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Jordan Spieth Recreates Amazing Bunker Shot; The Pressure Is on Pinehurst; Annika Sorenstam in Full Swing
Aired June 5, 2014 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SHANE O'DONOGHUE, CNN HOST: Two U.S. Opens, one course, the best men and women in the world make history here at Pinehurst.
Welcome to LIVING GOLF.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): On this month's program:
JONATHAN SPIETH (voice-over): Yes, this one coming up, I'm getting really, really excited for.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): America's brightest young star, Jordan Spieth, prepares for Pinehurst, while Pinehurst prepares for two U.S. Opens back to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): We're all anxious. That's the new variable. We're are hopeful that Mother Nature cooperates.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Give it a try.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Plus a private lesson from three-time winner of the U.S. Women's Open, Annika Sorenstam.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM, 10-TIME MAJOR WINNER (voice-over): Legs are for power. And I don't think you need power in this shot.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And painting the U.S. Open picture, the man behind those iconic posters.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Now before we take a closer look at Pinehurst and its historic double, we've come here to Moline in Illinois, the home of the
John Deere Classic to meet the defending champion and also one of America's great hopes for the upcoming U.S. Open.
Literally 12 months ago, this 20-year old didn't have a card on the PGA tour. Now he's a genuine contender for major glory.
Last year, Jordan Spieth came here as a bright young talent. He left as the champion. It was his first breakthrough when, on the PGA tour.
SPIETH (voice-over): From a golf standpoint, it was life-changing. It allowed me to play in major championships. It moved my world ranking way
up. I set a goal when I turned professional to make the 2014 Ryder Cup. And I thought that was a pretty lofty goal. And the fact that I could make
the Presidents Cup team that year didn't hit me until afterwards how special the year was.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Now on the eve of the U.S. Open, he's back for the media day ahead of this July's tournaments. A lot has happened in the
life of this remarkable young man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to the podium our 2013 champion, Jordan Spieth.
SPIETH: (INAUDIBLE) as an example because opportunities were given to me like what I had in college, which is to come here and play, just by being
here (INAUDIBLE) best players in the world. And there's no way that I (INAUDIBLE) last year without the opportunity the year before.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Is it tough for you to be patient?
SPIETH (voice-over): It is. I'm not a patient person off the course. I'm not at all. So it's very hard because your emotions just get so
heightened. I think it's just the people I'm around. I'm around very mature professionals, whether it's the golfers, whether it's the trainers,
the instructors, the media, whoever it is. And you've got to kind of learn quickly and get a grasp on it and I'm just trying my best.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And you're 20 and you can't be -- you can't be the perfect mature man out there (INAUDIBLE) --
SPIETH (voice-over): -- in order to win that golf tournament, you have to at least pretend to be when you're on the course for four hours. So I was
-- did a very, very good job of it, I felt like, at Augusta. I did a very good job for a little while at the Players. And so I just -- I've got a
lot of confidence going in that I can hold it together a little longer. Just having been in the heat twice now in two of the strongest fields in
the world that I'll ever play against, I just think that that's just going to --
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): You've got momentum.
SPIETH (voice-over): Yes. No doubt.
O'DONOGHUE: So now, you're looking at a totally different sort of list of ambitions, I would imagine and your loftier ambitions are to win Majors,
which you showed very recently that you're a man who can contend with that performance at the Masters.
Can you talk to us about that?
SPIETH: You know, I felt like I played some very strong golf with the amount of pressure that I felt that week. And a bounce here, a bounce
there or the ball goes two feet further here, two feet further there, which is any little wind gust and I may have been wearing the green jacket in the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's been your favorite course to play (INAUDIBLE) course?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Augusta.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Majors weren't everything in the world. But all of a sudden, at 12 months on with everything that's happened, it's pretty
much the dominant focus, I would imagine.
SPIETH (voice-over): Being able to play in all of them, I can pick a plan, pick a schedule and kind of get everything ready because they are the
biggest tournaments in our sport. That's our highest stage; that's our most difficult test and that's the best fields in all of golf. And that's
the championship. I mean, there's -- we get four championships a year. So we get really stoked for them. Yes, this one coming up, I'm getting
really, really excited for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talk about your charitable trust, it's great that you're giving back so soon. I'm already signed up.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): It's so early in your career, you're only 20. But you've set up a charitable trust?
SPIETH (voice-over): Yes. Yes, and eventually look to turning it into a foundation that does a lot of great things. I mean, right now, my primary
focus is on helping kids with special needs. My little sister has special needs and I do it locally through her school and then also through the
Special Olympics and then you know, another big part of it is the military. And then lastly, junior golf.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): It sounds like your sister keeps you level headed. So you're a family indeed as a whole keeps you very grounded, too,
in order to appear.
SPIETH (voice-over): Yes. My sister's the best thing that ever happened to our family and she's -- gosh, she's so much fun. I miss her every day
I'm on the road and look forward to getting back to her. And you know, she loves golf; she doesn't understand it. She always asks me if I won and if
I didn't, she's bummed. And but I bring her a little something from each event and she likes that.
So I'll bring her a bobblehead from here.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And how good are you ordinarily at a bunker?
SPIETH (voice-over): I consider it a strength of mine, no doubt. I mean, in that moment, it doesn't really matter if you're good or bad. You still
have one thing on your mind and that's getting that ball in the hole somehow. But I do think it's a strength of mine ordinarily.
O'DONOGHUE: And in the moment as well, the pressure and the expectation and being in the zone, what was that like?
SPIETH: I was -- it was incredible. I mean, I enjoyed that experience. That's when you know you're in the right position, when you start feeling
your blood running and you start feeling the adrenaline. That's when you know that you're in a position you want to be in.
O'DONOGHUE: All right, the John Deere Classic 2013, you came to the 18th hole and you had to go for it.
O'DONOGHUE: Your approach shot: what was the mindset?
SPIETH: I had to go for it. I was back there on that hill, I had about an 8 iron into the green. And I was just trying to work it off the bunker
into the hole and just try to hit a draw from the fairway. And it never drew. It stayed really straight.
O'DONOGHUE: Do you feel like you could try and recreate it for us?
SPIETH: I think I can try, yes. We may as well give it a shot here.
O'DONOGHUE: It was a menacing bit of water on the other side of the green.
SPIETH: Yes, there is.
O'DONOGHUE: Were you aware of that or even thinking about that?
SPIETH: It didn't matter. It didn't matter at all. I mean, it had to go in the hole.
Let me see the rake. This time we're going to do it. We're going to make it the real deal.
SPIETH: Yes, there it is. There it is.
SPIETH: Thank you.
O'DONOGHUE: Magic does happen in the John Deere Classic.
SPIETH: Thank you.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Well, there you have it, Jordan Spieth, incredible to watch history repeating itself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Still to come, the pressure is on Pinehurst.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an opportunity to do something we've never done before, crowned our two national champions in consecutive weeks, same golf
course, the same test of golf.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Plus a lesson from a three-time U.S. Open champion.
SORENSTAM: Maybe you'll make this one.
O'DONOGHUE: Look at that.
O'DONOGHUE: Instant results, partner.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): For two weeks running, Pinehurst will host America's two oldest Majors, men and women competing in the U.S. Open
championships over the number two course here. It's the first time in history. So why and why Pinehurst?
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Pinehurst opened as a resort town in the late 19th century, a getaway for middle class Americans of the Industrial Era.
Golf took root, recreation became competition. And some of the greatest stars of the game made their mark here. Golf's first superstar, Harry
Barton, winner of one U.S. Open and a record six Open championships and the caddy with a swing, Francis Ouimet, the first amateur to win a U.S. Open.
TOM PASHLEY (voice-over): I think Pinehurst and St. Andrews share a spirit of the game. St. Andrews has said while they're the home of golf,
Pinehurst is the keeper of its traditions in the United States.
Pinehurst certainly revolves around golf and all the greats of the game and the spirits of the shots that have been struck.
The great photos we have in our hallway, the black-and-white images. I like to think that the championships we're hosting now is our way of adding
color images to the hallways so that we're not a time capsule. We're not a place that used to be great. We're a place that tested the best in the
game in 1900 and still in 2014.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): The U.S. Opens will be played on one of Pinehurst's eight course. The number two was designed in 1907 by Scottish
architect Donald Ross.
PASHLEY (voice-over): It was his masterpiece. What I love about it is in those green complexes and the subtleties and the variety of shots that you
get to play around the greens and knowing that he lived on a golf course, lived off the third green and he tended it. Tended to it like it was his
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Eighty-one-year-old Willie McRae is no newcomer to these fairways. In his 70 years as a caddy, he's navigated the course
with Presidents Ford, Nixon and Eisenhower.
O'DONOGHUE: Who's the best bunker player you've ever caddied for?
WILLIE MCRAE, CADDY, PINEHURST: Walcott Brown, I guess.
O'DONOGHUE: All right.
MCRAE: Yes, he was good.
O'DONOGHUE: That's going back a few years.
MCRAE: He hit about three inches behind and take a full swing, try to put as much sand on the green you can.
MCRAE: That's right.
O'DONOGHUE: So I'll pretend it's like a shovel?
MCRAE: That's right.
O'DONOGHUE: Good advice, Willie. Didn't think I was going to get that one out.
I would say these are amongst the best greens in the country.
MCRAE: Oh, yes. They're a whole lot better than -- they're better than they've been in 40 years.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Bob Farren has been keeping them spruced for 35 of those years.
BOB FARREN: We managed the bottoms of the bunkers so there's more playable shot.
O'DONOGHUE: But why is this the best course -- one of the best courses in the world? Is it the imperfection? Is it just the natural look of it?
Which it is more so now.
FARREN: This course really takes advantage of the land that it was built on. It's significantly different than other courses, beautiful but
different textures, colors.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Farren is managing a team of 200 workers for the championships. They'll need all the muscle they can get. This year they
face a double whammy.
FARREN: The concept of back-to-back, the women coming right behind the U.S. Open, I think it just adds that much more excitement to it.
REG JONES, SENIOR DIRECTOR, USGA: We want to give the women the same challenge that the men face because of the difference in the men's game and
the women's game and how they distance primarily. They're going to end up hitting from different locations. It really shouldn't have an issue as far
as conditioning or the golf course being tired.
PASHLEY: We're all anxious about the back-to-back. This is the new variable. We're all hopeful that Mother Nature cooperates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an opportunity to do something we've never done before, take the best 156 men and the best 156 women and crown our two
national champions in consecutive weeks, the same golf course, the same test of golf.
O'DONOGHUE: It's just great to see all of these wonderful trophies, but in particular, the U.S. Women's Open being played for the first time at
Pinehurst. And when you walk through the corridors here, you sense so much history down through the years and so many great names on the boards having
won some of the prestigious titles, like the North and South Women's Amateur Championship. And I just noticed one thing here: Brittany Lang,
Morgan Pressel, Yanni Thang (ph), three very young winners of that tournament. And they'll all be playing in this month's U.S. Women's Open.
Now five minutes down the road is Pine Needles. That was the venue in 1996 where Annika Sorenstam, the World number 1, claimed her second of three
U.S. Open titles.
We called into her on our way here to get some expert advice.
O'DONOGHUE: Welcome to "Hot Shots" here on LIVING GOLF. We're at the Annika Academy just outside Orlando with Annika Sorenstam, the most
dominant player of her generation and we're talking about the short game, which is for me a club golfer, I suppose the area that it's just not strong
enough and it's where we tend to get exposed a bit too much as well.
SORENSTAM: I like short game, maybe because I spent a lot of time working on it. But what's interesting with chipping is it's a lot of field, but
you have to have some basic techniques. But if you have the techniques, it's a lot of more feel, you know, seeing the shot, visualizing the shots
and then just execute it.
But that's where imagination comes in, to, into play. But of course, you know, number one is we're club players. Some people just want club and
they adjust the landing spots and the height and the ball flight. And some people change the club. So there's nothing right or wrong. You've just
got to find something that you can repeat and obviously hit it close to the hole.
O'DONOGHUE: OK. Now this is quite an interesting distance. We have I think quite a challenge to negotiate here.
What do you think?
SORENSTAM: So here obviously look at the lie and you see the two different contours on the green. There's a lower part and a higher part. So make
sure that you land and probably between the front of the green and this area where it's flat and try and avoid the downhill. Just kind of flat as
possible and get the ball rolling.
O'DONOGHUE: I think I need an 8 or a 9.
SORENSTAM: Sounds good. Give it a try.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): That probably wasn't your best.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): That was ugly.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): I think you're using your lower body too much on little shots. I always tell people the shorter the shot, the less lower
body. Legs are for power and I don't think you need power on this shot. So really feel like the lower body is still when you chip and a lot of
people really don't know how to do that. So I have a really good drill. You just take your right foot and you cross it over like that. And this is
actually the little core exercise and we know how fitness is important.
But if you just stood there, maybe take your club and just really feel because now you -- I mean, your hips are blocked. And it's more upper body
because you have when you chip -- I mean, not that you want to hit a divot when you chip, but you can hit down on the ball. And because you were
gliding into the ball, a standing like that is really feel it. That's number one.
And number two is when you're flying up you have a Y, keeping that Y going so that could be another thing for you to try.
And I do want -- you know, I would love for you to hit another one and try to put the ball further back in the stance and get a little closer to the
ball and then also make sure that you have the weight more on your left, meaning you -- exactly like that. That's a beautiful angle. And what that
does, that should really prevent you from moving your legs back and forth.
Try that again and give me a committed shot.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): We don't know what the result will be, but that to me sounded a little better.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Much better.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): And maybe we'll make this one.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Look at that.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): Ooh!
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Instant results, partner.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): Well, I'm going to try and do what you just did. I think I'm going to go with a similar club. But really, the key here,
like we said, is have a little bit more weight on your left, because that makes you more stable in the lower body. You know, it's better to avoid
hitting it fast, just to get the heel off the ground. Then again, keeping this Y and from now it's more like a putt.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Look at that, just rolling in.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): I know. I was saying...
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Get in! Get in!
SORENSTAM (voice-over): Ohh. Yes, just a few more things here.
So again, make sure that you have a little more weight on the left and keep your mind, no legs for shorter shots. And a good drill here, cross the leg
over. So now I'm kind of keeping my lower body still. But the key here is to try to be as stable as you can, get down on the ball and swing through
and really be quiet in the lower part.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Well, I feel so much better now about it because it's all about being more secure in your thought process and it's about
SORENSTAM: Practice makes perfect.
O'DONOGHUE: Annika Sorenstam, another "Hot Shots" here on CNN's LIVING GOLF.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Next on LIVING GOLF, picture perfect, iconic U.S. Open images.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): I view this work as a modest contribution to golf history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Welcome back to LIVING GOLF. Now one of the really nice touches about the U.S. Open is the official poster. It always
seems to capture perfectly a mood, an atmosphere around the championship.
Well, we have now traveled 2,000 miles due west to Pinehurst to Flagstaff, here in the heart of Arizona, to meet the man behind all of these iconic
LEE WYBRANSKI, ARTIST (voice-over): There is a golden age of posters concurrent almost with the golden age of golf design. But the teens, '20s
and '30s, very strong, interesting, bold, creative, artistic poster traditions.
One of the hallmarks of my work I hope is bold simplicity. I feel like a poster is not a painting. The point of a poster is to grab someone from
across the street. I mean, these are advertisements in the old days. So the point of this is to create an image that grabs someone and makes them
want to stop and come closer and see what it is.
WYBRANSKI (voice-over): Every artist has to find an audience. You have to find some sort of a niche and I found that history is in the -- the history
and the traditions of the game, I think, are very compelling.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Where does it start and how long does it take?
WYBRANSKI (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) at the site at the end of the previous summer to the event. So Pinehurst I visited in August of last year. The
work generally start to finish takes about six months, 6-7 months from the time I visit the site, photograph, create these sketches, a dozen, 2 dozen
revisions and then the final art. And then we take the final art to press.
The dual trophies was a very expedient way to communicate both events at the same venue at the same time. But the trophies on their own are a
little bit bland. I mean, they're just rather cold (INAUDIBLE). So we tried to warm them up with something and as you can -- I don't know if you
can make it out down here, because it's so small, but basically these are the elements from the logo. So we put the putter boy's cap on their head
on the men's trophy and the state bird on the women's trophy. And just tried to soften it a little bit and give it a little bit more personality
WYBRANSKI (voice-over): Thank you. That's 2010, won by your countryman, Mr. McDowell. This is a project we did for the Western Avenue in Chicago a
couple of years ago. That's the designer of Pebble Beach actually in the foreground, Chandler Egan, or one of the designers.
And these are my two Opens from that year, 2012. This is the Olympic Club artwork over here, which as you can see has a nice little peek at the
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): But you can see from that vantage point.
WYBRANSKI (voice-over): On a clear day, yes, one of two of those every two months out there.
WYBRANSKI (voice-over): 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines was my first opportunity to do a U.S. Open poster. And a thing like that got dropped
into it at that particular U.S. Open. You know, I would go away to take a lunch break and I'd come back and there'd be 25-30 people in line, waiting
to get their signed poster.
O'DONOGHUE: Tell me about the champions who have purchased originals from you as well.
WYBRANSKI: 2010 is owned by Graeme McDowell. He purchased that, which was a great thrill. I have a signed 2010 poster from Graeme. '11 was
purchased by Rory as well, which is a great thrill. And then just a couple of months ago, we sold the PGA Championship artwork to duffners (ph).
I really prefer one of the originals for these posters go to either the host club or to the champion. I think that that's where they belong. And
I view this work as a modest contribution to golf history.