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PGA Championship Preview; Solheim Cup; Profile of Charley Hull
Aired August 8, 2013 - 05:30:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SHANE O'DONOGHUE, CNN HOST: Head to head, the final major of the men's season. Then it's the United States versus Europe, the biggest match of the women's game.
Welcome to LIVING GOLF.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): On this month's program, captain's pick: the race for Colorado.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let us just say I'm not sleeping very good at night.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Charley Hull, the teams that are trying to make Solheim history.
Austin Rose: can he become a double major champion?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You hope you're good enough to win a major; you probably think you're good enough to win a major but not until you actually do it do you know that you're good enough to win a major.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And an audience with Samuel L. Jackson.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: There you go.
O'DONOGHUE: This month in Colorado, the elite of the women's game from Europe and the United States will battle each other once again in the 13th Solheim Cup. Although much younger than the Ryder Cup, the Solheim, just like its older brother, is getting bigger and bigger every time. And the last clash at Killeen Castle in 2011 certainly pushed the drama to new heights.
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O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Going into the final day, the teams were tied at 8 points each. It all came down to the singles. The U.S. moved ahead. But then Europe snatched 2.5 points from the last three games. The Solheim Cup was theirs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's victory for Europe in this 2011 (inaudible) on the Solheim Cup here at Killeen (inaudible) turnaround in Europe's favor.
AZAHARA MUNOZ, PRO GOLFER: (Inaudible) won or not, but you know, (inaudible) already won it. I mean, I can't even describe it.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Despite that defeat, the U.S. still go to Colorado with an overall 8-4 lead in the tournament. And after strong performance from the top Americans at the British Open, they'll be confident of winning the Solheim Cup back.
O'DONOGHUE: Now the teams, just like the Ryder Cup, are selected by rankings plus some captain's picks. Two for the United States and four for the European side. The women's British Open held here at St. Andrews was the last qualifying event with both teams announced just after it finished.
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O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): We followed the buildup to the big decision.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Both captains took their squads to Colorado in early July to practice on the course.
LISELOTTE NEUMANN, EUROPEAN CAPTAIN: It's a great feeling to have them all here. It's -- I think it's good for them. It builds some confidence for them to get out there and see the course and especially when they come back in August. They know what to expect. And I think my heart is starting to beat a little faster.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Three weeks later, and it's the final day of the European Masters. Out among the crowd, Lotte (ph), just seven days to go before she has to finalize her European Solheim Cup team at St. Andrews.
NEUMANN: (Inaudible) I'm not sleeping very good at night so I was up at 3 o'clock this morning on the computer, looking at stats, you know, looking at money lists, point systems, Rolex rankings. So yes. It's getting close.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And so to St. Andrews and the women's British Open. Both captains fly in for their final chance to check on potential players and discuss options with the more established members of the teams.
NEUMANN: I decided in the beginning (inaudible). I'm not going to make my pick on how they actually play this week. I think that has been a two-year process. It will be pretty brutal if everything just sort of comes down to playing good in this tournament.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Then two hours after the final putt and Stacy Lewis' second major victory, it's time for the Solheim captains to reveal their teams.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From Sweden, Caroline Hedwall.
MEG MALLON, AMERICAN CAPTAIN: And my second pick is also a young player, but not a rookie, Michelle Wie.
(Inaudible) matching day, actually, the way the Rolex rankings played out and the Solheim Cup points, I literally had to wait for Morgan Pressel to finish on 18 before I knew who my team was.
So and the last hour and a half to make our decision and you know, my assistant captains, me and my assistant captains are just thrilled about the decisions that we made with Michelle Wie and Gerina Piller (ph) and excited about our 12 players we're bringing back to Colorado.
O'DONOGHUE: Lotte (ph), what was it like today?
NEUMANN: It was a tough day, you know, I think the toughest part was obviously to have to make the calls or to go talk to the girls when they came off the golf course and say, sorry, you're not going to be on the team. And it was probably one of the hardest things (inaudible) just to see their disappointment and they're all great players. You know?
So it was a difficult time but, you know, then you get to make the phone calls to the girls that did make the team and that sort of made up for it. And I don't know, I'm just -- I feel good right now. I feel like I made some really good choices, some really good picks. And full of confidence.
O'DONOGHUE: So who wants to fill that one remaining spot? Could it possibly be the new teenage star of European golf, Charley Hull?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) this way.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): The odds were stacked against her. She only turned pro this year and only turned 17 in March. No one that young has ever played for Europe. But then some stellar performances put her in with the champs. She and her family kindly allowed to go behind the scenes with them during this crucial period.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Colorado and a clear indication that Charley is under serious consideration for the team. She's among those Captain Lotte's (ph) invited across to practice there.
CHARLEY HULL, EUROPEAN GOLFER: I shouldn't feel like (inaudible) pressure me because I'm only 17. I only turned 17 a couple months ago so it's my first (inaudible) tour. It's great to be at the training but I'm just going to try and do my best the next three (ph) competitions and not feel the pressure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think about it. Think where you want it to start. That's it.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Then she's straight back to the Midlands, working with her coaches.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I first met Charley as a 9-year old. Her dad brought her over to me and said, would you take a look at my daughter?
She wants to become a bit of a golfer.
So I said to Charley, "What would you like to do with your golf, Charley?"
And she looked me in the eye and said, "I want to be world number one."
But she didn't say it like a little kid. She meant it.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Charley only player her professional tournament in late March, just as she'd turned 17. Incredibly, she finished runner-up.
CHARLEY HULL: And I remember thinking, you know, it's very windy out here, very -- it'll be a good score if I come around the level. So the first few holes, I remember it was like a 2-3 club win. And I started birdie, birdie, par, birdie, par, birdie, birdie. So I think that was like pretty good start to my professional career.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Even more incredibly, she then finished second in her next four events. Suddenly she'd put herself in the frame for a Solheim spot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you rate Charley's chance of making that Solheim team?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe she could (inaudible).
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Her father, Dave, has to travel on tour with her, as she's under 18.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): After many weeks on the road, they're finally getting to enjoy a few days at home.
DAVE HULL, CHARLEY'S FATHER: When we moved here, she was about 4 and (inaudible) next door (inaudible), he used to play, and she said I want to start playing golf a bit. Well, straight away, she just -- she could just hit a golf ball without any lessons, really. You know, and I could see then that she just so natural.
BASIENKA PERNAK, CHARLEY'S MOTHER: She picked up your driver.
DAVE HULL: No, it was me 5 iron.
PERNAK: Oh, yes.
DAVE HULL: And she'd start with that roof.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Charley's first lessons came just down the road at Kettering (ph) Golf Club.
KEVIN THEOBALD, CLUB PRO, KETTERING GC: She had a good swing to start off with right from the start. But it wasn't so much a golf swing that was impressive. It was the fact that she stood basically where you're standing now when she was about 7 years of age.
She said, Kevin, do you realize one day I'm going to be the best golfer in the world?
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): People really started taking notice when at the age of 9 she won the national ladies' Health Perception Championship at Turnberry.
CHARLEY HULL: I remember being pulled back out to the playoffs. I was in the middle of playing on my Nintendo DS, playing Harry Potter. And I was really upset because my mum had to push me to go out because I was playing on my game.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And so after the short break to the final day of the European Masters in late July, Charley's breezed through the cut and is being followed by her family, her coach and the European captain.
NEUMANN: And she's definitely up there. I mean, I'm definitely thinking about her and looking at her game right now.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): In the end, it's another top 10 finish in a strong field.
CHARLEY HULL: I played really good. I shot 4 under and 6 under. Hopefully, they can see that I'm up there with top LPGA players in the world and (inaudible). (Inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you feeling good?
CHARLEY HULL: Yes. (Inaudible).
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): That same evening, straight to St. Andrews and the British Open. Charley's invited to play with the European captain in the Pro-Am. Then it's time for the real business to begin. Charley sets off intent on a good Open and that golden ticket to Colorado.
But nothing drops, and she finishes the first round 3 over the cut line.
CHARLEY HULL: I could have been about 4 or 5 under on the front line but didn't hold the cut. So (inaudible) that was good.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Six o'clock Friday morning, and everything hangs in the balance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the tee from England, Charley Hull.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): She needs a great round.
A birdie on the final hole, but she misses the cut by two. Now all she can do is wait.
CHARLEY HULL: (Inaudible) Sunday night. And (inaudible) a few players who are (inaudible), even on a few (inaudible). And that was good so (inaudible).
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): She heads for the beach. But that afternoon, Captain Lotte (ph) doesn't rule her out.
NEUMANN: She's had a good year, so she's definitely one of the names I'm thinking about.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Over the weekend, we hear from her dad that the family is still in town. Clearly there's still hope.
MAUREEN MADILL, BBC GOLF EXPERT: My feeling is that she's vying for the last place.
ALISTAIR TAIT, SR WRITER, "GOLFWEEK": She's got so much enthusiasm. She's so aggressive. I'd have her on my team.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I'll go with Charley Hull.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And so to Sunday evening, the big announcement. The European and American teams. The automatic qualifiers are on stage. Lotte (ph) Neumann has announced three of her picks and Charley's not among them. This is the very last chance.
NEUMANN: And my last pick from England, Charley Hull.
CHARLEY HULL: (Inaudible) honor and it's just crazy, but it's just fantastic.
DAVE HULL: I'm still on Cloud Nine, yes, but I'm very proud. I've been proud for the last 17 years, so, yes. Been proud (inaudible).
CHARLEY HULL: (Inaudible) first tee that's just going to be (inaudible) both. I just can't wait for it.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): A 17-year old who only made her pro debut five months ago is off to Colorado to take on the cream of American golf. Charley found that golden ticket. Who knows what lies beyond?
O'DONOGHUE: The remarkable Charley Hull.
Still to come on LIVING GOLF.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My coach (inaudible) sent me a text message along the lines of go out there and be the man your dad taught you to be and go out there and be the man that your son, Leo, can look up to and be proud of.
O'DONOGHUE: Welcome back to LIVING GOLF. Now when Justin Rose lifted the U.S. Open trophy in June, he'd not only won his first major, but he also ended an English drought that went back to Nick Faldo in 1996. The two then went and played a practice round together at the Open championship in Muirfield.
LIVING GOLF's Alex Thomas sat down with Justin as he looked forward to a shot at his second major at the PGA this month.
JUSTIN ROSE, U.S. OPEN CHAMPION: There's the whirlwind start, where you do the media tour in New York, which is great fun and living that life, where you're a little bit out of your comfort zone.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What was that like?
ROSE: That was good. I mean, just great opportunities. It's something I've seen other lads, other friends of mine do, sort of being on the "Late Show with David Letterman."
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DAVID LETTERMAN, CBS HOST: Justin Rose, here he is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROSE: You know, just sort of some of those iconic shows that I've watched on TV many times. But suddenly you're on the other side of the camera. So it was quite surreal at times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSE: Would you say this is my sweet spot?
LETTERMAN: You know, I don't know about that (inaudible).
THOMAS: (Inaudible) the whirlwind nature, post winning the U.S. Open goes away, how much confidence has that success given you?
ROSE: Yes, it's given me a tremendous amount of confidence because you hope you're good enough to win a major; you probably think you're good enough to win a major. But not until you actually do it do you know that you're good enough to win a major. I feel like I've only really been ready to win majors for the last year or two.
So in a sense, I feel like I've got that monkey off my back quite early in my quest to win majors. And now hopefully I've got 5-10 good years of golf ahead of me. And hopefully I can really draw upon that experience when I'm in a similar situation.
Definitely there's some scar tissue that I had to break down, missing the 21 cuts was obviously a traumatic start to my pro career. And then I had some opportunities to win tournaments and didn't quite put them away and again confidence can be dented. So it's been a slow progress for me, but I feel like I've got a really good team of people around me now as well, that help keep me on track.
THOMAS: Was there ever a stage when you thought I'm just not going to make it, the highest level?
ROSE: No, no really. I always really, truly deep down believed in myself. And obviously, missing 21 cuts, I had no option but just to dig in and keep going. I hadn't achieved anything in the game. I was motivated by the fact that I just didn't want to be the flash in the pan, the one- week wonder at the Open championship.
THOMAS: Where does that resilience come from, because even the year that your dad passed away, you went on to win. That's such a hard thing to do, because we all have seen how much he meant to you.
ROSE: Yes, 2002 was -- when I look back at it, probably one of the best years of my career.
ROSE: The family was facing the fact that he wasn't going to be around. And I think things were looking bleak at that stage. And he ended up passing away in September. And I managed to win four tournaments that year up until June.
So he was well enough to be at my last win of that season, at the British Masters at Woburn and that will always go down as probably my most special win, is because it was the one that he could physically be there at.
If I look back at my relationship with my dad, it's one of quality, not quantity. In a sense, I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't swap it for someone else's life with their dad because we had such special moments together and some great father-son time. And he taught me many lessons that I hope to obviously be able to instill in my boy now.
So hopefully he can live on through me in terms of hopefully some of the good ways he's taught to act. And I want to see that live on in my son now and try and be the role model for him as what my dad taught me to be.
The U.S. Open finished on Father's Day.
So all of this was running through my head and my coach, Sean Farley (ph), sent me a text message along the lines of go out there and be the man your dad taught you to be, and go out there and be the man that your son, Leo, can look up to and be proud of and part of that was my mindset that day, just really going out there and competing as hard as I can and just playing as hard as I could and holding my head high and just sort of taking on the challenge.
And that's why when I finished my round, I was able to look up to the heavens and sort of thank my dad in a way and honor my dad. Winning on Father's Day was a way of me reconnecting with my dad.
THOMAS: Why are the likes of Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood joining Europeans such as yourself on the PGA tour?
ROSE: I just think the consistency of events in America is there. I feel like the consistency of playing surfaces, the consistency of atmosphere, I think helps prepare you for the majors, possibly a little bit better than traveling worldwide. I think the economy as well in Europe, you know, that's definitely holding golf back right now.
But it's booming in Asia, so you do see us travel a lot. I love trying to play an international worldwide schedule because for me that is the best of both worlds.
THOMAS: And you know much about Oak Hill, particularly, do you look forward to playing there?
ROSE: I played Oak Hill, I think it was also U.S. PGA probably in 2004. And I just remember it being tough.
Can sort of picture Shaun Micheel shot into the 18th, a 7 iron to a few inches to win and but once again, a good, tough challenge, traditional golf course, big, you know, again, great place to play, good crowds and looking forward to once again seeing and preparing and giving the final major the best shot I can.
MCDONOUGH: U.S. Open champion Justin Rose.
Still to come on LIVING GOLF.
JACKSON: You kicked my ball thataway.
O'DONOGHUE: Welcome back to LIVING GOLF.
Now despite his prolific career, you're as likely to find Samuel L. Jackson on a golf course as you are on a film set. And that's because he's a 6 handicap golf nut. And he's always up for a challenge.
We sent our very own Amanda Uma Davis to take on the great man.
JACKSON: There you go.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So what did you play off?
JACKSON: I played off 6.
DAVIES: What got you into golf in the first place?
JACKSON: Some friends of mine lived in Los Angeles before I got there, played golf and I had never played. And they kept trying to get me to go out, go out, go out, and I wouldn't. And they tricked me one day and told me we were going somewhere else, and we ended up at a golf course. And I didn't like the fact that they could do something that I couldn't.
JACKSON: And I started playing.
Now they don't play with me.
DAVIES: So what are your top tips for somebody like me who really doesn't play golf?
JACKSON: Keep your head down, swing easy not hard, you know, find a tempo that's comfortable for you. Swing easy and have fun. Don't take it so seriously.
DAVIES: Wish me luck.
JACKSON: Good luck.
JACKSON: There you go. Looked up, though.
DAVIES: I think we'd better head back now.
Which is your favorite round that you've ever played?
JACKSON: I guess the first time I played St. Andrews and I actually played with Tiger was kind of a big deal. It's the first time I'd met him, first time I played with him at the Dunhill. And I think his advice to me that day was follow me. And I actually did. I didn't hit the ball as far as he did, but I kind of hit the balls on the same -- you kicked my ball thataway.
DAVIES: This is a serious game here.
JACKSON: You got people cheating. You got some people kicking my ball further than I wanted it to be. Now I got to recalculate my whole thing.
DAVIES: I need all the help I can get.
JACKSON: And I see that. But yes, I followed him around that day and I stayed close enough to him to actually shot 78, which is pretty great for the first time I'd seen that course and he, of course, has never let me forget that.
DAVIES: What brings you to London here this week?
JACKSON: I'm here for the shooting star benefit and this year we're - - the charity that's designated -- music designated charity of the year this year is the Alzheimer's Foundation because it's close to my family. My mom passed from Alzheimer's last year and my grandfather had it, her sister's got it. My brother had it. My paternal grandmother had it.
So it seems like I'm kind of surrounded by it. So I may need the help of that organization at some point. So I'd better raise some money for them and hopefully they'll find something that'll help me when I have my time of need.
DAVIES: Oh, a great cause. OK. Let's see how this one goes.
DAVIES: Why do you like golf?
JACKSON: I like golf because it's perfect game for an only child like me. Team sports, people tend to blame you or somebody else. You know, it's always somebody else's fault that you didn't do this, I mean, you didn't do that. But in this game, you get responsibility for everything you do bad and you get all the credit for everything you do well.
DAVIES: Is it true you have "golf" written into your films sometimes?
JACKSON: Yes. Generally they either move me onto a golf course so I can play or I join a club so I can play and they have to let me play at least twice a week.
DAVIES: So which is the best course in the world you've played?
JACKSON: Best course in the world I've played? That would probably be Augusta National, where they play the Masters. When I was shooting "Freedom Land," the producers gave my wrap gift on that film was three rounds of golf at Augusta. So they sent me down there to play. It was great.
Look at the hole from here.
So you think it goes right or left?
DAVIS: I'm saying do that.
JACKSON: It goes right to left.
JACKSON: But we still made par (ph).
DAVIES: (Inaudible) that's what I said, wasn't it?
JACKSON: Par 4, this is for 4. (Inaudible).
DAVIES: I've never played -- well, you can tell I haven't played much golf, but I've certainly never played golf with a --
JACKSON: You don't have to hit it very hard.
O'DONOGHUE: Well, that's it for this edition of LIVING GOLF. After the drama of the PGA and the Solheim Cup, next month we're with the European Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley at Glen Eagles with one year to go and we play the course with him. Now you can keep across what we're up to online and of course on Twitter. But until then, from all of us here at the home of golf, St. Andrews, goodbye.