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A Golfing History of Royal Liverpool; McIlroy Targets Open Improvement; How Far Has Women's Golf Come?; Will Donald Trump's Turnberry Be a Success?; Annika Sorenstam's "Hot Shots"
Aired July 3, 2014 - 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: It's July. It's the Open. Last time we were here, it was backing hot, tinder dry, Tiger territory. What drama
does golf's oldest major have for us this year?
Welcome to Hoylake. Welcome to LIVING GOLF.
O'DONOGHUE: This month on LIVING GOLF, the club, the course, the champions. Rory McIlroy gets ready to contend.
RORY MCILROY, TWO-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION (voice-over): My record hasn't been great.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): And the man who's bought an open venue.
DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: Turnberry has tremendous potential.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Plus as Birkdale prepares for the best female players in the world, just how strong is the women's game?
And our British Open champion shares some more expert advice.
O'DONOGHUE: The first French man, the first Irish man and the first Argentinian, all won their Open championships here. Royal Liverpool has a
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Pointed, home of Royal Liverpool, the second oldest seaside links in England after Royal (INAUDIBLE). Nine holes laid
out here in 1869 on a race course owned by the Liverpool Homes Club (ph), another nine added two years later.
ALISTAIR BEGINNINGS, CAPTAIN, ROYAL LIVERPOOL GC (voice-over): We've been a pioneer club since the club began here as far back as 1869, first
English professional championship was played here in 1872. So its amateur championship was played here in 1885. The first international match
between England and Scotland was played here in 1902.
And the forerunner of the Walker Cup was played here between Great Britain and Ireland and the United States in 1921.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Given these strong links with the amateur game, it was appropriately enough an amateur and a member of the club who
won Hoylake's first open championship in 1897. Harold Hilton became one of only three amateurs ever to win the Open following fellow Royal Liverpool
member John Bald (ph) and preceding the great Bobby Jones.
Jones won the Open here in 1930. His was the second leg of what was to become the only Grand Slam of all four majors in the history of the
game. In between Hilton and Jones there'd been another Hoylake first in 1907, when Arnaud Massy became the first non-Briton to win the Open. In
fact, he's still the only French man ever to win a major championship.
He was so thrilled he named his daughter Hoylake.
Fred Daly became the first Irish man to win the Open when he triumphed here in 1947. Nine years later, the first Australian winner of the Open,
Peter Thompson, came here and claimed the only hat trick of victories of the 20th century.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Since then, there have been only two Opens staged at Hoylake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Forty-four-year-old Roberto De Vicenzo of Argentina, beat out by the British, leads in the final day of
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): 1967: the first and only South American winner.
ROBERTO DE VICENZO, OPEN CHAMPION 1967 (from captions): Hoylake is not so easy, very difficult. Gary Player was a very clever boy. It's not
so easy to beat the boy, no? He was very young. Gary Player's 20 years younger than myself.
GARY PLAYER, NINE-TIME MAJOR WINNER (voice-over): He was a fantastic golfer, very warm personality, great for golf and I'll never forget playing
the 16th hole. He put that ball over the outer bound with a draw right onto the green to the people's delight. And went on to win.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): After a gap of nearly 40 years, the Open returned to the intense heat of 2006. Tiger's brilliant exhibition of
strategy and disciplined links golf saw him use his driver just once in the entire tournament.
BEGGS (voice-over): Hoylake demonstrated traditional links golf in its raw form. I mean, the fairways were almost white. I think it is in
better shape than it was in 2006. We've made a few subtle changes to it since 2006; a little bit of extra length has been added, not a great deal.
But its subtlety really is edges of greens have been reshaped. Runoffs have been developed. So slightly tricky impositions can be enforced.
CRAIG GILHOLM, LINKS MANAGER, ROYAL LIVERPOOL (voice-over): I think what we've done is fairly small changes. There was one green complex has
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): So we're here. This is the championship first. This is where significant changes have taken, certainly to the
How would you describe it?
GILHOLM (voice-over): Yes, it's going to be a tough opening hole. I think that's probably the main thing with the hole. It's a long, narrow
green. It's going to be probably for these guys, you're assuming normal weather conditions like today, it's probably going to be a medium for these
guys, very medium coming out from hopefully fastest green. But for now our entrance is going to be I guess to start with.
O'DONOGHUE: Who would you consider to be the real test to this Hoylake course?
GILHOLM: I think truly it has to be it's all going to be a walk test. You know, it's always been a long golf course, the sort of flower that it
finds at the end of the golf course is really about the wind blowing. You know, that is the difficult -- you know, there's many come here and many
went to Hoylake and thinks that -- and that is what Hoylake's all about.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Tiger gave a scorched links master class in 2006. Everyone here eagerly awaits his return after injury, along with
maybe a typical Hoylake wind to stiffen the test a little. And perhaps yet another Royal Liverpool first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Next on LIVING GOLF, Rory, back with his first love.
And cash, kudos and the women's game.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Welcome back to LIVING GOLF as we look ahead to the Open. We've now traveled southwest of Hoylake, across the Irish Sea
to Cunseyl (ph) and we've come here to meet the young man who already has two different majors to his name. He'd dearly love to add a third this
It's a rare day off and Rory's come here to get away from it all. His manager and caddy are playing friendly match, double major champions just
enjoying the glorious sun and scenery.
The Open championship is around the corner, Rory. Hoylake, have you played it?
MCILROY (voice-over): Yes, I've played Hoylake back in 2003. Yes, British Boys, I was 14 years old, got beaten in the first round.
I remember the guy was called Graeme Benson (ph). I think he beat me on the last. So that was the last and only time that I've played it. And
I'll probably take a little trip to Liverpool before the Scottish Open, the weekend before the Scottish Open and reacquaint myself with it.
I feel like my record in the Open championship hasn't been great. I finished third at St. Andrews in 2010 and apart from that, I haven't really
done much at the Open.
O'DONOGHUE: You were such a links specialist, or so it seemed, as a kid. You know, winning everything at such a young age. Like what do you
think you need to do now to really kind of shine in the Opens?
MCILROY: Yes, I mean, control my ball. Flight's been a big thing. I played with Phil Mickelson the first two rounds at Muirfield last year.
And I was really impressed how he -- how well he controls his ball flight. And Muirfield was firm last year. It was really firm and he was bouncing
balls on the greens and getting the ball on the ground as soon as possible. And I feel like that's something that I probably need to do more of.
And when, as you said, back when I was an amateur and a little younger, I was used to playing links golf so much more. So you're more
comfortable playing those shots.
MCILROY (voice-over): Even if I don't get a win this season in a major, even just to be up there in contention and have a chance to win one,
you know, I would feel would be acceptable. But I just want to get back to that place where I was at, where I was regularly putting myself up there on
the leader boards of majors. And it's a place you get used to -- you're used to being there and you want to get back there.
Jack Nicklaus won only two majors, but he finished second (INAUDIBLE).
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): I know that you met with Jack, had a nice meeting with him at his office in Palm Beach. And he shared a lot with
you, didn't he?
MCILROY: He did, yes. Jack has always been very generous with his time with me. With other players as well, but especially with me. We've
formed quite a nice friendship, I guess you would call it, over the last few years. And the meeting more so this time was about how he managed his
time and just finding a balance in life, in a way.
MCILROY (voice-over): Golf is my first passion, my first love. And it's just -- it's great to be able to spend days up here and play golf and
remember why you started to play the game. I think you remembering all those times with my dad on the Hollywood Golf Club and really remembering
the joy and the love that you have for the game and I've sort of -- I feel like I've found that again over the past few weeks or a month, whatever it
is, just really enjoying, going out there and competing. So exciting times ahead.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Best of luck, Rory.
MCILROY (voice-over): Thank you.
O'DONOGHUE: Rory McIlroy.
Of course there are two Opens this month, Birkdale, just along the coast from Hoylake, will be hosting the women's British Open, the best
female players in the world, like their male counterparts, will be flying in fresh from their U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
It was the first time in history that the men and women played the same course in a major championship.
So what, if anything, does that tell us about the current status of the women's game?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Baltusrol is 18 free (ph) and final hole for U.S. Open competitors. Jack Nicklaus grabs all the glory, coming
into 18 with a four-stroke edge over rival partner, Arnold Palmer.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): 1967, Jack Nicklaus on his way to his second U.S. Open.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The U.S. Open trophy and $30,000 belongs to Big Jack with kisses from the missus.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Same course, six years earlier, the women's U.S. Open. They're playing for considerably less than that $30,000:
$1,710 to be precise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): And she nails down her birdie with a putt just as perfect as her approach.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Last month's double-header at Pinehurst ended with Michelle Wie collecting $720,000.
REG JONES, SENIOR DIRECTOR, USGA: The caliber of women's championship golf is certainly equal to their counterparts.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): It seemed to confirm a new bright year for the women's game, coming after 19-year-old Lexi Thompson's first major
victory this spring. And the emergence of other young stars, such as Lydia Ko and Charley Hull.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Royal Birkdale, a media day for this month's week of women's British Open. Among those taking part, Laura Davies,
winner of the U.S. Open in 1987. In her time, she's seen a huge strengthening of the competition, particularly from Asia, but not much more
LAURA DAVIES, 1987 WINNER, U.S. OPEN: In the women's game, it's hard work out there for the girls. If you haven't finished top five in some of
these women's events in Europe, you lose money if you take a pro caddy with you for the week. You will lose money if you finish sixth. It's a loss
which is a bit ridiculous.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): So let's have a look at the figures. If we include the majors, prize money last year for the men on the American PGA
tour totaled $306 million. For the women on the LPGA, the figure's one- fifth of that at a little over $60 million.
In Europe, the disparity's greater. The men on the European tour played for the equivalent of $180 million, again, that's including the
majors. The prize money on the ladies' European tour plus the money for the five majors totaled $28 million.
So how does the man who runs the women's tour in America see things?
Mike Whan moved into the LPGA's Florida headquarters nearly five years ago.
MIKE WHAN, COMMISSIONER, LPGA: The best golfers in the world now are coming from all over the world. And if you look at the LPGA, this is a
tour with 31 different countries represented. Now it's a global business. The reality of it is, especially as it relates to the States, as in
America, we're not on network TV enough to attract that casual fan.
The reality of today is viewership in terms of number of fans watching on TV and watching onsite drive value that you can charge a sponsor.
That's something we've got to work on in the next 4-5 years.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Another day, another chance to woo the media. LET players and officials putting to work in at their
IVAN KHODABAKHSH, CEO, LADIES' EUROPEAN TOUR: We need to move much more in (INAUDIBLE) players. We are making sure that we just don't look
for the money but the widest exposure possible worldwide to have first to create the value before you just ask for the money.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Of course the relationship between media coverage and public interest in a sport can be either a virtuous or vicious
cycle. They drive each other.
CARIN KOCH, EUROPEAN SOLHEIM CUP CAPT. 2015: You have to get more publicity to be seen and then people realize how good the golf we actually
play on the ladies' circuits and then from that comes the endorsements. And I think we just need to kind of catch that upward spiral. And I think
for the average golfer, ladies' golf is great because you can identify more with the players. That's something we need to build on.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): So what will drive change? How far can it go? And how quickly?
Some final thoughts from a few whose livelihoods depend on it.
VICKY CUMING, MANAGER, LAURA DAVIES AND CHARLEY HULL: I genuinely feel that we're closer than ever right now to a breakthrough this year.
There's going to be a lot more live TV coverage. And I feel we've got some really strong sponsors on board as well.
KHODABAKHSH: I think first of all that the Olympic Games will be a game-changer. So I believe in 5-7 years we will say this is a true
professional tour where every player on this tour makes a living.
WHAN: I wouldn't sign up for the statement we'll never be equal. I believe it will someday. I don't know if it'll be soon or decades. If you
look at what's happened to our viewership in the last 4-5 years, we're talking significant double-digit grown year in and year out. We'll close
that gap in time. That much I'm sure of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Mickey Wright (ph), who suffered (INAUDIBLE) early round but came back to don her third Open crown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Still to come, that man who's bought an Open and a lesson from a woman who's won a few.
O'DONOGHUE: Welcome back to LIVING GOLF and the Open championship. This month hundreds will be trying to qualify for and of course win the
Open. But one team player, a certain Donald Trump, recently bought a part of it. To be more precise, he acquired Turnberry, which is an open venue.
We went to visit him at his first-ever course in Scotland just outside Aberdeen to find out what he's up to.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): It's fantastic to be with you, Donald Trump. We're on the back nine. So there's a challenge ahead.
DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: Well, challenge, you're a very good golfer.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): I hear that you're quite a handy golfer yourself.
TRUMP: Well, we have a lot of fun, right?
O'DONOGHUE: All right. Your handicap is with regard to the honor on the tee?
O'DONOGHUE: Well, you have the honor then.
O'DONOGHUE: (INAUDIBLE) shot on five.
TRUMP: Oh, really? Well.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Good shot.
TRUMP (voice-over): Thank you.
Oh, what a nice one he's got. Wow.
Turnberry has tremendous potential and as you know --
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): You think you'll make a lot of money there with that resort?
TRUMP (voice-over): I think we're going to do great because the hotel is spectacular and Turnberry, I think, has a chance to be one of the great
resorts of the world.
O'DONOGHUE: Has this been a bumper period for you, though, as there's been a downturn perhaps?
TRUMP: Well, it's been great for me because I've been buying things that -- for prices that are unthinkable.
By the way, I don't have a mortgage on Turnberry. I --
O'DONOGHUE: What's that cost you?
TRUMP: Sixty million dollars.
O'DONOGHUE: Turnberry Resort?
TRUMP: And before that it was 300 million pounds. When I have Turnberry perfect, there will be nothing like it.
OK. Let's go.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Any thoughts on what changes you think at this point having made that first visit since the purchase?
TRUMP: I think part of it could be 9, 10, 11 and 12. There's tremendous potential there.
O'DONOGHUE: -- lighthouse and everything.
TRUMP: Oh, the whole thing is incredible. You know, moving them out to see a little bit and there's a tremendous opportunity on the second
course, to blow it up, frankly, and I'm right now talking to one of the great golf architects of the world about doing a new second course.
TRUMP: I have many friends that do the painting thing and they buy paintings and they spend a lot of money and all. And I get it. And I do
it in a minor way. But I don't get it like this. To me this is the ultimate painting. There is nothing like this. And you know, I've always
had problems with spending $100 million on putting something on a wall and maybe you wake up the next morning and it's not there. Nobody's lifting
this off the wall.
And very important is the name Trump. I put the name on it and immediately people start taking notice. So it's been a tremendous asset
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Next five years, what's the plan? What do you see what the future is as far as Donald Trump is concerned?
TRUMP (voice-over): Well, I'm doing a lot of things. We're building buildings all over the world. As far as golf is concerned, it's very, very
hard to buy golf courses now. It's really hard. And so I think probably the days of my buying all of that are pretty much over.
So honestly, I'm -- I would be surprised if I did anymore. But you know, I say that all the time and then something happens.
Now put it in, Shane.
O'DONOGHUE: All right.
TRUMP: You need this for a tie.
TRUMP: Well, great match.
O'DONOGHUE: (INAUDIBLE) golf.
Look after the host.
TRUMP: Absolutely. Great match.
O'DONOGHUE: I enjoyed it now. Of course, the Open championship is happening very shortly in a couple weeks' time at Hoylake and hopefully
it'll be at Turnberry in the not-too-distant future.
TRUMP: Well, I'd like that to happen. They're great people and they'll -- they really do a fantastic job. So we look forward to many
years at Turnberry. And thank you very much.
O'DONOGHUE: Donald Trump there.
Now as you know, Annika Sorenstam is a 10-time Major winner. She won the women's British Open in 2003 and has been giving us lessons over the
last few months. So here's the latest "Hot Shots."
O'DONOGHUE: Welcome to "Hot Shots" here on CNN's LIVING GOLF alongside Annika Sorenstam at the Annika Academy just outside Orlando.
And well, we've picked a really easy bunker shot here.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM, 10-TIME MAJOR WINNER: Yes, we have.
O'DONOGHUE: It's about 25 yards from the sand to an elevated green. What could be easier than that?
SORENSTAM: Not much. You know, this is going to be interesting. I look forward to seeing how you handle this situation.
O'DONOGHUE: Perhaps you can get me on the right track.
SORENSTAM: Well, first of all, before you get into the bunker, you have to say I'm very good at this. So just knowing you get a mental aspect
of the game.
O'DONOGHUE: Well, this is one of my favorite shots.
SORENSTAM: Oh, perfect. Well, now we're ready.
O'DONOGHUE: OK. It's all about embracing the challenge.
SORENSTAM: Yes. Positive attitude is everything.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): Pretty good. Yes, I like the fact that you were kind of burrowing your feet a little bit. It gets a good feel for the
sand. You take the advantage since you can't ground the club. But sitting down is good, too. But then you really set up like a real bunker shot,
hitting high and softly.
But when you have a shot like that, that's really identical as a shot you have outside a 30-yard pitch. That's the difference. You were setting
it up more like a green tied bunker shot there for you hit too far behind the ball. And like I said, that was good for probably a 15-yard shot.
Would you like to show us how it's done?
SORENSTAM: Sure. I'll be happy to. I'll put the ball here. But again, really feel like you're hitting it more of a -- like a little pitch
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE). Look at that. Wow.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE).
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Got a lot of spin as well.
SORENSTAM (voice-over): Flex the knees a little bit so you get down there. But then really feel like you're hitting a 30-yard pitching wedge.
Which means, you know, take the club back to just about here and then you swing through here. It's very different; you do not want to open up the
club face too much because if you open it up here, you know, everybody talks about bounds. But these wedge shots, they're just more the leading
edge coming in first. It might be a little bit of a deeper pivot. But certainly the pivot is coming later.
O'DONOGHUE (voice-over): Beautiful. Wow, Annika, that was fantastic.
SORENSTAM: Thank you --
O'DONOGHUE: -- started out as one of the most difficult shots in golf, which you've shown we can actually really make progress. And it's a
pitch shot; don't treat it like a bunker shot. Another great "Hot Shot" with Annika Sorenstam.
O'DONOGHUE: Well, that's it for this edition of the program. Don't forget, all our reports are online and you can keep across what we're up to
on Twitter. But for now from Royal Liverpool Golf Club Hoylake, as we look forward to the drama of the Open. Goodbye.