Phil’s Message From Pebble
Hey, Tiger. It’s Phil. You’re not using caller ID, are you? Joking, joking. I’ll bet you’re in the Jacuz after a long hard day on the slopes. Been there, man. Enjoy! I don’t know if you check your messages, but I’ll leave you a short one, just in case.
Anyway, Amy and I are really psyched for you guys and wanted to send you our congrats on the baby and everything. I haven’t seen you since, what, champions dinner last year at Augusta? I’m not counting the Ryder Cup. That week was a blur. Hey, I’ll make sure there’s a nice juicy steak for you at the dinner this year, but there will be plenty of Italian, too. Love that tradition there.
Been watching old Masters broadcasts on Golf Channel, Arnold and Jack trading off every year, everybody looking as if they were having a ball. How come nobody throws their visor anymore? Hold on a sec … Amy sends her best to you, Elin and the baby. Hey, Amy — don’t get any crazy ideas.
We’re just flying home from Pebble. Golf course to wheels up in 23 minutes. New record for us, and that’s with the three kids. Nothing like flying along the California coast in your own plane. You know about that, right?
I can see the 16th at Cypress right now, waves crashing all around it. Gotta love golf in a sea spray, right? Played there the other day with Chuck Schwab, our pre-AT&T game. There’s not a course I enjoy more. I just wish it were still in the rotation. Can you imagine Arnold and Jack and Bing Crosby and Bob Hope playing in the Clambake every year? They were icons. I was looking at the pictures. Good times.
I know you don’t like the Pebble greens for the AT&T, but they were the best they’ve been in 15 years. Yeah, they’re a little bumpy and slow, but I actually like it. It means you’ve got to win with your ball striking and driving.
Hey, Tiger — sorry to do this. I got another call coming in, and I gotta take it. There’s something I want to ask you. I’ll call you right back.
Sorry about that. It was my club guy at Callaway. This guy’s the best. I mean, I’m sure your Nike guy is very good, but this guy…. Don’t want to go down that road again! Anyway, he asks me if I want to tweak anything for this week in L.A. I’m like, “I just had the best driving week of my life, but I love how you’re thinking.” I don’t know if I’m even gonna need the two drivers again this year at Augusta. Driving it just feels so easy right now. I’ve got a sort of stinger shot with my driver now. It’s low, straight and pretty darn long. The wind doesn’t move it. It’s gonna be perfect for Carnoustie. Hey, are you gonna be able to make the British Open with the baby and everything? I’m treating Riviera this week like it’s Oakmont, U.S. Open week. I thought you might play this week, too, but I know you’ve got a lot going on, painting the baby’s room and all that. Kids are a blast, though.
When’s the Open going back to Pebble, in 2010? We had so much fun at Pebble. Amy loves hanging out at the Lodge. We had the kids with us as well as my parents. I actually like playing in the weather. The pace is slow, but you’re with great people, you know? My playing partner was the sweetest guy. Harry You. David Feherty was doing a bit, putting Harry You in a foursome with Michelle Wie, plus an Us and a They. They gave my man 18 shots, and he needed ’em. I never had to check the card and say, “You’re stroking here.” He was always stroking. Harry helped me by 19 shots, which is something when you consider I shot 20 under. Yeah — lift, clean and place. I know, I know.
Saw your friend Jerry Chang was in the field, playing off scratch. That’s tough, you gotta get the shots. You used to play with him in it, a long while back now, right? Watson was playing with his son, Michael, and they nearly beat us, which was very cool. Watson still hits it so pure. He’s like Fred that way. My guy flies it about 180, but he’s in play. I lost a ball on the 5th, and my man goes 3 net 2, making like a 40-footer for his par! Gotta love that. That was three shots right there, and we won by four. I gotta see what would have happened if we had tied with the Watsons, playoff, off a match of cards. Amy, can you call up the pro-am scorecards on pgatour.com? It was so much fun. Michael Watson’s grandfather played in the old Crosby. My grandfather caddied at Pebble. How does Elin like our country so far?
You gotta love the writers. They had me on a suicide watch after Winged Foot, you know? And then when I missed the cut at Phoenix? They’re like, game over. I know you get it much worse every time you make a swing change. But it’s all good. Good for the game. Hey, Palmer and Nicklaus had a field day with that rivalry stuff. Our generation has never really had it.
Anyway, to be realistic about it, and I’m not sure why I’m telling you this — but you know me once I start talking! — I don’t consider myself out of the woods. You blow a major, to come back you gotta win a major, not an AT&T. Palmer never won another major after screwing up the Open at Olympic in ’66. Watson, after the Road Hole problem that let Seve win at St. Andrews in ’84? No more majors. Of course, Norman’s meltdown at Augusta against Faldo, the year before you won? No more majors for Shark. So I’ve got my work cut out for me. You know how much I love a challenge.
Hey, it’s good to talk to you. Listen, give me a call: I wanted to ask you about the Presidents Cup. Why should I have so much fun playing with Harry You, an 18 handicapper, at Pebble, and…. We can get into it. We should really talk more, coordinate our skeds and whatnot. Hey, winning at Pebble was a blast, but it would’ve been better if you were there. My kids can name, like, two golfers! Listen, gimme a call on my cell. Amy’s saying something here. One sec … she’s saying don’t put a flat screen in the baby’s room. Yeah, that’s right, Amy. Put in two! One for ESPN, the other for CNBC!
You know what I’ve just realized? I’ve got three majors and 13 other wins with kids. You got some catching up to do, my man. You playing the Match Play? Maybe I’ll see you there. Talk to you.