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January 15, 2020
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Q. I have an Inbee question. Inbee has never played in a Pro-Am experience like this before, where it's like an official event, not like a regular Pro-Am, Pro-Am. How do you think she'll handle that? And do you think it will be that big of a deal for her?
KAREN STUPPLES: I don't think it's a big deal.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: She's pretty good at shutting out distractions. She's played in pretty raucous environments in Korea. This is probably tame. The Pro-Am here is probably pretty tame compared to playing in front of Korean fans.
KAREN STUPPLES: I think so too. This is slightly different because everybody is playing their own ball, where you're getting a big crash course in Pro-Am. She said, oh, this could take a long time today. So she's prepared for it today, but after the experience from today, I think by the time she comes into tomorrow, it's going to be like, oh, this is quite easy. These players can play. They're pretty good. This is not a bad thing.
I think most of the other players, the LPGA pros that have played in this already, they're always amazed at how good some of the other athletes play. The athletes in particular, they hit the ball hard. They also have different experiences to share with each other, and Inbee, I think, will quite enjoy that. Brad, her caddie, will always keep her busy, keep her mind busy with things, but it will be different for her.
JERRY FOLTZ: I just saw her after Karen must have seen her. She was driving in the cart right after I dropped you off. She's driving the cart. She's got Guy up in the passenger seat and Brad on the back. It was the most relaxed I've ever seen her, just smiling away, driving down the path in the cart. I've never seen Inbee so relaxed.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: Kind of normal.
KAREN STUPPLES: She looks very refreshed. Like she looks good, like really refreshed, ready to go.
Q. She's playing a lot for her.
KAREN STUPPLES: She wants to defend that Olympic title.
Q. This is the first time she's played in January since '16.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: She's not on the team right now, so she's got work to do.
KAREN STUPPLES: When you think about her with her injuries too and making the Hall of Fame and all the rest of that, I think she needed time to almost get over the injury and also to reset some goals to figure out what she wanted to do because, when you've got to the top of the mountain, where do you go from there. I think, when players hit that point, that's always a tough thing to do.
I think you'll see, with this Olympics coming up, that it gives her just that little bit extra pep in her step, that little bit extra mountain for her to climb.
Q. Speaking of a little bit of a mountain left to climb, let's talk about Brooke Henderson, who has set her goal to be the No. 1 player in the world. That's quite a goal. What does she need to do to get there? How does someone who plays as much as she does and has kind of a little fire in her, how do you get there?
KAREN STUPPLES: With Brooke, I feel like she's -- ever bit of her game is pretty solid. I think maybe the putting can be a little bit erratic at times. She can be a bit streaky, but she can make everything. She can miss some. She has up and down weeks like that. But I think, because she plays so much, she puts herself out there all the time. You see her having a lot of good results, lots of top tens, but maybe I think, if she was to learn to schedule her time a little better. I mean, I don't want to encourage it because I want to see her out every single week because I like watching her play, and I think she's one of the most exciting players we all get to cover.
But I think if she learns how to schedule her time, she's able to manage when she peaks so she can peak at the right time so she can play more consistently across the board, I think that would help her. But she's so young, she just wants to play. I think part of why she's good is playing so much because I think her game relies on a lot of that.
But I think that there are some small little tweaks you can do consistency-wise, and having just spoke to her today, she literally just says she wants to focus a little bit more on her short game and shore it up a bit, and I think she's spot on with that. If she shores up the wedges and chipping and putting, I think she'll be right on track.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: I think the key word is focus, like focus whether she's going to prioritize her focus on her schedule or whether she's going to keep just kind of blasting it all out there. I don't know if she has to, but I think, if she wants to be No. 1 in the world, you've got to manage the focus of your time better.
JERRY FOLTZ: My opinion is basically she needs to play the world ranking game a little better. She needs to pick and choose and not play every week, and she basically plays every week. Choose the tournaments where she has success and she thinks she'll play well at ahead of time and others where she maybe hasn't had success, just don't play. The problem is with Brooke, if she takes a week off from playing on Tour, she's still playing golf. She plays golf basically every single day unless they go up to the cabin in Ontario. They're playing golf every day, and she loves it. To get to No. 1, you need to play that world ranking. You need to be more selective because it reduces the divisor, and your stronger events, your stronger finishes end up weighing more, believe it or not. It's kind of a crazy system.
Q. You and I saw her at Sandra's event, she played at Morgan's event, she played at Brittany's event. She's playing in all these charity events in addition to playing the schedule. Don't you have to learn to say no at some point?
KAREN STUPPLES: That's a tough one. She's got such a good heart, though. That's what you see with her when you see her helping out the other players with their Pro-Am. It's such a close knit kind of family with those charity tournaments. She's really, really helping those players out when she turns up to play because she's such a star within the women's golf game. When she turns up to host those events, it just makes such a big difference to those charities that she's helping.
So I think that just says a lot for her as a person is her giving nature. Again, I think that speaks to why we all feel that she's one of our favorites because -- we're not supposed to have favorites. She just gives so much of herself, but she's such a fiery competitor to watch too. It's always exciting to watch her play. It's never a dull day with her.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: She's incredibly authentic. Everything you get from her is who she is. I think perhaps the key to understanding the world ranking game and to maybe cutting out the charity events would be to be more selfish, but that's not who she is.
Q. Angela Stanford was just talking about her decision to run a marathon. Is she crazy, or do you think it's going to actually help her?
KAREN STUPPLES: I think it depends on --
PAIGE MACKENZIE: My professional opinion is I think she's crazy, but that's because I hate running.
KAREN STUPPLES: Me too.
Q. So does she.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: I know. I caught the first half of that conversation.
JERRY FOLTZ: I don't think it would be bad for her at all. Get in better shape cardiovascularly, that can't be bad for your golf game. It's not like she's lifting weights or changing her body. I mean, that's a mid-life crisis to me, but good for her. I hope she does it.
KAREN STUPPLES: When you've been in golf your whole life and it's been the only thing you've really done and all your focus has been in this one area, it's kind of nice to have a new challenge. It's kind of nice to have something different to focus your attention to kind of reinvigorate your soul. It gives you that little extra oomph and extra reason to get up early to do something.
You've set that goal for yourself of running a marathon, and I think that for people like me, the thought of doing 26 miles running, no. I don't want to set myself up with the potential that I might not be able to make it. So she's setting herself up knowing she's going to go ahead and do it, and I'm sure that there's a certain trepidation to it, and there's a lot of can I do this? And every time she goes out and trains, she's getting a step closer to it. I mean, it's very commendable for her to step out of her comfort zone like that and do it.
JERRY FOLTZ: I think one of the last things she said up there was that her kind of crazy goal, her elusive goal is to qualify for the Olympics. That seems so far to her in the distance right now where she's at world ranking-wise, but if she's able to put together a great year and put together a great run and maybe get close to it, I think the fact may be she's set another elusive goal for herself, which is running a marathon. That is taxing, to say the least. It requires so much training. So that might drive the fire to reignite what lies within the golf game as well.
Have you ever wanted to do a marathon?
Q. I've run a half marathon, one-and-done. Never again.
Q. I've run one. I ran this one, the Disney one.
JERRY FOLTZ: It maybe has crossed my mind, but no.
Q. I've done it twice, and I'll never do it again. I'm new to the LPGA side. I've been covering the PGA TOUR. I'm learning a lot, especially from you guys. There's a question I want to throw out here that's been very noisy in the industry, and that's old media versus new media, and the battle that you hear going on. (Indiscernible) Jeff Shackelford, who's a contributor, a friend of mine. I just want your opinions on old media and new media. Where do we have to kind of meet? And what's the difference for you -- I won't to consider myself old media. I'm new media because I'm new to the media. What are your opinions on it, if anything?
JERRY FOLTZ: Well, from an LPGA standpoint, there's basically four people who write about the LPGA, and three of them are sitting at this table. All of their jobs -- except for yours, basically -- have changed definition and employers throughout the years, recent years primarily.
It's been neat to see the success Global Golf Post has had and now writing for LPGA as well. It's been neat to see Randall do such great work for golfchannel.com. And Beth Ann continues to kind of lead the way for everybody in the industry with Golfweek.
For me, it's kind of weird because I was just talking to Jeff Rude about it. The whole industry has changed so dramatically, and nobody knows really where it's headed. Nobody knows how to monetize to get it there, to where the actual people that tell the stories that people want to read and hear about are going to be able to make a living doing this. It's kind of frightening in that regard. There's so much splash new media, where it's little single serving bites of entertainment driven information as opposed to information that means something to a golf fan, to a passionate golfer, that it's making it harder and harder.
I don't know if it's a scary time, but it's an interesting time. I hope somehow it gets a clear direction so that people know where to go because you don't really know where to go and look for golf news anymore. You get it on Twitter. You get it on a hyperlink from Twitter, and that can come from anywhere. It's not truly journalism if it's not written by a trained journalist.
Q. Golf Talk America has always been focused on the PGA TOUR. (Indiscernible). In 2020 we've made a change in the format of Golf Talk America. We're now going to be more focused globally, and I've given myself a directive to focus on the LPGA. Somebody else can focus on the PGA TOUR. I've come to focus on the LPGA because I like it, and Jerry Foltz is a lot responsible for that, just getting to know you the past few years, and just seeing how much more accessible and how much more heart I've seen out of these ladies, who are out there performing their hearts out.
One of the things I see on the show all the time, if you want to as an amateur emulate a golf swing, go follow an LPGA Tour player. You're not going to emanate the boys at the top of the PGA TOUR. You're just not going to do it.
JERRY FOLTZ: Did you see Geoff Ogilvy's interview lately?
PAIGE MACKENZIE: I just retweeted it.
JERRY FOLTZ: He said -- essentially, in a nutshell, he said, the women golfers are so underappreciated because in many respects they're better than the men. Many aspects of the game are better.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: They're required to be strategic.
Q. Course management, you know what I'm saying? Just pure course management.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: But to answer the question, I think what needs -- I think what's happening with the golf spat is a microcosm of what's happening in news, in the news industry in general. I think a lot of people are getting their news as opinion sound bites instead of factual journalism, and I think that hopefully there's going to be a sorting that out, that the cream will rise and that you'll get the true facts reported to come out and not just everybody's opinion on the topic, whatever can be used as media sound bites.
JERRY FOLTZ: How many dedicated golf writers for newspapers? Steve DiMeglio Todd Leonard, and Larry Bohannan? One AP guy. For an actual newspaper, there's only three I know of.
KAREN STUPPLES: My opinion is I think that old and new media should be working together in that old media -- I mean, we need the facts. You need that good, hard reporting, great editorials, great punctuation, great -- you know, everything where it needs to be in a great article that's informative, that you learn something new about the players and what's been going on in their lives.
But I think the new media is a much more experience oriented thing. When you do -- when you watch or listen to them or do anything like that, it's much more from a casual fan kind of perspective that anybody watching the golf tournament would be feeling or experiencing. It's much more that. I think, if you can somehow combine the two worlds, you're going to end up with a very good product that has a bit of what everybody wants because what we all read and what I want to read and what you guys write is stuff that's going to inform me about what's going on in the world of golf.
But for a casual person that just is at home watching TV that maybe doesn't know as much about golf as I do or has grown up with it as a game or may be new to it doesn't know what it's like to be part of the golf tournament or to sit and watch Tiger Woods and a mass of thousands of people behind the 1st tee. They're giving that to them as an experience, and I think that's a very, very valuable part in terms of bridging more people to potentially come to the game so they can then learn more about and drive them to this.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: So it's two different items.
KAREN STUPPLES: I kind of think it is.
Q. I kind of brought this up. In the old days, comedians were very clean. The shock value of dropping a certain language on a podcast, to me, it's horrible. I don't appreciate it. I don't like it. It's offensive to me. I want to do a broadcast that my mother would like to hear me do. And still be entertaining and fun and laugh, much like, Paige, what you all do on Morning Drive.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: We laugh all the time.
Q. But I find some of that offensive personally.
KAREN STUPPLES: In general, it's changing times in general. What Jerry was saying all along. It's just changing times. When you think about how -- I mean, I have a 12-year-old son who doesn't watch TV. He watches YouTube. He watches Twitch. He watches all kinds of different things on a smart TV as opposed to watching regular channels or regular shows. And even his attention span for watching the National Championship Game was like, oh, I'll watch the first half, and then I'll go and do something else. It's just not that -- they just don't find it that important. They're used to those sound bites of information coming at them.
I think this is just a changing time. I think right now we're right at that little friction crossroads, as Jerry was saying, that this is what we're getting. It's a changing time, and we're at that point.
Q. Do you think we're going to have a battle for No. 1 this year, or do you think there's going to be -- do you think Jin Young is going to be steady throughout the year?
JERRY FOLTZ: I get a call from my friend every once in a while who works for the Golf Channel, and who follows the LPGA but not closely, whenever he has to talk about the LPGA on the air. He goes, who's going to be No. 1 at the end of the year? I said, it's going to be one of two people, Jin Young Ko or Nelly Korda. I'm convinced it's going to be one of them.
Q. Do you think Nelly is going to win a Major this year?
JERRY FOLTZ: Yeah, she'll be pretty much in contention for all of them.
Q. She doesn't have to do that for a No. 1?
JERRY FOLTZ: No. But I think one of those two will be it. That's just my opinion, but I'm normally right.
KAREN STUPPLES: You are, all the time.
Q. What about you two?
KAREN STUPPLES: It's really hard to back up the year that Jin Young had last year. You reach peaks, and then how do you maintain that same momentum and that same drive to keep going forward? I think Jin Young has an added quality to her, though, unlike previous No. 1s. It's a rare quality to see. She has that drive to continue on that path regardless of what her results have been and where they're at. There's a self-fulfillment to being as good as she can possibly be, and where that puts her, she's happy. So if she continues on that thought process, I think she's going to be really hard to beat.
I don't know -- I think the pressure for an American to be No. 1 is very intense. I think there's a number of players that still have that. Nelly obviously has huge potential in that department. Danielle Kang is not far off. She's knocking on the door too. I'm not sure you can overlook Jessica, but of the two sisters, Nelly kind of has that edge right now. And Lexi Thompson is still right there too, with a little bit of luck on her side and good fortune, who knows where she'll end up in the big scheme of things too. So there's a number of players from the American side that could too.
But the pressure from all of us and from social media and everything else for one of them to go ahead and do it is really intense. When you think about the Korean players, when they come over here to play, to a certain extent, the pressure's off. They can come over here and play a little bit under the radar. Obviously, they're getting the media attention at home, but with the time differences and stuff, they're not feeling that immediate effect, whereas for the American players, it's all go here to them, and I think they generally feel that there's more to it than that.
But of those players, they all have that -- anybody that's in that top four right now has potential to be No. 1. I mean, Brooke Henderson has made a call she wants to be No. 1, and I think she has the right attitude, drive, desire to be there. A lot of people will say they want to be No. 1, but they don't really mean it because they don't really want everything that comes with it. And not everybody, even if they're great players, are capable of being that because there does have to be a certain single mindedness that comes with that No. 1 in the world spot, and not everybody has that.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: I think what's been most impressive about Jin Young Ko, it's not like she come from nowhere. She was able to ascend and maintain an incredibly high level of play for a very, very long time. I find that to be incredibly impressive because we look at some of the past No. 1s in the world. Ariya was there for a while and lost. Sung Hyun park was there for a while and fell off. Jin Young has been so comfortable in her own skin at this position. I think she's going to have to beat herself to get off.
Q. Speaking of being yourself, it appears to me, and I could be totally wrong, there's a little Jordan Spieth in her No. 1 in that I don't remember her missing a 10-footer last year, and you don't do that forever.
PAIGE MACKENZIE: We said that about Inbee Park for years.
JERRY FOLTZ: I think they could put Jin Young Ko in with a blindfold on, and she'd still be in contention. She hits the ball so good, so straight, so precise.
KAREN STUPPLES: There is a -- I call it target discipline with Jin Young Ko. She has the -- it's so rare. When she sets up for the shot, her caddie, Dave Brooker, tells her the target, where it is, where they have decided they want to hit it, to the right side, ten yards right of the green, ten yards left of the flag, whatever their aiming point is. She's so disciplined with that. She doesn't get sidetracked by where the flag is or where the travel is or anything else. She's going to stick to that target, and she's good enough ball striking and accurate enough that she's going to hit that target.
There's no emotional response to having a bad ball, where she feels she has to go for it. She's going to pick that golf course apart one shot at a time, and the discipline it takes to do that is huge. Taking all of the emotional responses out of it.
And yet when you watch her play, you feel like she's quite a fun player, an emotional player to watch, but deep inside, she's not allowing any of those to control her decisions on the course, and I think that's huge. Her caddie Dave and her, and I said this before, it's a lethal combination. He tells her where she needs to go. He knows the courses really well, gives her that input, and she follows along and is able to hit the targets and the spots much like Annika did when Terry McNamara was caddieing for her.
JERRY FOLTZ: There's no anxiety in her eyes when that golf ball is in play. That's really rare to see. The young Tiger Woods was exactly the same way. The anxiety crept in in recent years. A lot of times he would look at the shot a second and walk over to the caddie. He can't control it anymore. Zero anxiety in his eyes when he was the Tiger who dominated. I see that similarity. There's zero anxiety in her eye when that ball is in the air.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports