn on you like well probably sixteen? I played the Insurance Youth Classic. which which was a very very big national Gina Tournament and it was at Yale University at a place where I played a few tournaments in one so I I liked the course love the place? Yes and Tracy Phillips was the number one junior goll from the world at that time and he had a two-shot lead going the last round. I was paired with him in the last group. I beat mm-hmm shot sixty eight and one and I went from a nobody from Rhode Island to Gulf digested a ranking. At the end of the year they had their annual Golf Digest. And you would get you look in there and you would have the top amador's top ten top ten junior boys top ten junior girls and I went to fifth from winning that one tournament and then the next year I won the Insurance Youth Classic Again I won by. I think nine or ten shots that yell again. No it was August Country Club in Augusta Georgia and then two weeks later I I won the PGA Junior. So I became the number one junior golf from the country golf digest so I think that was the start of. I'm pretty good. I think I can get a college scholarship and they beaten down your door. I I was the ultimate free agent Because everybody knew I was I was leaving Rhode Island so it was very overwhelming. And they want to go to Brown. Well Al Yeah. How about yeah? Day Patterson was the coach Yale University at the time he pulled me aside and said you're too good for for New England. You gotta go. Oh south of this is your dream you know so wake forest was one of the one of the one of the schools that came calling and Arnold Palmer and Arnold Palmer. Scholarship was huge and Jerry. Haas was there that wake at the time he was a year old and the main he so you can be my roommate and everything kind of fit right in. It was a small all school I was. I was from a small state and went to a small prep school. So just Went Down for a visit and he was like yeah. I can definitely go to this place and the other schools I was looking at. We're all bigger schools. You Know Texas Oklahoma State and these other big schools ever great golf programs. They were huge. And I think that if I did go to a bigger your school I don. I don't know if I'd be here today. I probably would have floundered and in got distracted where a wake forest Classroom size was small. Everybody knows was everybody and you can't hide And I think that that was a great fit for me. Did you have a relationship at all with Mr Palmer great relationship. Oh Yeah it was That that happened immediately in colleges because the workforce connection or when did that start well he came to wake forest. The Schwab Cup at that time was called Vantage Championship. And it was at Tanglewood outside of Winston Salem and he came by the The new Arnold Palmer dohrn just opened up to check it out and then meet the team and then meet his new guy which was me and he pulled me aside and You I just wanted to shook my hand and just say that You know this is a great opportunity for you and all that so it started there and then my rookie. You're on the tour. You know immediately got an exemption at bay hill and I got. I played twenty twenty-five Bay hills in a row and a couple of times especially late in my career when I needed another exemption I always got one and then he came up to Rhode Island played in our CVS health charity classic. A few times with me. We used to have a standard standard game At Bay Hill on Tuesday and go play the back nine. Just the two of us. We did that for years and so we had. I had a great relationship ship with him and like a lot of players have have had or had So it was it was tremendous. Yeah I don't know how that guy had time for all the things he did but can you saw this on the scratch video. You did a couple years ago can you tell. The story of Of the accidental phone calls may have been directed towards Mr Palmer. Yeah it it was It got really comical there for awhile. I'm not tech savvy in Back in those days the phones you know everyone had a blackberry. Blackberry was the the big phone and Even today if I go to my my contacts Eight P. is the first one in my contact list so for some reason I kept bought. Dial in like the first person in the contact list which was him and it you know I could. I could hear him. You Know Billy Billy Goddamn it did it did it again. You did it again. One time I was hanging up a jacket and I had. I did a thing up in Boston. And and I was hanging a jacket up in the closet at the hotel and I heard his voice in the closet. God damnit billy you did it again so I did it for about a year and didn't know how to control it so it took a life of its own. Yeah and he He I think he enjoyed it after a while because he brought up to a few a few publications who were your. I guess that may have been the answer. The question right there but guys that you really looked up to or guys that you were most starstruck by when you came out on the tour. Jack Nicklaus His his son was at Carolina. When I was awake so I was? I've been around the Nicholas's and I stayed at their house During winter break in the middle of my college career so Coming out Payne Stewart was whipping..