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Subscribe to NerdWallet's Smart Money Podcast. Michael, good to have you back, man. How's everything? Everything is everything. It's all good, man. So glad to be on with you. No doubt.
The last time I heard everything was everything. It came from the great Lauryn Hill, but good to hear from you, Mike. And I got to give you props to shout out for.
Amid all that's happening, you throw in the frozen four. You, my friend, are a sports fanatic, the root of the word fan. You are a fanatic. I love that. They pay me for something.
I didn't say I was going to sit down and watch them on that damn mics, but I know what's going on. Just sign them and cash them, my friend. Sign them and cash them. I tried.
Direct deposit. Hey, Mike, what's going on with the Masters? We know Tiger Woods is the biggest name and Rory McIlroy and even got PGA and Liv conversation still popping here and there. What's the biggest story besides Tiger?
We'll get into Tiger. What else is the biggest story? Well, as always with the Masters, the biggest story is the course. It's Augusta National. And remember, this is the only major that is held at the same venue every year. So it is by definition, almost the story, the players come and the actors are different.
But year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation, the stage is really the story even more than the actors. The course has gone under several changes and adjustments to bring it to make it more of a challenge to today's player and today's equipment. We've heard a lot about raining in the ball and that sort of thing. So we want par fives to play like par fives, at least difficult par fives, instead of having players hitting little wedges into into greens on a par five. But as you can see, the course now, when you look at the leaderboard, more than maybe any other course in the world, it identifies and reveals excellence among the best players in the world. So to me, no matter what's going on, even with Tiger stalking the grounds and the fairways and greens. But the story itself is that that grand Augusta National. Well, Michael Williams, golf expert, is joining us here on CBS Sports Radio. You talk about the course at Augusta here in Georgia. Weather's OK.
The clouds have been looming this this to be rain here, even in northern Georgia, out towards the the ocean and Augusta. And then you mentioned Tiger Woods. He was asked today about how he feels. And he said in pain. What do you think about what we're seeing earlier this week? He said that, yeah, no, this might be my last time here. What do you think about what he's doing this weekend? What he might do? Is he going to make the cut? Is this the last of them?
What are your thoughts? You know, I don't think anybody makes a living betting against Tiger Woods. You know, I've had to give so many public apologies to Tiger for saying that he couldn't do something.
I'm like John Cleese when he's hanging out of the window in a fish called Wanda. I'm very, very sorry. I regret whatever I have said. This guy is just beyond. He's in a class, almost a species by himself.
That being said, father time is undefeated. And when he's walking around out there, you see the swing is actually in as good a shape as it's ever been. But it's that locomotion, the idea of getting around one of the hardest golf courses to walk in the world that's really taking its toll. And he hit a shot out of the bunker on 18. And after he hit that shot, he hopped around on one leg for a moment. And in the interview, after he came off, he was asked again about how he felt. Was he in pain? And he just took a moment as to allow himself to take an assessment of how that pain was really affecting him.
Covered it back up again, put it in a little box and said, yeah, I'm OK. Yeah. Again, just getting around the course is more of a challenge than actually playing the holes for Tiger. I think it's it's a very difficult thing, but the amount of courage and determination that he's displaying and doing that is just an extension of the courage and determination that he's displayed on the golf course throughout his entire career. Will he win? Almost certainly not.
But will he post and play as well as he possibly can? Absolutely. Because that's who that man is on the golf course. Yeah. Michael, listen, man, I don't have a rod and a screw and a plate in my leg.
And when the weather gets a little rainy outside, my leg acts up. So I don't even want to know how Tiger feels. OK, right. I mean, it's it's phenomenal to think about it again. You know, it's it's the the cliche is to say, well, you can't tell what that really looks like from the from the television shots. It doesn't do it justice. Let me tell you something.
I will put that in all caps. It doesn't do it justice to walk around that thing as a spectator for four days is an accomplishment that you should get at least some sort of ribbon or metal for to do that in the context of of competing is otherworldly. You don't understand it until you see it. The fact that he's doing that with that particular I'm going to say handicap over that particular situation going on with physically, it's remarkable bordering on heroic really. We won't understand it until he stops playing.
How bad it actually is for him right now. Golf expert Michael Williams is joining us. Someone else who seemingly has gone a little bit of a physical transfer transformation happens to be Phil Mickelson. We knew last year after a lot of his comments, he had to lay a little low. And now he's back out there, lost some weight, not as congenial reportedly with the fans who happen to be in attendance. What do you think about some of the friction that we have seen between the PGA and live?
Has it subsided or we just in this for the long run? Well, so I think going back to Bill, I had to smile because like we were joking amongst ourselves, those of us who follow this tournament that, you know, the prop that would be what he's lost more of weight or fans, you know, and how do you how do you how do you put a bet on that? Damn. In the way I know that's cold, right? That's harsh, too harsh.
Hey, listen, I say harsh things all the time. That was funny. I like it. Beautiful, beautiful. Producer captured that.
You can replay that. The again, this guy has been one of the more popular players win, lose or draw in the history of the tour. And after winning a historic major, the oldest player ever to win a major championship, he made the move to live, which diminishes popularity because he's not in the public eye. You don't see him play golf. There's almost no way to see those guys play. So you don't know why should you like him if he doesn't play golf?
He's just a guy out there just doing his thing somewhere. Yes, there is some friction between live tour and the PGA tour. You don't see as much of them in interviews. You don't see as much of them presented on the screen as those guys playing their rounds. If you're not one of the leaders with guys in the live tour, you're not getting coverage.
They're just not doing that. Look, I'm old enough to have seen what I've seen the WHA. We'll start with hockey. I've seen the AFL. I'm old.
I've seen the the the ABA. You know, I like you going with this. I think they got something in common to Michael. They did, man.
They all gone. And what what happened? What happened was each in each one of these competitive leagues. OK, you had a situation where it was driven by more money for the athletes.
But what happened was the stronger leagues eventually waited them out and then pulled the good ideas that have been produced by these leagues and their players back. And like the ABA is the best example. You know, the ABA, you know, was the thing. Dr. J and the air game, a lot of that came from the ABA. But you know what? The three point shot is probably the most influential thing in the game right now.
But I bet you a bunch of twenty seven to twenty something. You can sit in a room and not know where that came from. What came from the ABA? So the ABA, the NBA, when it came time to absorb that thing to say, look, we'll take Dr. J.
The three point shot, you can keep the the red, white and blue basketball and the rest on a gift certificate. And that's all we remember now. So I think eventually what's going to happen is the the live tour has inspired the PGA to make changes that players have been asking for for a while. And it will take that those ideas and eventually get those players back and it will be consigned to the same old locker room where you have the WHA and the the AFL and all those other rebel leagues. That's that's where I think it's going.
As somebody smarter than me once said, you know, there's room for the Olympics and the ice capades. And oh, my God. Wow. Michael Williams is here with us. Golf contributor, CBS Radio and Scape. Hey, I heard some of the ratings for live golf.
They're lower than infomercials at like three a.m. What do I know? But to continue, but to continue on, not pile on here, someone who's been against it less vocal than than usual recently. Well, Rory McIlroy, is he finally can he finally get over the hump? Do you believe it is a mental block for him with the green jacket? Is he allergic?
Like what's the deal? Well, it's not just the green jacket. I mean, Rory hasn't won a major in in closer to 10 years than one year. And it's been close to a decade since he's won. I was there at Valhalla for the last major that he won.
And I saw him. I thought that guy was on his road to winning 10 majors minimum because he was, you know, sure to win three to four Masters with that game, with that length, with that that perfect swing. However, that back nine that that one year when he was leading going to the back nine, he hit that shot into 10 and I've been in the cabins where he hit it.
And when you're in those cabins, it doesn't seem possible even to hit it over there on purpose. And that that back nine changed not only the trajectory, I think, of his career. It changed the trajectory of golf because he was that next thing. He was that that sequel to golf to golf greatness.
You know, the way the NBA was fortunate to have Bird and Magic and then right on the heels of those two, even even overlapping those two, Michael Jordan. Rory was going to be that to Tiger and it just hasn't happened. I think it's more likely to happen this year than any other year because I've met him. I've spent a lot of time with him.
I like him. And above anything else, the characteristic you attach to Rory is humility. He doesn't have that same selfish drive for accomplishment that drove Tiger to 15 majors. But what he does have now is a sense of responsibility to the tour. And I think he will be great again because it's good for the game, not because it's good for him. So it doesn't look like what he's still in it this way.
He's not out of it. But I think during the rest of this year, I think Rory will get a major this year again, because it's important, more important to the game than it is important for him. It'll be good to see.
Last question for you, Michael. And quickly, when you chalk up this entire weekend, who do you think will be at the top of the leaderboards here? I think it'll be one of the guys at the top of the leaderboard now.
When you look at it, I mean, there's nothing but studs at the top of that leaderboard. We talk about Jon Rahm. We talk about Scott Sheffley. We talk about everybody who's on that Masters leaderboard. And you've got Victor Hovland. You've got Brooks Koepka, your four-time champion, even though he's on a live tour. It's going to be somebody, I see it being somebody who's in the top 15 now wearing that green jacket on Sunday, because it's only going to get harder. This is the one day you had for low scoring. With the weather going out there, it's going to get more and more difficult.
So I don't see a lot of horses passing these guys on the right. Hey, Michael, it's always a pleasure chatting it up with you. Where can people follow you, your work and all of your excellent golf coverage? You can follow me on Twitter at Michael on TV. And you can follow me on Instagram on Michael Williams TV. And again, I get all over the place.
I do the majors. I just got back from two weeks of playing golf in Kenya. And when you've got a free 15 minutes, I'll tell you about that.
It was life changing. I recommend it to anybody. OK. I don't know if I'll go to Kenya to play golf, but I go to Kenya for a starter, Michael.
I got to ask you about that next time. You know, I'm always ready. You got my number.
Hit me up, bro. Most definitely. A big shout out to my main man, Michael Williams, coming through with the golf information.
It's the J.R. sport re-show here with you on CBS Sports Radio. Hammock. Check. Arnold Palmer.
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