This week has seen a great number of great interviews cross Aussie Golfer’s cluttered desk. One after the other they rolled in and if you haven’t read them yourself, treat yourself and check out the links to them.
The first great golf interview I read on the plane from Sydney to Melbourne last week. My one hour flight seemed to take 5 minutes as I immersed myself in the best golf article I have read for many years. Bob Shearer was interviewed by Australian Golf Digest for their August 2009 magazine and it’s fantastic. He was one of Australia’s great moustached golfers, winning 27 times in his professional career including one win on the PGA Tour.
He talks candidly about his regret in leaving the PGA Tour and about the time he whacked Tiger on the chin with a door. Here’s a snippet from the interview where he talks about hanging out with Jack Nicklaus:
“Fantastic. Nicest bloke I ever met,” Shearer says of Nicklaus.
“My first Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village – I played at Pinehurst in ’75 but he invited me to his first Muirfield tournament in ’76. We were staying in the Hilton Hotel near the course there and apparently Jack and Barbara were staying there – and he asked us to come to dinner with them, just him and Barbara and Kathie and me. Well, I couldn’t get there quick enough.
“It was quite daunting having dinner with your idol. He was my idol and I was sitting there having dinner trying to make conversation. At the end of dinner he said, ‘Dessert’s not too good here. I’ve got to do a few signatures. Barbara, you get the car and bring it around the front. Bob and Kathie, get in the car with Barbara. I’ll do these things and I’ll be out.’ So we went out from there and went down the road to a Baskin-Robbins ice creamery.
“Now, I walked in there with Jack Nicklaus. They didn’t know who I was, but they knew who he was. We got the ice creams and do you know where we ate them? We sat in the gutter and ate the ice creams. That’s the truth, the honest truth. We’re sitting on the kerb and… he’s a regular person. I couldn’t believe it. That was 1976 and it made me think, Christ Almighty, this is the No.1 player in the world, by far, and I’m with him sitting on a kerb in Ohio having an ice cream. And he’s driven me here and he’ll drive me home. Unbelievable.”They should get this guy in the commentary box this summer. Read the whole article in the August ’09 edition of Australian Golf Digest.
Peter Stone wrote an article asking the question: Did Tiger choke or is the Golden Bear’s record playing with his mind? He questions whether Tiger’s aim to beat Jack Nicklaus’ majors record caused him to choke at the PGA championship.
Put it this way, had it been Greg Norman in his prime who took a three-shot lead into the final round of a major and then lost by three to his playing partner, that dreaded “c” word would have been bandied around by just about every commentator.
- The ABC have an interview with Peter Thomson in their video section as a tribute to the great Australian golfer as part of his 80th birthday celebrations. Check it out if you have a spare few minutes. It’s always fascinating to hear him speak.
Photograph courtesy of Australian Golf Digest and taken by Chris Elfes.