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March 26, 2008
PALM COAST, FLORIDA
RICK GEORGE: Welcome, glad all of you are here and those of you on the call, I'm delighted to welcome Ian and Sandy, when he gets here, even though he has played in one event, to the Champions Tour. I think these two guys are two great additions to this tour. I would already argue that we have the most recognizable names in golf on this tour and the accomplishments that they have had; but to have these two gentlemen join us, we are excited about that.
I thought I would briefly encapsulize our first six events on where we're at, and as we talk about that, really the two thing that we talk about the most are parity and playoffs. The parity that we have got on this tour today, if you look at our events every week, the leaderboards and the competition is pretty stiff. There's a lot of parity. There's some young guys coming in that are have some great success and there are some veterans here that are battling. I think that's a great story in itself on some of the young guys, and it will be interesting to see at the end of the year who ends up the at the Charles Schwab Cub Championship.
We have had two back-to-back playoffs and a 7-hole playoff at Toshiba I thought was great, with Bernhard Langer out-dueling Jay Haas. And then Jay has been out here a few years, and then the playoff that we had at the AT&T Championship coming down the stretch; we had Denis Watson, Brad Bryant, Loren Roberts who ended up in the playoffs; and then we had Jay Haas and Bernhard Langer, and that's indicative of the kind of fields and competition that we have every week.
We would like to say that this tour so far this year, and we are building again on the momentum we had in 2007 which we think is arguably one of the best years that we have had; we think we have started out 2008, even stronger. You know, if you look at the first six events, Fred Funk wins the first event of the year, a real recognizable guy that his nature and the way he handles himself is typical of the Champions Tour, very fan, sponsor friendly. And Jerry Pate, injured and came become and won the second event at the Turtle Bay Championship. Scott Hoch won in back-to-back tournaments and also made the cut the week after the Honda Classic on the PGA TOUR, and then you have Bernhard Langer who won the 7-hole playoff, who is I think second on the Money List to date, second on the Charles Schwab Cup Championship list. And then Denis Watson who kind of fulfilled his come back last year, was Rookie of the Year and then won a three-person playoff when he beat Loren Roberts and Brad Bryant. For those of you that don't know, he'll be receiving the Ben Hogan Award at Augusta in a few weeks.
The Ginn Championship, just to touch briefly on that, I would say it's probably one of the strongest fields that we've had on the Champions Tour in the last five years. Until Gil Morgan withdrew, we had 30 of the Top-30 players which would have been the first since 20005. And then you add Curtis Strange, John Cook, Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam, we think makes it a pretty strong field. And we have nine past Masters Champions in the field, nine U.S. Open Champions, six PGA Champions, seven past Players Champions, including Sandy Lyle, ten former Ryder Cup Captains. And if you look at this tour, the number of players that have participated in Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, it's pretty significant. Ian and I were just kind of talking about that, the number of players, and Sam Torrance being in the field today, this week, is another Ryder Cupper and Des Smyth. In this field we have players that represent 47 majors and 396 titles overall.
In addition, our two newest members, these two gentlemen, Sandy is a two-time major winner, the 1985 British Open and the 20th anniversary of his Masters Championship, and is also winner of the 1987 PLAYERS Championship.
Sandy and Des will have a reunion of sorts this week as they were assistants to this gentleman on my left, Ian Woosnam, in their victory in 2006 at The Ryder Cup at The K Club. Sandy made his debut earlier this year at the Toshiba Classic, and then he played in the Korea event over on The European Tour. He was the first British winner of the Masters, and in addition to his British Open and PLAYERS Championship titles, he won three other titles on the PGA TOUR and has played on five Ryder Cup teams and led The European Tour Order of Merit three years.
Captain Ian Woosnam on my left is also a former Masters Champion in 1991. He won other PGA TOUR title in 1991 at the USF&G Classic, which is close to my heart being the former tournament director in New Orleans, and quite an accomplishment. He's a mainstay on The European Tour for more than 20 years. He's won 28 times on The European Tour, along with 14 other titles around the world. He's been a member of eight consecutive European Ryder Cup teams beside his victorious captain's role in 2006. He twice headed the European Tour's Order of Merit 1987 and 1990 and was a European Player of the Year in 1987.
Ian has already played earlier this month to kick the year off. He was fifth at The European Tour Senior Tour at the Barbados Open. This is his first time on Florida's coast since the 2001 PLAYERS Championship. So at this time I want to introduce Ian Woosnam. We're going to kick him off and let Ian say a few words, and as Sandy arrives, we'll let him say a few words.
IAN WOOSNAM: Thank you very much. Well, I'm very pleased to be here. You don't want to wish your years away, but it's been a while waiting for my 50th birthday and eventually came a few weeks ago. You know, I've been watching the GOLF CHANNEL for a number of years now, watching these guys play. I know these guys out here. I've played a lot of golf with them, and it's nice to come out here to the Ginn Championship and see these guys, some I haven't seen for 15, 16 years.
I'm really looking forward to playing this Championship and on this Champions Tour. To start here, this golf course, which is one of the finest courses are I've played in a long time. I said to my caddie, how many golf balls did you put in that bag, because I think I'm going to node a lot of them. You need to drive it straight and hit a lot of good iron shots. I think 12-under par won around here last year, and I think that's a fantastic score, and someone shot 64, I think it was. That's unbelievable to score 64.
I'm pleased to be here and to be able to play golf again and thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to play.
Q. Do you feel like a rookie all over again?
IAN WOOSNAM: It's difficult when you you're 50 years of age and you think you're a rookie. Someone has to be a rookie and it's my turn to be it this week, and I guess it was Sandy's a couple of weeks ago. To an have an opportunity to win Rookie of the Year again is a great feeling. This year is going to be exciting, and I'm looking forward to just trying to play some decent golf and see how it goes really.
Q. How much have you been playing, practicing, where is your game right now and from what you've seen on the GOLF CHANNEL and what you know of these guys and their ability, how tough or how easy do you think it's going to be to come out here?
IAN WOOSNAM: Let's put it this way; it's not going to be easy. It's probably where I've been -- over the last year, I haven't been well for a year and I feel like I'm just coming out of that now. Feeling a lot better and a lot stronger. Haven't played a lot of golf, been practicing a little bit down in Barbados for the last couple of months trying to keep injury-free, really.
I've got to say, my game has been reasonably pretty good. But you know, it's a different thing, when you're just playing a round of golf without having a scorecard in your hand. Playing the Barbados Open a couple of weeks ago, that gave me a little bit of experience in the seniors and obviously having a scorecard in my hand again and feeling the butterflies. No doubt about it, when I haven't played for a year, I felt very nervous and when I stand on the tee on Friday morning, I'm going to feel nervous, no doubt about it. This is a golf course that you feel like you've got to play very well. You know, I've got to accept I'm going to hit some bad shots and try to do the best I can.
You know, this year, I'm just trying to feel my way into it, get used to the golf course, getting used to the tournaments and hopefully I can have some decent finishes.
Just going back to the standard of the player over here, the pros, they are fantastic players, and as I said, I've been watching the GOLF CHANNEL for the last two or three years, and the scoring is terrific. People say these guys play short golf courses. You know, look at this golf course, it's not that short.
Q. When did the health issues begin? I know it kept you from competing much of last year; practicing or playing, were you able to do that?
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, it started about this time last year, this chronic fatigue syndrome what, we call M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), and it just made me very tired and my muscles got very tired and achy. Basically I wouldn't walk around the golf course. That's one thing about it at the moment, we have the carts so I can go on the carts at the moment which is going to help me.
Plus, after playing the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, I said I'm going to take the year off and recuperate and that's what I have been trying to do. I tried to play a couple of times a week on the cart at home, and so I have gradually played some golf but really nothing competitively for a year.
Q. Is this curable or something chronic now that you'll always have to deal with?
IAN WOOSNAM: No, I think, you know, a lot of people say, after 18 months it goes away. I feel like I'm just getting to the end of it now, and you just have to take care of making sure I don't do too much and listen to my body. You know, I think over the last few years, I've been playing when I shouldn't have played and overdone it and that's what's got me into this situation.
Now hopefully I've got a bit older and a bit wiser. As I see my body is getting tired, I need to take a few weeks off.
Q. Are you trying to have an American base or will you live out of a suitcase?
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, I'm playing a pretty full schedule, about 20 tournaments I think I've put down. What I will do is I've got a base in Barbados. I can fly back down to Barbados, which is from here, probably four and a half hours, so I can either do that. I've got quite a few friends who live in America and I can go and stay with them for a week. All depends on how I am feeling at the time.
Q. So just to follow up on that, you had mentioned that you're going to play, how many of the next events coming up?
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, I'm playing next week and then I think it goes to the Masters and then down to Tampa, and then the Legends, I think it is, and then to Austin, Texas. Then I think I've got a week on then. I'll either stay in the States, or unless they throw me out, I might have to go down to Barbados for a week and come down and start at Birmingham again.
So, I'm looking forward to it. I'll be looking forward to a rest after five weeks in a row, I think, or six weeks.
Q. Is that a rather ambitious schedule when you just were talking about how you've got to listen to your body, and I'm wondering, are the doctors okay with this? And secondly, when things were kind of in their worst, what did it feel like? Did you just want to go sleep for 24 hours at a time? If you can describe that, how was that like?
IAN WOOSNAM: No doubt about it. With chronic fatigue syndrome, it makes you very tired and your body ache and makes you want to go to bed all the time and sleep. As I said I'm getting over that. I want to play that schedule but again I have to look after my body, and if I start getting tired, I'm going to have to take weeks off.
So at the moment, I am being hopeful I can play as many as I possibly can and see how it goes.
SANDY LYLE: Well, I've only had one each now, one tournament, and I've played in the Toshiba, that was an experience. I've enjoyed playing the course, nice to play something a little shorter. The scoring was very good. I think 14-under was in the playoff. So that tells you that they don't hang around; these guys, they all play well.
I just think, take your time and get some momentum going. That's the nice thing about playing on the Champions Tour now. You get a full week, you've got Pro-Ams to play in and you've got your three rounds that's your golf tournament that you're guaranteed, unless your body fails you, or whatever you want to do, but that's part of it. That's part of the fun.
You know, playing and getting some momentum going -- the cruel thing about the game of golf in your late 40s is you play on the regular tour, it's not very easy to get sort of momentum going. You can have a lot of itty-bitty weeks where you miss cuts; not a few weeks in a row, but you can go five or six weeks playing and not make cuts and that's soul-destroying in some cases. You get a little older and not at sharp as you are and there's a lot of things going on. It does take a little while to get some momentum going.
The Champions Tour now is a new chapter. It's something where we can play with guys at your own age and in a different mind-set and something to look forward to.
Q. Rumor has it you were practicing at TPC Sawgrass with Des Smyth. How did that work out?
SANDY LYLE: Well, he does his thing and I'm doing my thing. I've got some problems in my swing to iron out which I've managed to do that now, so I'm feeling a lot happier about myself. There's quite a few, I see Des and Graham Marsh there quite regularly hitting balls; especially a week like this, they are all gathering around the TPC right now.
Q. I wonder if both of you could address, Gary is going to break Arnold's appearance record at the Masters in a couple of weeks, and 51 Masters, knowing what you know about Gary and everything, where do you rate that kind of accomplishment among the many other things that Gary has done?
SANDY LYLE: It's mind-boggling.
IAN WOOSNAM: It is mind-boggling. I'm 50 years of age and he's played there 51 years. To beat Arnie's record is amazing. I just seen Gary down in the locker room and he's so fit, and so full of life and is he excited about playing golf. I'm sure when I'm at his age, I won't be excited as much as what he is. I'll just be happy just to be walking around and just be glad to be watching other people. But Gary is out there, he's such a great ambassador, for the foreign players, really, and to have a chance to play at Masters for 51 times is incredible really.
SANDY LYLE: I wonder if we'll see Tiger Woods doing the same sort of thing. He started at a young age, so he could be doing the same thing. I must have come out for about 30 Masters myself. I'm chipping away, this is my 20th anniversary of the Masters in '88 and I was playing quite a few of them before that, as well. So I've played in about 30-odd Masters Tournaments, doesn't seem like that.
Q. On that subject, I believe this year is also the 50th anniversary of Amen Corner being named Amen Corner. Just your thoughts, is there any more aptly-described holes, series of holes in golf, and what does that nickname sort of mean to you?
SANDY LYLE: Well, as a Masters player and Champion, it does sort of hit your brain box when you reach your fourth round. If you're in contention, there's always three or four holes where you wonder if you're going to get through unscathed. I personally got caught out a few times in the last round at the Masters, so I have memories of those good holes. I'm sure there were a few times you've had your moments, as well, Ian.
In your Masters, were you having trouble going through Amen Corner, or did you breeze through it?
IAN WOOSNAM: I remember on 13, stood on the tee for about half an hour and managed to hit it into the creek. I think that's what the excitement is about the Masters. You play it every single year, the TV coverage, it used to be the back nine, but now it's all around the golf course, and spectators, the fans on the golf course, or the fans on the TV, they know what's going to come up and they know what Amen Corner means to all the players. And they know on the last day, on the Sunday, that's what it really starts, the golf tournament, and that's when you see who is going to have the mettle to keep his nerve.
SANDY LYLE: The 12th hole is the keyhole, that's the one that's so unpredictable. It could be nice, calm conditions, you're in the air, and all of a sudden an eight- or nine-mile-an-hour wind hits you and you can see it in the air and you see it hovering and you know you could get ducked into the water very easily.
IAN WOOSNAM: The par 4, you could chip it down Sunday and chip it up --
SANDY LYLE: You hit a 7-iron over the back of the green that's gone whizzing through and your partner behind you hits 7-iron and he comes halfway across the water and that's 40 yards' difference with two 7-irons.
Q. Could you guys each give the memory that stands out the most to you all this time about each of your victories?
SANDY LYLE: More than likely the 18th hole for me. I think that's the key thing. You dream about it maybe as a boy growing up that maybe this last hole, you need a 4 to win or a 3 to win the Masters, and you kind of rehearse these sort of things; and there's my situation right there in front of me, need to go make 3 to win it and 4 to tie.
Not playing as well as I thought I would have done, hit it into the bunker off the tee shot but recovering with a very good second shot out of the bunker. That's a memory for me that will always stick with me, and also of people who watched at that time, even back in Britain at sort of one o'clock in the morning, the drama of having a two-shot lead after nine holes to losing it and taking a double-bogey at the 12th hole, the par 3. And then to birdie the par 5 holes, there's all of these sort of holes you should be birdieing, and then it looked a bit grim for a while.
And the 18th hole, not many people have done it, making birdie out of the bunker; there have been a few who have done it on the last hole to win it, and used to be Arnold Palmer that was it. And then I enjoyed making a birdie and there's been a few since, Mark O'Meara, and Mickelson now.
IAN WOOSNAM: When I played, the 18th hole, we're all going down all-square with Olazábal and Tom Watson, and Olazábal hit in the same bunker as Sandy hit it and came up short in the other bunker and took five. I stood on the tee with Tom, and Tom was entertaining either hit an iron or a driver and he pulled out a 3-wood which was very strange for me and still had to shape it with a 3-wood. So it was either an iron or a driver and when he hit it right into the trees, it gave me an opportunity to sort of like go for it really.
At that time I was hitting the ball a long way and I decided to just sort of hit it down the middle and draw it and fly the old bunker, because all of the bunkers that Sandy and Olazábal went in, I knew damn well where it is, the old practice ground down there, you had a straightforward shot up into the green from there. It just came up short with my 8-iron and Tom was going to take 5 it looked like, and I was just off edge of the green and I can remember thinking, "Shall I chip this?" And I'm thinking, "I'm so nervous," and I thought, "no, I'm going to putt it.' At least I'll know I'll get it within six or seven, hopefully four or five feet but even stiff. But I got the ball wrong and ended up seven-foot away.
As Sandy said, you stand there and you're thinking all the times we've been together when we played as kids and standing on the putting green, you think: This is my opportunity to win a major tournament. Fortunate enough for me it was just a nice, right-left cut and it was fantastic. Hit it down the line and it was fantastic after that. That's my memory of winning the Masters.
Q. Wondered if I could ask you, obviously very close to the Masters, does the excitement still bottle up as it always used to heading into it, and could you give us your thoughts on who might win it this year; can it be anyone by Tiger?
SANDY LYLE: Tiger is going to be your main guy, can't leave him out. Ernie Els; Goosen is playing well at the moment and a few other names. Adam Scott is probably primed to do something. They are all power hitters. I believe Montgomerie might be struggling a bit -- not sure if he's playing there, unless he wins this week.
But still gets the juices going. You don't go there expecting maybe you can win. If it happens, it would be wonderful, but at the age of 50-odd now, I think those sort of days are a bit thin. But I made the cut last year and it was encouraging. It's a major golf course now at 7,500-odd yards. It is a long, long track for the oldies.
IAN WOOSNAM: Obviously chances of winning, as Sandy says but you have to look at the likes of Zach Johnson again, you can see what happened last year. If the course is running, and it's running a little bit, I think the shorter hitters have got a chance of winning it again. But it is an advantage for the longer hitters to win the Masters.
My own chances, I had to pull out last year, and my goal is to be able to play again this year and even if it's 36 holes, I'll be happy. So I'm looking forward to it.
Q. Question on your 20th anniversary, does it seem like it's been 20 years since you put on the green jacket?
SANDY LYLE: No, it doesn't at all. It's just gone very, very quick. I mean, the mid 80s for me were crazy, you know, with the wins and traveling around and doing the tours. To win the Masters, it brings a hair on the back of your neck when you think about it and wearing the green blazer, but it has gone very quick, I must say. It's scary that I've been playing now for almost 30-odd years and it didn't seem like it.
When I played my first year, I thought, this is the first year I'm playing as a professional, and how much longer is it going to go on for, because it seemed ages. The Amateur player, you played three or four years; you play your first tournament as a pro, and all of the sudden you're traveling for ten months, 11 months out of the year and it seemed endless, how long it was going to go on for, but it has gone on very, very quick. I don't remember much of my mid 20s when I was growing up, I did so much traveling.
Q. Everyone talks about your bunker shot at 18; is there any other shot on the last day that you think maybe propelled you toward where you were? Is there something that maybe people are missing that helped lead to your victory back then?
SANDY LYLE: Well, there's a couple of shots that come to minds. The fourth hole on the par 3 hole, I was in an awkward position, just over the back of the green about 10 or 15 yards near the tee, and not looking good. You know from experience that your chances of getting up-and-down from that one spot are like about a 1-in-30, 1-in-40 chance, and also you're facing double-bogey very quickly.
And I turned that from double-bogey into a 2 by holing a chip shot, and that was a real high-quality shot, a risky shot, but it came off. My second shot probably to the 9th from a 7-iron distance, really sort of set the pace, I made it into a birdie. I hit it about two feet from the hole and the pin was on the front left.
I remember seeing Greg Norman making bogey on a very similar hole and he was only like 90 yards from the green and the pin was front left. So it's a very dangerous hole and I was hitting 7-iron in from about 150-odd yards and I made a birdie on that hole. So those were two holes that kind of tell you that things are going your way on the last day. And of course the birdie on the 16th made a huge difference and that really opened the door to greater chance of winning the Masters.
Q. Now making your debut on the Champions Tour, it's been a while since you've had a lot of success, but when you go back to Augusta, do you still get the feeling of what it's like to be the champion or top player in the game at that time?
SANDY LYLE: You still do. I think once you get in that golf club there and you go into the champions locker room, that's something that's very special that only a certain amount of players get that feeling. I think Greg Norman would give his right arm to be walking up those stairs into the Champions Locker Room and be with the same sort of guys whether it be Tiger Woods or Mickelson. And there's only about two tables in there; there used to be about five when I first joined.
Q. Now that I've played one tournament on the Champions Tour, can you describe what jumps out at you when you compare the PGA TOUR to the Champions Tour? What are the differences that kind of strike you?
SANDY LYLE: Well, the first person I met in the car park when I turned up was Lee Trevino, who I had not seen for about 20 years and he welcomed me with open arms like he usually does with the smile and the chatter.
It did feel a lot more sort of pleasant and lower key. Obviously not as many people buzzing around because you have only a field of about 80 players at the time which is nice. The starting times are a lot more convenient; rather than getting up at 5:30 in the morning for a seven o'clock starting time, we start at nine or ten o'clock in the morning, which is very pleasant.
So there are a lot of things that are a lot nicer, I would have said, but the competition is still tough. Everybody is friendlier by far and all people in the same age group and people I grew up with, whether it was Lee Trevino or Jim Colbert, guys that I met in the early 80s and they are still banging away.
It's just a nice, more pleasant way of playing towards the end of your career in golf.
Q. And for Ian, is this what you hear about it? Is this the kind of atmosphere that you expect when you get out there?
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, I think so. When you get to 50, this is the sort of golf you want to play, enjoyable, have a bit of fun. It not the end of the world if you don't play well, and, now he, it's like coming out and seeing your old friends again, and it's just nice. It's like being on vacation, really, when you try to win a few dollars at the same time.
Q. I know it's been a few years since you've played the Verizon Heritage at Hilton Head but can you go back and describe the kind of mind-set you have to get into to go from the Masters to a week later playing an entirely different kind of course and maybe an entirely different environment?
SANDY LYLE: In my case avid won the Masters, obviously I played Hilton Head. I had won in Greensboro the week before, so you can imagine the energy levels when I played Hilton Head, and you're also playing a totally different type of golf course. Masters is reasonably open off the tee shots to the Heritage, Harbour Town, you're really struggling to hit a 5-iron down the fairway in some cases. It's a different type of golf course.
I was tired, by the time I got there -- I good shape up pretty good there I think for about three rounds in nine holes and I came up on the 9th and 10th and I double and triple-bogeyed and I shot myself in the foot right there. It's a whole different golf course. The scoring is tough. It really is. You know it's probably one of the shortest courses we play on the TOUR, but it probably plays the hardest.
Q. What do you know, if anything, about Austin, Texas, and Sandy, do you plan to play the FedEx Kinko's Classic?
IAN WOOSNAM: Obviously don't know nothing about the golf course, but I know Texas, it's going to be pretty windy, which I really enjoyed playing in the wind. So I'm looking forward to that tournament and I know they have some great steaks out there, so that will be great.
SANDY LYLE: Ian has never had trouble playing in the wind. Low center of gravity, no trouble playing in the wind, and also hits the ball much lower, as well. So he's a natural wind player, so he'll be a tough one to watch out for.
Q. Are you planning on committing?
SANDY LYLE: It looks like it at the moment. Still working schedules out. It's all new to me right now. On the regular tour, you know what tournaments you want to play in, but this is my first sort of year out. I'm still feeling my way around a little bit. Probably a good chance I will be yes.
Q. Is there a young player on TOUR who reminds you of yourself?
IAN WOOSNAM: You know, the way I sort of like look at myself, I was watching at Lake Nona yesterday, the Tavistock Cup, J.B. Holmes, that's the way I used to try to play golf and attack the golf course and be really aggressive. And J.B. Holmes, that's the way he was playing. Although he's a lot longer than what I was, but that's the way I tried to play golf, is attack the golf course as much as possible.
SANDY LYLE: I suppose a young version of a Ballesteros, I was always a bit wild. To see somebody -- they are all pretty good players. J.B. Holmes gives it a rip and he's probably a little wilder than most. But most of the younger ones, the Adam Scotts and Justin Rose, they are very well polished you would say technique-wise and don't do a lot of wild stuff on the golf course as much.
I suppose Mickelson is probably the one that would probably beckon to my sort of golf as far as scattering around a bit now and then and doing unusual things. But I don't see any young ones that play in my kind of -- the way I played. I was always -- when I was good, I was very good and when I was bad, I was very bad. So I couldn't really say at the moment any young players that would represent my golf.
Q. Is there a memorable or complicated rules incident that you can remember, something that maybe you had to call a rules official for?
IAN WOOSNAM: Don't carry two drivers in your bag.
Q. When did that happen?
IAN WOOSNAM: Obviously that's going back to the British Open for me, I had two drivers in the bag, and I just made a birdie at the hole to go joint-leader, and the caddie said, "I think you're going to go ballistic." I think I did go ballistic. But that's one that happened to me with one of the rules is make sure you've got the right amount of clubs in your bag to start off with.
SANDY LYLE: My situation, I would maybe do some sticky plaster on the putter. I suppose you learn the rules of the game, I got caught out in one of the early ones in Kenya playing with a guy called Faldo. He basically reported me halfway around and that's the only way the officials knew because I had taken sticky plaster off my finger and put it on top of my putter. It's been well talked about for many, many years now. That was my introduction to golf and not knowing the rules.
You know, looking on 20-odd plus years, being more adult about, it you might have said, I don't think that's right, we'll sort it out later on, but just I got caught out. So I learned my lesson the hard way and it cost me a third position at the Kenya Open, which was a lot of money for me, probably now about $3,000. Those are the cruel rules of the game of golf but you learn.
Q. What year was that?
SANDY LYLE: About '78 I think it was.
Q. You're both playing at the Legends in Savannah in a couple of weeks and being Ryder Cup veterans, what are your thoughts on teaming up and team golf and how good is it going to be for the fans?
SANDY LYLE: Well, we played in the Warburg at Sea Island, was it, about three years ago? We got dusted off but that was against Couples I think and Raymond Floyd. Couples had one of those mad days where he just looked at every putt and holed it. We got dusted about three and two in the end.
I think we've played enough golf over the years and we know each other's game. We have to come out quick and make lots of birdies and that's the type of games we play. We're aggressive but sharp to the game as well. I think we'll get around there.
IAN WOOSNAM: Sandy and myself have been playing golf since 12 years of age, so we know each other's games very well, so it's going to be fun playing with each other again. As I said, we haven't played with each other for about five or six years, so it's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to it.
SANDY LYLE: If he's struggling, we'll put him in a cart and he'll be all right.
Q. Playing since 12 years OLD, is that just tournaments in the Isles?
IAN WOOSNAM: We both lived about 20 miles from each other and we played junior competitions, and then we played in internationals, just basically went from there to where we are today really.
SANDY LYLE: School boy to boys to youth to sort of the adult side of it, a lot of junior events and things.
Similar to what you do over here in America in college playing against each other, we have the same thing, but in boys and things and Scotland against England and international matches. So a lot of golf going on behind the scenes.
Q. When you look at a guy like Jay Haas who is being very competitive and competitive up to his 50th birthday, can you put that into perspective?
SANDY LYLE: That is good, but that applies to a few individuals who have that knack that growing older they have a good game of golf and competitive. They have all been good putters in their life; and I think Jay has been a good putter for quite a few years, and that covers quite a few bad things that can go out on the golf course. If you can putt well, you can still put numbers on the board.
For every one guy you see like Jay Haas that's getting through, there are probably 20 that are probably all going downhill because they are not getting their game or losing their game and mentally, as well. You have the odd exception. You have Nicklaus winning the Masters at 46 and Hale Irwin won the U.S. Open at about age 46.
So I used to get lots of schtick, Nicky Price just won down in Texas at 48, or 49, won on the regular TOUR. So there are some players that still play their game very good at the age.
Q. Are even though you have seniority, are you required to refer to him as captain?
SANDY LYLE: He'll always be the captain, always.
Q. Sandy, your name has been coming up in the media lately about 2010 as the European captain. What are your thoughts on that, and would you like to have that honor and do you think it's a realistic shot?
SANDY LYLE: If the chance arises, yes, I will take the opportunity. It's not in my head right now, but as I said before, it's the committee's decision and I think -- I don't know if Ian, he'd be interested in doing it for Wales; that would also be a fitting situation if he decided to do it for Wales; being Welsh, that would fit, as well.
But as far as mine in the Ryder Cup, it's going to be in Scotland at some stage I think, 2014 or something like that, that won't happen as far as I'm concerned. My time scale is probably in the next couple of years and that will be it. I'll be too far gone as far as knowing the players you're playing with on a regular basis, and they will also possible forget you, as well, as a captain, because you're too far gone from The European Tour.
Q. Wondering what you think about him being captain, whether it's then or?
IAN WOOSNAM: I've seen what's been said in the press in Britain and Europe, my name has been associated with Sandy to put his name forward for Celtic Manor in Wales. It would be nice for me to do the captaincy job again, but I think I've done my once and I think it's time just to do it once because there are so many great players that should have a chance to do The Ryder Cup (captain).
I think it's going to be such a shame if Sandy doesn't get the opportunity to have the captaincy, and maybe it would be nice if Sandy got it or maybe be his vice captain or something in Wales. I know he deserves it. As I say he's the first one to win the Masters, and the next guy to win the British Open since Tony Jacklin, and he's done a lot for the golf in Britain and Europe and he deserves to be that captain.
Q. Just your thoughts, a player finishes an outstanding remarkable career, turns 50, comes out here, should his legacy be affected, what he does out here, good or bad?
SANDY LYLE: No, it shouldn't be affected at all, no.
Q. Can he raise it?
SANDY LYLE: No, I don't think you can hurt it. You've had a good career obviously on the regular TOUR, and this is more for the players to enjoy twilight years of playing golf and still has a lot to give. We hear about veterans and things, and they are not working anymore, but still a lot to give in their experiences. We can give a lot to the Pro-Ams and things and the guys with he play with who are big directors of companies and things, we feel more approachable. Our knowledge and experiences will be pushed on to the guys that are playing the Pro-Am.
IAN WOOSNAM: No doubt about it. You come out here, you are more relaxed you can talk to people and sign autographs, you just go out and enjoy. We have traveled around the world for 30 years, and it's nice to come to places and actually sit out and enjoy it; instead of like you're in the restaurant, you're in bed, you're on the practice ground, you're just playing. It's nice to maybe just take a bit of time out and go and see the area and see what's around.
So that's for me and Sandy and I guess for a lot of lads, you just sit down and smell the roses and.
SANDY LYLE: You can have a glass of wine, as well, instead of the Powerade that's in the locker room or Budweiser or whatever you've got.
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