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Sergio Garcia on Giving Back; Historic Golfer's Big Triumph, Exciting World of Golf Apps; Mythbusters: Edoardo Molinari

Aired November 7, 2013 - 05:30:00   ET


SHANE O'DONOGHUE, CNN HOST: One on one with Sergio. Welcome to LIVING GOLF.


O'DONOGHUE: On this month's program, Sergio Garcia on talent, Tiger and talking his mind.

SERGIO GARCIA, 10 EUROPEAN TOUR AND 8 PGA WINS: I usually say what I feel.

O'DONOGHUE: At home with Solheim star Caroline Hedwall.

CAROLINE HEDWALL, FIRST PLAYER EVER TO FINISH 5-0 IN SOLHEIM CUP: I remember walking to school and we were talking about who wants to be a lawyer or a doctor when you can be a professional athlete? I mean.

O'DONOGHUE: Sharing your good, bad and ugly game -- the social side of golf apps.

And "Edoardo Molinari: Mythbusters."

O'DONOGHUE: There's never been any doubting the prodigious talent of Sergio Garcia Fernandez, El Nino. But for all his wins across Europe and the States, his Players Chairmanship, his six Ryder Cup appearances, his fortune, there's still the feeling that with that talent he could, should have achieved even more. He burst onto the scene so vividly, so young that it's sometimes hard to remember he's only in his early 30s.

So are Sergio's best years still to come?


O'DONOGHUE: Sergio, great to have you on LIVING GOLF at least.

GARCIA: Thank you.

O'DONOGHUE: Great to be home, obviously, in Spain because this is where it's all so important for you, isn't it? You love to get back here all the time.

GARCIA: I try to. I mean, it's obviously where my -- most of my friends are and family. So it's always nice -- beautiful weather, good food. Can't beat that.

O'DONOGHUE: You've been here at PGA Catalonia, obviously, your foundation.

Can you talk to us a little bit about that and the Juniors?

GARCIA: Yes. We have -- we started a year ago, we started a school for -- with my foundation, PGA Catalonia, for kids and handicapped people to come and get into the game, play a little bit, hopefully get better at it.

I think that last year we had about, I think like 16-18 kids. This year we're up to like 28-30 kids. So it's great to -- great to see the improvement on it. It's great to see some of the kids from last year getting better, improving in the game, hopefully in the future. Maybe we can get one or two really good players to come out on tour, out of here.

O'DONOGHUE: And what do you get out of it?

GARCIA: Well, for me, it's great satisfaction. It's a way of giving back. Anything we can do to help the game and the kids, we're always trying.

O'DONOGHUE: And what about this love that you have for football, because you're committed both financially and personally.

GARCIA: I do -- I think just as any good Spaniard would tell you, we love football and football has been -- I mean, sports in general in Spain has been great the last 10 years or so. But football the last six years has been really amazing with Euro Cups and the World Cup and everything. So I enjoyed it. I obviously -- I own a club where I'm from in Borriol, Castellon, Third Division team. But it's good fun and whenever I'm around, I get to practice with them a little bit and play a little bit here and there. So I enjoy it.

O'DONOGHUE: And being part of a team, obviously, is a thrill, I'm sure.

GARCIA: Oh, definitely. I've always enjoyed it. You can tell when it gets to Ryder Cup time and things like that. So I've enjoyed being part of a team, sharing things with your teammates, you know, enjoying each other's company, things like that.

So it's good fun.

O'DONOGHUE: It sounds like a great life. I mean, I know you know that a lot of these sports, many of them, they're friends of yours now and Rafa in particular has just become this incredible tennis superstar. Like what do you put it down to and what's he like?

GARCIA: It's unbelievable. I think everybody's seen what he's capable of. He's obviously an unbelievable athlete, very, very competitive. And I think that's one of his biggest strengths, the competitiveness he has. I play golf with him; he doesn't have the most beautiful swing in the world, but he gets it done. He can score and football, he's good at football, too. So he's just something to really look up to and kind of learn from him.

I have to congratulate him a little bit more. But he (INAUDIBLE). But no, it's good to kind of keep track with him.

O'DONOGHUE: Sometimes you come across those very -- you're very honest, maybe too honest at times.

GARCIA: I try. I try to. That's the way I've been brought up.

O'DONOGHUE: Yes, because sometimes you're an emotional character; I think it's in the Spanish blood anyway, but there are times when you say things like perhaps I'm not destined to win a major, which is a bit of a surprise to hear.

Do you regret sometimes saying things like that in the heat of the moment?

GARCIA: I wish I would have kind of take a couple breaths and breathe in and out and think about it. But like you said, it's the way I am. Obviously I try to be as honest as possible and that's -- I usually say what I feel. Sometimes against me, I want people to know me for how I am, not for who I am.

O'DONOGHUE: In 2010, if I can give you another example, you were clearly cut up with relationships and girlfriends and stuff like that. And it had looked like you just wanted to get something off your chest.

Would you want to explain why maybe you weren't looking like you were in the greatest of form?

And you were extraordinarily honest.

GARCIA: Well, like I said before, when you guys are wondering what's going on with you, why you -- why you're not smiling on the course, why you seem so sad and what can I say? I mean, I can like and say, I don't know for what reason. But the easiest thing to do is to tell the truth and that's what I said. Obviously I went through a bad breakup and that kind of put golf into perspective and golf was one of the reasons why the breakup happened and it kind of makes you think. And fortunately, it was a very good learning experience for me. I don't regret it. But I think we all go through those times.

O'DONOGHUE: Back in May, in winter, and I was there; I was at that dinner. When did you realize that it was actually this is not good?

GARCIA: Well, I mean, I didn't mean it in a bad way. I think that when I was -- when were driving back to the hotel, I started thinking about it and obviously I didn't expect the question at all. So I don't know, you try to be funny and it kind of comes out the wrong way, I guess.

But like I said, it's one of those things that unfortunately happens here and there.

O'DONOGHUE: It's quite a new experience for anyone to try to contend with, when things really take off like that --


GARCIA: It's horrible. It's horrible because it's not a good feeling but it's done and it's done and everybody knows how I feel about it. So I think they should be fine with it and if not, it's kind of their problem. It's not my problem anymore.

O'DONOGHUE: One final question, I'm sure you target multiple majors. And I'm sure you see that in your future. Which one or which of those four would please you most?

GARCIA: I've always said that the British Open is my favorite by far. I love, not only because it's played in Europe, but I love the crowds. I love the courses, the knowledge of the crowd, the respect of the crowd. And the history of it, so everything about it, I mean, I like -- don't get me wrong; I like all four of them.

But if I could only choose one, it would definitely be the British Open.

O'DONOGHUE: Well, it's been great to have you on LIVING GOLF.

GARCIA: Thanks.

O'DONOGHUE: Sergio, the very best of luck in 2014.

GARCIA: Thank you.

O'DONOGHUE: And let's hope that it's going to be a successful Ryder Cup year as well as a major year for you, too.

GARCIA: Hopefully so. Thanks.


O'DONOGHUE: Still to come on LIVING GOLF, the Swedish eyes of Solheim star Caroline Hedwall.



O'DONOGHUE: Welcome back to LIVING GOLF. Now one of the undoubted highlights of the year was the incredible performance of Europe's Solheim Cup team, defeating the Americans on U.S. soil for the first time ever.

And one woman made even more history by winning all five of her matches there. We went back to Sweden with Caroline Hedwall as she relaxed with her family and reflected on a huge personal and team achievement.



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're driving across the famous (INAUDIBLE) bridge that connects Denmark with the southernmost post of Sweden.

And we're on our way to meet a very special woman who, this year, made headlines with her heroics at the Solheim Cup.

Hello. Hi.

Thank you. You must be Caroline's mum.

I met up with the 24-year-old Swede at (INAUDIBLE) vacation home where Caroline was enjoying a much deserved time off. After her brilliant performance led Europe to win the Solheim Cup, the first time on American soil, it was easy to see those memories still (INAUDIBLE).

CAROLINE HEDWALL: The feeling on the first tee, you can't describe it. You just have to be there and do it to just understand what it's like.

We were with the crowds and just the atmosphere of being out there and obviously the pressure is -- I get so pumped and just so focused. I just find a different focus when I'm out there. And it's just me and it's the ball and it's the hole and I don't know. It's just a cool feeling.

MACFARLANE: So what makes you that 18th hole? Because it really was intense, wasn't it?

CAROLINE HEDWALL: Obviously, I was pretty pumped. If I get my point, it will both be to retain the cup and also to be the first woman in the Solheim Cup to be 5-0. So it was a lot of pressure. But at the same time, that's what I practice for. That's why I play, because I love those moments. I think I had 137 meters to the pin and I remember telling my caddy, I'm just going to aim a little bit left of the pin. But then when I -- when I stood up, I was like no. I'm just going straight at it.


CAROLINE HEDWALL: And I hit -- yes.

So I hit a really good shot up there. And I heard the crowd say it was -- and it was close. I could hear that. And obviously I put pressure on Michelle. And she was close to making it. But in the end, I made mine for a birdie and won the match.

MACFARLANE: And a lot of fist pumps after that. And then you were engulfed by your team.

What was the team atmosphere like that week? It looks such fun.

CAROLINE HEDWALL: Oh, yes. I mean, I think as Europeans, we grew up playing on teams and we -- that's how we can create such a great team atmosphere. And we have a great spirit and everyone's just having fun. And we enjoy being together. The bus rides in between the golf course and the hotel; they're a lot of fun. They're one of the highlights in the week.


CAROLINE HEDWALL: Oh, that's the secret. That's (INAUDIBLE).

MACFARLANE: Tell me how this all started for you. What are your earliest memories of playing golf as a youngster?

CAROLINE HEDWALL: We were living up in Stockholm at that time and we went down to southern Sweden, and we stayed at a golf resort and my grandparents were there, too, and Mom and Dad, they went out playing. And we wanted to try it, too, my sister and i. So we rented some clubs from the pro shop and went hitting. And that's how it all started, I guess.

MACFARLANE: And when did you begin to feel in those early years that you were actually pretty good at golf and that you could potentially make a career out of this?

CAROLINE HEDWALL: I remember walking to school and we were talking about who wants to be a lawyer or a doctor when you can be a professional athlete? I mean, why would you -- why would you want to do that? And so it's always been -- I've always wanted to work within sports and always to be a professional athlete. And then I just liked golf the most.

So when I got picked for the national team when I was 14, I think that's when I realized that, mmm, maybe this dream could come true.


MACFARLANE: And so it did. But despite living her dream, Caroline enjoys her time away from the course, not only to revisit her hometown and her parents, but also to catch up with her beloved twin sister, Jacqueline.

They're best friends and have even worked together as a team when Jacqueline stepped up as Caroline's caddy for her 2011 debut in the Solheim Cup.

MACFARLANE: You've obviously done so much together throughout your lives, golf and your -- the fact that your sister's (INAUDIBLE), isn't it?

JACQUELINE HEDWALL, EUROPEAN TOUR PROFESSIONAL: A big reason why she (INAUDIBLE) also why I'm (INAUDIBLE) this that we actually have had each other. We always had a practice partner or someone to compete with and obviously that helps. If you're the only child, you've got to find someone else. And that's not the easiest thing. But that's been great and both are so competitive. But we both hate to lose.


MACFARLANE: With so many months on the road, it's not often they have the chance to play the course where they grew up.

CAROLINE HEDWALL: This is 10 minutes from our house and we're going to have friends and family come out and watch. And we can practice and play together.

MACFARLANE: You must know each others' strength and weaknesses very well, I imagine.

And what's Caroline's biggest strength?

JACQUELINE HEDWALL: I don't know how to explain it. It's kind of like as her, like when she have a lot of people watching her, she doesn't get nervous or she is getting nervous probably, but it's not like it affects her. So that's probably her biggest strength, because she can just deal with it in a pretty impressive way.

CAROLINE HEDWALL: She hates me sometimes when we're having a competition. I'm like it's in the end of it and I'm like it just -- look and learn. You know? I just make the (INAUDIBLE) or something. She just hates that. And I know how to tease her.

MACFARLANE: Plus under the watchful eye of her sister, even champions can slip up sometimes.


MACFARLANE: Thank you very much, girls. It's been a pleasure meeting you.


O'DONOGHUE: Still to come, golf apps for sharing your game. Fad or the future?

And Edoardo Molinari with some home truths.



O'DONOGHUE: Welcome back to LIVING GOLF here in Catalonia. Now when we have a great round of golf, it's hard not to tell everyone about it. But what if every round, every shot was being shared perhaps in real time?

Welcome to the growing world of social golf apps.



O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Well, I'm not used to having my game up for analysis and comment, but here it goes. First, a system that uses GPS and chips attached to each club. It'll give me detailed steps for every shot and round and share all this real-time through social media.

JOHN MCGUIRE, CEO, GAME GOLF: And when I'm ready to take my shot, I bring this, the device, the tag to here.

O'DONOGHUE: Right. So that's -- you have to tag it to set it all in motion?

MCGUIRE: Yes, yes.

This is tag and go. You --


MCGUIRE: So what that means is right now it knows that I'm on this golf course. It knows that I'm hitting from these tees and it knows that I've got a 4 iron in my hand.

O'DONOGHUE: Oh, you can play. Where did that go?

Well, I've pushed it right, John, I can tell you that.

I'm tagged up so a quick swipe. How do I know it's taken? Because it vibrates. I feel the vibration there. I feel a vibration there. So I'm now tagged. Now just good to go?


O'DONOGHUE: Oh, I pushed it in John land. That's (INAUDIBLE) where you are.

MCGUIRE: I think both of us are hitting out of the same position.

O'DONOGHUE: (INAUDIBLE) well short of the green.

John, I tweet a lot.


O'DONOGHUE: I like to share a lot of stuff instantaneously.

What if I -- in the unlikely event, I get a hole in one, or a birdie, I want to be telling people. I want them to know instantaneously that I've done that. I know I can text them. But what's wrong with that?

MCGUIRE: Well, the system will not only allow you to do that, it'll actually show that shot. It will show the birdie. And you can actually share that to Twitter so when people click on the link, they're brought to your profile page. And they'll see the actual shot you took.

O'DONOGHUE: Now that's pretty cool. Now that I like.

O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And now some post-match analysis.

MCGUIRE: We'll upload the data to (INAUDIBLE) and we will go through a sign-in process like you would normally sign your card. And then you will be able to see your data. You'll see the number of holes that we played. You'll see the distances that you've been achieving with your clubs. And then we'll go into the advance (INAUDIBLE) feature and we'll compare you against Dee (ph) and Graham (ph) and (INAUDIBLE).

O'DONOGHUE: And I can actually see how it's (INAUDIBLE) a 2010 U.S. Open (INAUDIBLE)?

MCGUIRE: Yes, yes, exactly.


O'DONOGHUE: A golf day on the West Course at Wentworth. A chance to showcase another social golf app, Golf GameBook. It's a free app, giving live competition scoring and real-time comments and photos from players and anyone linked to them.

MIKKO RANTANEN, COFOUNDER And CEO, GAMEBOOK, INC.: This is (INAUDIBLE) course. The game will automatically calculate the net score based on that game format. And then also we're going to be taking some pictures and then participating in that little trash talk.

You connect with your golf friends similarly as on Facebook. Additionally, what's really fun is that where we have what's called a social leaderboard. And so if I'm going to go and play by myself at Wentworth, I can always compare my round to other players that have played at Wentworth Club. And I can always compare myself with my friends regardless of where they play. So it really sort of adds that social element, even if you play by yourself.


O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): It was launched by former pros in Finland. They claim it's been downloaded there by 80 percent of golfers with a compatible phone. It's now being rolled out around the world.

MARK SELBY, PROFESSOR, TELECOMS AND INNOVATION, UNIVERSITY OF SWEDEN: I see a very bright future for social apps in golf. We see the adoption of smartphones and technology by golfers. It hasn't been the leading edge compared to others, but now it's hitting critical mass.

The fact that we're now seeing these golfers embrace social media, whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever, already, they are already used to sharing information, ideas, thoughts, experiences with others. And we're now seeing applications that deal with that emotional side rather than the pure rational elements, which didn't resonate.

O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Golf GameBook have now signed a deal with IMG. Amateurs and tour players got to play with it in the Pro-Am at the WGC in Shanghai, getting live scores and trading comments and photos on their phones throughout. Of course apps such as these will live or die by how many download or use them.

Time for a few thoughts from the regulars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would definitely use it if it was available. And if it was cheap.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's at least interesting. I think the challenges that I think a lot of people might not want to share their exact stats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's kind of -- it will be unique and fun. I mean, people will definitely do that and (INAUDIBLE) track your buddies and see how well you're doing with them and see how far you are outdriving them. So I think it's good.

O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And the more who use an app, the more valuable it becomes to advertisers, coming soon to a small screen very near you.


O'DONOGHUE: How to play those shots in the first place, we probably all think we know pretty much how to fade and draw a ball.

But what if we're getting the theory wrong? Let alone the practice? You see, what we need is a top player with a science degree. And a little bit of technology.

So step forward Edoardo Molinari.



EDOARDO MOLINARI, TWO-TIME EUROPEAN TOUR WINNER: When you're hitting a (INAUDIBLE), the ball is starting on the club part and it's finishing where the face is pointing.

Now I show you that that is not true.


MOLINARI: So this shot should have landed on the flag, but it landed 15 yards less than the tee. Let's go and see why.

EMANUEL FRAUENLOB, TRACKMAN: Yes, either you were completely right, based on the old ball flight loss, this should have landed exactly on the pin. You can see that the face was perfectly square to target line at impact. Your path was inside out, so based on the old ball flight loss, that ball should have started to the right and landed exactly on the pin. But actually it started straight and landed 60 feet to the left.

MOLINARI: So why this is happening?

FRAUENLOB: It's because the old theory said that the ball starts on the club part actually when we see TrackMan numbers, we see that the ball starts where the face is pointing. So to hit a draw that lands by the flag, I need to make sure that my ball starts to the right of the flag. So my face needs to be open to the flag and then my club path is going to be even more to the right of where my face is pointing.

So the face will be open to the target line. But it will be close to the club path.

MOLINARI: So let's see how this really works.


MOLINARI: So this shot landed on the pin. Let's see why this happened.

FRAUENLOB: You're right, Edoardo. This shot actually landed 3 feet left of the pin, this perfect shot. And as you can see this is now what actually happens. Your face was 2 degrees open in relation to the target line. Your path was, again, 4 degrees inside out. But the face was closed in relation to the path, but open in relation to the target. So the ball started 2 degrees to the right and then curved back on the target line. So that's what I would consider a perfect draw.

MOLINARI: So to recap, to hit a draw, your club face needs to be open to the target line, but closed to the path.



O'DONOGHUE: Well, that's it for this edition of LIVING GOLF. Don't forget, all our reports are online and you can keep across what we're up to on Twitter. Next month, an exclusive interview with Tiger Woods. But for now from Spain and PGA Catalonia, goodbye.