Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Charlie Rose - Arnold Palmer - Interview Transcript
Charlie Rose interviews Arnold Palmer
An hour with Arnold Palmer from Latrobe, Pennsylvania. http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11823
Charlie Rose: Arnold Palmer is with us for this hour. He is a legend who came out of the hills of Pennsylvania with his father’s hard driving lessons deep in his soul. He had the strength of a linebacker, and the magnetism of a movie star. All of that and he could hit a golf ball a mile and then roll it into a small hole with the touch of a master.
He won 4 Masters, 1 US Open, 2 British Opens and 62 PGA tour events. But never, never the PGA, although he came close, coming in second three times. He was once chosen the athlete of the decade, not only in his sport but in all sports.
Golf has never been the same. It is bigger, better and more popular in every dimension. He changed the game. Everyone that followed is indebted to him. No one has had an army like Arnie’s Army. No one has been so quoted by presidents, from Eisenhower to Obama. No one has had so much respect from his piers.
He and Jack Nicholas defined great rivalry. Like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, like John McEnroe and Bjorn Borge, like the Red Sox and Yankees, like Duke and North Carolina.
When Jack Kennedy was in power. Arnold Palmer was winning everything.
He was the best. So good that the president wanted Arnie to look at his swing and come play around.
Arnold Palmer is a pilot and a hugely successful businessman. He and the late Mark McCormick showed us what endorsements were all about. He was most of all a competitor and a gentleman, and he still is as he approaches his 82 birthday.
We visited his home in Latrobe Pennsylvania – he still lives there and also in Florida with his second wife during the winter, right across by the golf course his father helped builds. Nearby is an office with enough awards to fill a museum.
We began with a tour of so many memories, and then a conversation about so many experiences.
Charlie Rose: This is a Norman Rockwell.
Arnold Palmer: That was done a number of years ago. Obviously.
CR: You asked me if I recognized this guy?
AP: Well I wasn’t sure you would recognize who it was.
CR: So Norman Rockwell did your picture.
CR: Not bad.
AP: This is a number of times I’ve been on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
CR: You and Sam (Snead).
AP: We played in the World Cup and won both times we played.
CR: You and Jack.
AP: Palmer: Casper.
CR: Billy Casper
AP: That’s the one we talk about every once in awhile.
CR: The toughest one. It’s the toughest one to win or the Masters?
Well you won more Masters.
AP: Of course I hung out at the Masters, that was social, I loved it.
CR: That’s your favorite.
AP: It had to be, but you can’t ignore the Open. It’s, it’s…
CR: The denizen of America.
AP: That’s one, that’s it.
CR: It’s the American national Championship.
AP: That’s it. The American Championship.
CR: Here’s when you turned 40 – 40 years ago. See how much you have changed.
CR: This is you and the famous Winnie.
CR: Sports Illustrated, that’s 1967. There you are. Let’s look at that swing.
AP: Our of the water.
CR: You Jack, and Gary. US Open.
CR: We won both times we played together.
CR: You and Jack again. It says, “Golf Kings Must be selfish.” Are you selfish?
AP: I don’t think he’s selfish and I don’t think I am.
CR: Whose that?
AP: Those are my buddies. That The Blue Angels.
CR: Tell me about flying for you. It’s a second passion.
AP: You know I started by being scared. When I was an amateur I played a couple tournaments and I had to fly, and got into weather and stuff, and it scared me, and I decided that would not work, I had to learn to fly, I had to find out about airplanes and aeronautical engineering and what it was all about.
CR: You stopped flying now?
AP: Just. I still have my license. I have to do some return training. If I wanted to fly again I’d have to go back and get recertified.
CR: Did you fly all those famous jets.
AP: I will show them to you when we finish this tour.
CR: Yes, sir. So this is your office. Pictures of family.
CR: This is your dad, Deke, his given name was Deacon?
AP: Milfred Jermone. Now you know why he’s called Deacon.
CR: There’s the guy.
AP: He was a great guy, a strong dude, not a real big guy, but very strong.
CR: By the time after the amateur, did he fully appreciate it?
AP: It was great, he was great.
AP: This was my first tournament win - the Canadian Open
CR: That was what year?
CR: That was three years before you started killing it.
AP: Now, as you know, I’m approaching 82 and I’ve never shot four rounds in an official tournament lower than that.
CR: 64 67 64 70 – pretty good.
CR: Do you think if you were playing today back with the same skills you had when you won all your major tournaments, when you won all your grand slams, if you were playing today, would you be number one?
AP: (Laugh) I can’t answer that.
CR: But you have the will to win, clubs are different, you’d be stronger. You’d like to give it a shot wouldn’t you?
AP: You’re damn right. I’d like to give it a go.
CR: Well, Wake Forest (degree). I’ve spoken twice at commencement there – that’s a picture of the school at Winston Salem
AP: Pebble Beach (photo), which I’m a partner in.
AP: That’s the hole I drove at Cherry Hills.
CR: When you actually reached that green you were so infused with what …said to you.
AP: At the termination the thing we talked about…..all over….
CR: Everybody believed that if you had wanted to be you could have been governor of Pennsylvania. Did you think about it?
AP: I had no choice, you know people pushed for me, Tom Ridge was a good friend,
CR: The future Governor of Pennsylvania.
AP: So that was something that, – I’m not a politician.
CR: But you are a citizen, you love America.
AP: I love America. I wanted to play golf.
CR: You don’t have to be a politician to make a contribution to the country.
AP: Here’s degrees I got from speaking at schools around the country. Here’s something I got recently – My Degree from St. Andrews. Well come on, we’ll show you some more.
CR: Tell me what I’m going to see here, as this is legendary, where you come to hide,
AP: I love it. I come in here and work on golf clubs. Some say I destroy more than I build.
CR: What you do here is make the club better for your sing.
AP: I always said that if I have the perfect club then I should play the perfect game.
CR: You grind and you build.…
AP: I can do anything. I put them together, I take them apart. People say that I’m very good at taking them apart.
CR: What kind of clubs do you play with today?
CR: Of course.
CR: Let’s talk for a moment about President Eisenhower. Your 37 birthday he shows up at your front door on your house to pay tribute to you on your birthday. He comes with his wife to This is the President you had the deepest relationship with?
AP: Yes. I played with him on the day after I won the Masters at his request. We became everlasting friends. I was with him the day before he died at Walter Reed, which is familiar because they are closing Walter Reed. We just became very good friends, we played golf, we played heart exhibitions. Then his doctor said he should not play golf anymore. He’d spend his winters at Palm Springs, and he’d call me and say what are you doing? I’m going to play golf I think. And he’d say if you get the time come by the house and we’ll have a beer. And I wouldn’t play golf, I’d go over and sit with him and talk about golf, and business, the military, the whole thing, the country.
CR: His passion for golf helped make the game popular.
AP: You can say that in spades.
CR: Then there was JFK, who also sought you out.
AP: Yes, unfortunately.
CR: He was a guy who loved winners.
AP: And he was a good golfer.
CR: When you saw his swing, they said he was a good golfer and had a more fluid swing than any other president, and you could make it better.
AP: It never happened.
CR: Why didn’t it happen?
AP: Actually I was on my way to Palm Springs to play with him.
CR: This was 1963.
AP: 1963. We were going to play some golf and the White House called me and said, Arnie, forget it. I said why, I want to do it. They said he hurt his back and was going to take some time off and not play for awhile, and just couldn’t do it, and that was it.
CR: Here’s a plaque. “No house calls.”
CR: You always had a good relationship with the press.
AP: I enjoy the press. I understand their business. Doc has helped me with that, but the press were guys that I could get with. I could talk to them.
CR: Part of what made Arney’s Army famous because there was a sense of you being this brawny guy who liked to win, but it was like you were with them.
CR: They were buddies.
AP: We had a beer together.
CR: Presidential Medal of Freedom
AP: It is the highest award that the United States can give to a civilian.
AP: This is the one (medal) from Portugal. The highest civilian award. I built a golf course there and became friends with the president.
AP: This is the Hitchcock belt – 1960 I won it for professional athlete of the year.
CR: You also won as professional athlete of the decade.
AP: Yes sir, yes sir. That’s what this relates to.
CR: This is President Bush giving you the Medal of Freedom.
CR: The National Amateur medal. That is a great honor, isn’t it.
AP: Yes it is.
CR: What’s this?
AP: That is the National Amateur.
CR: So that’s 1954. That stands pretty high up in importance…
AP: That’s Major.
AP: Charlie, this is my Presidential Corner. Things that happened with various Presidents I was associated with.
CR: Here’ s Nixon. Did Nixon play golf?
AP: Yes he did.
CR: Gerald Ford. Great athlete
AP:. Played football.
AP: This is a conference Nixon called of all his friends to talk about how to negotiate the war. Kissinger, the whole crowd.
CR: To see how to negotiate the end the Vietnam War.
CR: George Bush 41 –
AP: A great guy.
CR: Played fast golf.
CR: Here’s Ronald Reagan.
AP: These are White House dinners.
CR: Whose the lady in white?
AP: Oh, she happens to be the Queen.
CR: Here we go with trophies.
AP: Ryder Cup, Open Championship…..
CR: The Ryder Cup.
AP: It’s a great international competition.
CR: There’s more enthusiasm for it.
AP: We hope so. I’ve always been a big thinker that the more international competition that we create through sports the better relationships we’ll have with countries.
CR: More common ground and the better off we’ll be.
AP: Exactly, that’s the name of the game.
CR: Bill Clinton.
AP: Loved golf.
CR: How’s his golf?
AP: The balls didn’t have a zip code on it.
CR: Here’s a letter from President Eisenhower.
AP: We played golf one day, and you can see the date on it. This is a letter from Eisenhower, he and I were playing golf one day, you can see the date – it’s 1965 – DDE Gettysburg. August 15, 1955. “Dear Arnie, enclosed is payment for my bet ($10) and never was there one more reluctantly paid. Also attached is a picture cut from the Philadelphia, Inquirer. It indicates dejection. Please remember that a couple of accidents will not be important a year from now. You will win a lot more tournaments and forget all the wounds caused by bridges, rocks and complaints about a tree, love to Winnie, all the best, DD.”
CR: The bet was?
AP: He bet me that I’d win the PGA championship that year, and I didn’t.
CR: A hell of a life.
PART II – CONVERSATION
CR: It’s an honor to be here.
AP: That you, it’s an honor to have you here Charlie.
CR: You once said this about golf:
“It’s deceptively simple, endlessly complicated. A child can play it well, and a grown man can never master it. Any single round of it is full of unexpected triumphs and perfect shots that end in disaster. It is almost a science, yet it is a puzzle without an answer. It is gratifying and tantalizing, precise and unpredictable. It requires complete concentration and total relaxation. It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time, rewarding and maddening. And it is without doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”
CR: That is well said, sir.
AP: Well thank you very much, that was a long time ago.
CR: When did you fall in love with this game?
AP: Well Charlie, I’ve got to start at the beginning I guess and it was right here, about 200 yards from where we are sitting. My father started on this golf course at Latrobe when he was sixteen years old. He was digging ditches when they were building the golf course.
CR: You were raised right here?
AP: I was raised here, I was playing cowboys and Indians in the trees, and then I started hitting the golf club with clubs he sawed off for me, and I began playing right here with my father.
CR: Did he tell you to hit it hard and worry about accuracy later?
AP: He did, he said, “Hit it hard, boy, then go and get it and hit it again.”
CR: It served you well.
AP: It did. He was a tough guy, Charlie. I was the first son and first child. When my sister came along, well, she was two years younger, and I had to go to the golf course because my mother couldn’t handle all the action going on. So I came with him to the golf course since I was a year and a half old and I spent the day with him here, and it worked in naturally. And it was fun for me being with my father, and doing things that a kid did it was great.
CR: What part of your game today is something that you can look back and say it was because of Deak?
AP: Everything, my manners, I wanted to emulate him. I wanted to be as tough as he was. I wanted to do the things that he did. I watched him. We had some guys who worked on the golf course. When I was born in 1929, as you know, that was the depression, so the golf course was manned by my father and two guys, they worked for my dad and they took me with them everywhere they went. And it was fun. And of course, Pat was a guy who had infantile paralysis when he was born, a year after he was born, so his upper body was very strong, he chinned himself with a straight bar and could do either arm ten or fifteen times, and he did it every day, his upper body was very strong. And I did that too.
CR: Most people who have gone on to get the fame and fortune like you, did don’t comeback to their hometown, but you do and you will to the day that you die.
AP: You’re right and I will, I love it.
CR: I think you said, “You’re hometown is not where you are from, it is who you are.” Your father was here, you were here. When did you know you could play the game well?
AP: That’s another thing about my father. He made me very conscious of the fact I wasn’t very good and I had to prove to him that I was good. And that hung with me, and I always wanted to play golf with him and show him. He said Never, Never tell anyone how good you are. Show them!
CR: Every man wants to prove himself and say, dad, did I do okay?
AP: When I won the amateur he came from here to Detroit, to see me play the final round and I just barely won, and beat out Bob Sweeney. I was national amateur champion. I was 24 years old. My father was there, and I couldn’t wait to see him, and my mother. I went up and was waiting for all the accolades, and my mom was teary and happy and my dad looked at me and said, “Well, boy, you did good,” and that was it.
CR: You said after that, that was the greatest triumph in your life.
AP: It was the one that was most important.
CR: Most important, because it got your dad’s approval. Why Wake Forest?
AP: Well, again my father, you’re going to get tired of hearing about my father.
CR: It defines who you are.
AP: Well I worked for dad on the grounds and I was in high school and I said I wanted to go to college, and he said, well, you figure it out. He said I will pay for your college but you’re going to go to St. Vincent. St. Vincent College right here. That’s about as much as I can afford, you work here, right here at home. I said, what if I can get somewhere else? And he said if I can get there, that’s your call.
So I played high school golf, I played amateur golf and I started getting officers. The offers started coming in. I was playing pretty good, won amateur tournaments as a junior, and the whole thing. I was playing in the national juniors in Los Angles, with a buddy of mine who was from Washington DC. His name was Marvin “Bud” Worsham, and his brother was Lew, the pro at Oakmont who won the Open in ’47.
That was the year we graduated. We were out there playing in the juniors. And he said, Ernie, where you going to go to college? And I said I was looking at a couple, I had some officers, I had feelers from Penn State and Pitt, and Miami, and I like the Miami because I could play golf all winter.
He said, “Hey, if I get you a scholarship will you go with me?”
And I said, where?
And he said Wake Forest.
I said, where’s that?
He said it’s in North Carolina.
And I said, that’s great, you can play golf all year.
He said if I contact them and they give you a scholarship, will you go?
I said, “You bet.”
The athletic director was a guy named Jim Weaver. Did you ever hear that name? You should, as he’s the guy who founded the Atlantic Coast Conference.
CR: Exactly. And I grew up as you know some 30 miles from Wake Forest.
You should have because he founded the Atlantic Coast Conference.
AP: Well Jim Weaver, I had no idea who it was. I didn’t even know where Wake Forest was. I came home from that tournament, played another one and then got on a bus and went on a bus to Wake Forest. I’ll never Jim Weaver became one of the best friends I ever had. He was athletic director, golf coach, he did the whole thing. And that’s how I ended up at Wake Forest.
CR: So you were there, and Bud Worsham was there, and Jim Flick was there too, was he not?
AP: He and I roomed together after the accident. Bud got killed in an automobile accident our senior year and my roommate then became Jim Flick.
CR: Bud’s death had a big impact on you.
AP: Terrible. (Pause, choking up) He was…..(pause)….he was like a brother. We did everything, we played golf against each other, we did everything you could do… and when he got killed, it was for me about as bad as you could get. I finished the semester and I couldn’t stand it, so I decided I had to do something else, and get my mind cleared up, so joined the Coast Guard. And spent three years in the Coast Guard after that.
CR: So you got out of the Coast Guard and you were ready to be a golfer?
AP: Yea. What the Coast Guard did for me in three years was as much as what Wake Forest did for me as a school. It matured me and allowed me grow up. When I went back to Wake Forest for my final year I knew then that things were better. Meaning I knew I could handle myself.
CR: More mature.
AP: Exactly. I enjoyed it. I went back after school, after my senior year I went back to Cleveland to work there for the summer and that’s when things started happening, the amateur and so.
CR: What was it about the charge that so electrified people and made them feel that you connected to them more than anything else?
AP: I’m not sure that I answer that but the thing – I was scared that I was going to lose, and I didn’t want to lose. It wasn’t so much I was going to win, anytime I got close I felt I had to win, and couldn’t lose, I couldn’t let that happen to me. And it worked, it worked for me. A lot of tournaments that I can remember I made a few bad shots and I was afraid I would lose the tournament and it seemed to work, the putts seemed to go in. Just the Desire.
CR: The run – 58-62, you swing?
AP: I had a system, and the system worked. It lasted, it was better later - 62 or 63. I suppose that I have a psychological feeling about things – and if I have something that I need to accomplish and I accomplish it, I let down after that, and that happened to me in golf. But I played better golf from oh, 65-75, from the standpoint of hitting the golf ball, and getting it where I wanted to, and doing what I wanted to better than those years I won all those events.
CR: You didn’t win a major between 65 and 75 – but you were playing better golf?
AP: That’s what I mean.
CR: Take me to the 1960 US Open.
AP: Well, the Open in 1960 I was playing good. Cherry Hills, I had been to Cherry Hills to practice and then I went up there and I practiced, and for 64 holes I hit the ball on the green and two putted, and hit the green and two putted, and if I missed the green I got a bogie.
AP: And I’ll never forget. You heard the story? About Bob Drum?
AP: My friend from Pittsburgh. A Friend of Bob Gibson. I was in the locker room and getting ready to play the second round. I ran into Drum and was munching on a hamburger. I looked at Bob, and we always kidded with each other. I said you know, I was so upset, I was playing good, and nothing is happening. And I said Bob, what do you think, and this was real serious, and I said, what do you think if I could hit a 65 this afternoon. And he looked at me and totally insulted me and said “you can’t do anything.” I didn’t finish the hamburger and went out and hit a few drives and then they called me.
CR: And you kept the driver in your hands.
AP: Now I will tell you something you might known or might not know, but that driver was a Hogan driver. I was with Wilson sporting goods and we were talking, and Ben gave me two drivers and that was one of them. Of course I doctored them. And I went to the tee and took the driver and I drove it on the green.
CR: On the green, a par four 3oo some yards,
AP: 336 yards. And two putted for a birdie. Almost three putted I was so excited. That got me going.
I was walking down the eighth hole and I knew things were happening, and I knew people were talking and the crowd was getting bigger, and who was coming down the middle of the fairway? Bob Drum.
I said, “what the hell are you doing here?”
And he said “You’re playing pretty good.” I wouldn’t even talk to him. I ignored him and walked past him, and what did I do? I bogied the hole. I shot out of a sand trap and missed the put. But then shot a 30 on the nine. And that’s what I needed.
CR: And won the US Open.
AP: Won by two.
CR: Do you remember the great shots or the bad ones, where you were doing good and then boggied the final hole?
AP: I remember ones I lost. I remember the ones I won, but I remember the ones I lost, something that I will never forget. Did it ruin me or hurt my career? It taught me about life, how to take the bad with the good. And yes they hurt, they really hurt, but when I reflect on it now, and I look back, it taught me something – it taught me how to live, how to be a better guy, not let defeat be the end of my life. And I am thankful for that, and I would never felt good if I hadn’t experienced losing, because losing is part of your life. And it something that if I could teach people to understand that I think it could help them a lot.
CR: When you think about the army that followed you, did that help? Did it give you
something nobody else had on the course.
AP: Of course. The fans, I loved them. My mother would be in the gallery, just to give you an example. I would look right at my mother and not remember.
CR: When did you first see and play with Jack Nicholas.
AP: Well, I’m considerably older than Jack.
CR: Ten years maybe?
AP: Eleven. First time I met Jack I had heard about his golf and prowess – I was playing in the Ohio amateur I think, and this was even before I turned pro, and then Cal Festerwald had an exhibition out in Ohio and asked me to come and play with Jack and Howard Sanderson, and I went, and met Jack for the first time. We hit it off immediately, and we became friends. But we competed, and Charlie, that was about so many years ago I don’t even remember now, but we have played against each other and we are still friends, and he’s one of the best friends that I have. He’s a guy,- we don’t spend a lot of time together, but if I felt like I needed something and he was the guy I needed to talk to I would go see him.
CR: They say that the rivalry is part of the magic of what made modern golf - you, Jack Nicholas and television made modern golf.
AP: I don’t know. I hope so. I hope that it helped. I think about television, I think about Ike, I think about Jack, I think about Hogan, and how that influenced me a little bit, and the people that had an affect on my life. And certainly the relationship with Jack was a good one, but it was competitive. And it still is today.
CR: How is it competitive today?
AP: We do business.
CR: Oh, yea. He builds courses, you build courses.
AP: We build golf courses. We don’t disagree a great deal. When it comes to something good, we agree. If we have something to do as a team, we do it.
CR: Did the competition make you better?
AP: I think so. I know it helped me, having Jack playing the way he did.
CR: You had the competition. The challenge made you better.
AP: Exactly. And the fact that he was so determined. He had a personality that was good for what he did. He shut everything off and could concentrate. Of all the time I’ve known him, all our lives for the most part, I never seen him waver on the golf course. The only time that ever happened that I recall, we tried to beat each other. Sometimes when we started trying to beat each other, and it happened this way, there were occasions that when we were playing somebody else would come along and beat both of us.
CR: 18 majors. Does, his record make him the best golfer of all time?
AP: Until somebody shows me a better game, it makes him the best.
CR: Do you believe Tiger will break his record?
AP: No. But I shouldn’t say that. I think Tiger is as close to it as anyone has ever been.
CR: Jack has 18, Tiger has 14 you have 7. In between there’s three or four others.
AP Yea, and Tiger still has a shot at it, but…
CR: You’ve got to believe don’t you, that if somebody has a game as good as he has, you can recapture it?
CR: Why not?
AP: I’m not sure about that. You know, once you, once you vary, then you lose that – thing that you were talking about earlier. What is it? Sometimes it’s hard to put in place. What is it? I’m not sure I know. I’m not sure Jack knows. I know what he did, and I know how good he was. But to have him describe to you or to anyone, what was that thing that you grab? I know that his concentration was so good, that he could play, and play the way it was, but I’ve seen it wander, even with Nicholas, as good as he was. And now when you have a disturbance in your life that’s major, can you get it back? Can you get that thing that you can’t put your finger on, and get hold of it and choke it and keep it. Boy that’s a tough deal. That’s something you see it in every sport –I’ve seen it golf, in baseball players, football players. I seen them so good, and then all of a sudden something happens. It could be a psychological thing, like you say, well, “I’ve done it,” and then that’s it. Then you say, “I want to do it again,” but it isn’t there, you can’t find it, you can’t grasp it. You can’t hold on to it.
CR: Some call that an X factor.
CR: You don’t know what it is. You can’t define it, but you know when it’s there.
CR: You had it. Jack had it.
AP: A lot of people. Hogan. Nelson.
CR: Byron Nelson had it.
CR: Sam Snead?
AP: Sam Snead was probably a little further from what we are talking about, and had an ability that was more natural than anybody that I knew in golf. Snead was as close to a natural player as anything that ever happened. But you know, now here’s a guy like you say I never won the PGA, well Snead never won the Open. My goodness, if anybody, if you think about it, anybody that should have won the Open was Snead, but didn’t. And why? That X factor.
CR: But you kept that, that thing about winning in you to this very day. You have it, feel it. In business.
AP: It’s a drive, it’s a thing that you feel like when I go to bed at night I go to sleep.
CR: I never met a winner who had a work ethic. Not somebody who says I have so much talent that naturally I won.
You work at it.
AP: That’s it. I talk to golfers, I talk to my grand kids about their game, and tell them to develop a system, Now, when they’re young. And if they develop that system, it will be the crutch they need to be good. To know that system and make it work for you, know what it is and make it work.
CR: Tell me what a system is?
AR: It could be anything. It could be so many things. It all has to do with doing it day in and day out. When you get into competition and get under pressure, and get over that ball and are looking at it, and know you have to hit it, it is having that system to depend on to get that ball to where you want it to be.
CR: You said you didn’t have the perfect swing but was your swing, something you could depend on.
CR: It was your system. DNA.
AP: It was just fun. As my father said, “Hit it, go get it and hit it again.”Or when there’s two trees there in front of you and there’s an opening to the pin between them, you go through them. I had to.
CR: Sometimes you lose some tournaments you should win and you win some you should lose.
AP: That is very true. I’d like to think I won more than I lost.
CR: Your most painful loss?
AP: Gee, I can think of a lot of them, but I suppose San Francisco, the Open, with the lead that I had.
CR: How big was the lead?
AP: Seven shots, going into the back nine, nine holes to play.
CR: You were ahead by seven strokes ahead with nine holes to play?
CR: How tough is it about not having won the PGA?
AP: Well, I make excuses for that. I finished second a number of times. And I played good a couple of times and felt I should have won the PGA. And it hurts, the fact that I didn’t win, and I suppose there is some x factor that says why you didn’t win. My excuses are that I have won the Australian, I won the British, all PGA championships, but I haven’t won the PGA championship.
CR: ….Because of the style and drama you brought to the game, and you brought new fans to the game, and that’s your legacy….
AP: I hope I’ve done some of the things that you say I’ve done. The game is so fantastic, and people who get into it love it so much...I’d be pleased with that. There’s no game like it. You go out there and tee it up on the first tee, and it’s you, the golf ball and the golf course. And there you go. And if you can handle it, go at it, and do it good. But what other game - there’s always someone else in the other games, a guy hitting the ball to you, or you throwing the ball somewhere, something else, there’s other people involved in it, but in golf you are the person that’s doing it.
CR: You’re playing yourself and the course.
AP: That’s it. And it can’t change. That’s the way it is.
CR: Gary Player and others have said all of us should all give you a percentage of our earnings because without you there would be no television contracts and without you it wouldn’t be as good for anyone.
AP: The truth is that it is such a great game and for me to be a part of it. Like the
Golf Association, and when I played right here in the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association, and the USGA, what those people - whether you like them or dislike them, what they have done is so great, play the game, the history of the game. Those things are so important to me. People. You talk about the galleries, the people that have inspired me to do what I’ve done and the pleasures of my life – my wife Winnie, my kids, my wife now, what they have helped me do what I wanted to do is so important, and I am so grateful for that, and I could thank people who have helped me, and the fact that I have had a big success.
Mark McCormick – we haven’t talked about him too much, but he was great for me. We had differences. But he was good for me because he taught me about business and the world. Doc Gibbons. Te people I am associated with in my life and business, what they did for me mentally is something that I could never thank them enough.
CR: Thank you.
AP: I tell you what, I don’t play golf much anymore, but you find the time, come here and we’ll try Latrobe Country Club.
[Any corrections to this transcript should be sent to Billkelly3@gmail.com]