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The Drive with Josh Graham - Live from Wyndham Championship - Day 2 - 08/2/19

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2019 6:22 pm

The Drive with Josh Graham - Live from Wyndham Championship - Day 2 - 08/2/19

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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August 2, 2019 6:22 pm

Host Josh Graham with Desmond Johnson, Aaron Gabriel. Day two from Sedgefield Golf Course as the Wyndham Championship resumes. How Zion Williamson ended up with Jordan Brand. Joe Weil Movie Calls. Wyndham Tournament updates.Tournament director Mark Brazil, WXII's Brian Fomica and News and Record's Ed Hardin stop by in Margaritaville. Tune into The Drive with Josh Graham Mon-Fri 3-6pm on Sports Hub Triad!

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Attention please. This is the Drive with Josh Graham Podcast. Tune into the Drive 3 until 6pm weekdays on the Sports Hub. I love it.

It's brilliant. This is the Sports Hub at AM600 AM920. Now back to the Drive with Josh Graham. We're back at it again. Day 2 of the Wyndham Championship.

Specifically we're inside Margaritaville at Setchfield Country Club. I want to immediately get to some of the big stories from the tournament and to help us do that our good friend Brian Formica from WXII joins us, sports director on television who you can follow on Twitter at Brian Formica. So far the big story of the day, you have to start with a guy who going into the 17th hole if he goes birdie birdie matches Brant Snedeker what he did last year with the 59. Svensson does not do that. Adam Svensson the Canadian shoots a 61. That's a 9 under par.

Is that where you start when you start looking at some of the stories from the day? All of a sudden you see Svensson start to creep up. I mean he had what? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 birdies on the front 9. And then when you're 7 under through 9 everybody starts to wonder and you should have seen the gallery start to gather around Adam Svensson. If you had asked any of us, hey will Adam Svensson have a large gallery in the second round of the Wyndham, no one would have thought that but he did because people started to get buzzed. He got that buzz early. The problem was the second 9, second part of his round was just 2 birdies and kind of went flat but at the same time I don't think you could say 61 is a flat number at all.

It's an amazing thing here at the Wyndham. When somebody starts to have a great round, I don't know when Svensson appeared on your radar screen but I was back in what they call the war room. It's the Erwin Smallwood Media Center they have over there and it looks like a bunker of just media reporters sitting there. And very early on people said, oh this guy is 3 under, 4 under, 5 under? On the front 9 people were starting to freak out. Uh oh, we could have a Stedeker situation over here. Shoot the guns off, get people prepared.

This guy is creating a gallery. It's the story and when you start thinking how something like this happens, I think you've got to go to last night. The rain hits and it rained quite a bit last night. It was almost a torrential downpour in Greensboro. What that does to the course, it slows things down and as a result we've seen low scores. The interesting part about Sedgefield is they've done such a good job with the drainage that the water doesn't sit.

So yes, it does slow things down and the scores will be lower than they usually are, but it does drain. So when people think, oh you got to deluge your brain last night, there's not puddles sitting around, it doesn't hamper play at all, it just slows those greens down. And Josh, you and I were talking earlier, with this, Sedgefield has two defenses against the top players and it is the rough and the greens. Well when it rains, it takes the greens out of that defense, so all you have is the rough and these guys don't hit that much. When they do, it'll harm them, but right now they are scoring well. Because among the golf courses on tour, this is seen to be one of the shorter ones you'll find.

Absolutely, and that's why we talked about yesterday why the big guns don't come here. It's because people rarely take their driver out of their bag the entire round, at least these pros do. You and I play and we're wishing we had something more than a driver, maybe a cannon. But everything else for these pros, they're keeping their drivers in the bag, it is a short course. And like we said, the greens or the rough are its defense. And once it rains, as much as it has this week, those greens don't have much to fight these pro ball. Do you suspect that the course will get easier or more difficult as the round progresses? I think it depends on when you play your round and each of these professionals play their round.

I think once the sun starts to beat down, those greens dry out pretty quick and that makes it more difficult. So we've seen guys who played yesterday in the afternoon when those greens were dry from all that rain, they had a harder time in the afternoon than they did the morning. Well, the field's flip flops for the second day. So those who were in the afternoon and didn't do so well yesterday are tearing it up this morning. It's still to be determined for the afternoon players today.

Brian Formica, WXII sports director with us here. Another guy that you keep an eye on is Jordan Spieth, who was in the morning much like Adam Svensson. You're thinking, okay, if the greens are wet, if the course is dried out, I could put up a pretty low number today. And three under is going to keep him competitive, but he seemed pretty disappointed after the round was over. Do you feel like he missed an opportunity?

I do. I think yesterday when you're playing in that afternoon heat and that afternoon fast greens, you know, you're doing yourself a disservice. This was his route to make his move, and he didn't. I mean, two bogeys on the back nine, you had three birdies, which is fine, so you're one under, but you should have torn it up today, or at least he should have, and he didn't. And so either he better have something in his bag to go even higher, or he's not going to be amongst the top three in this tournament. The main thing about Jordan is when you look at the tournaments that he plays, three, four, five under in a day is outstanding, not at the window.

At the window you need six, seven, eight under for a day just to be in contention. I always hear when golfers talk about this course, they point to ten, they point to twelve, some even point to eleven, and say those are the most difficult holes you'll find. If you find yourself being a bit distant and not as focused right in the middle as you make the turn, that's when you can really start to get into trouble. What do you think makes this course difficult? We already acknowledge what can make it easier than some of the courses on tour.

What makes it difficult? One of the hardest things about this course is when you have momentum, it's the Donald Ross design that it's going to take it away from you. There are certain spots on the course and certain clusters of holes where you can really score, but as you come up that eighteenth, it is very tough to birdie the eighteenth, it's very tough to birdie the ninth hole. Key signature holes that can give you confidence, either going into the back or the front nine if you start on the back, those are holes that you can actually do something but not hear. On the eighteenth hole, you sit there and as media, as we watch, we say well he's not birdieing the eighteenth because you'd need a miracle shot from that fairway all the way down past the creek, up the hill, and then it's guarded by bunkers. It's a very tough hole and we rarely see people birdie it, especially it seems like when they're having an incredible round. Except Brant Snedeker from last year. Except Brant Snedeker, exactly. He birdies the hole to get the fifty-nine and I think he birdied to close out his round two last year.

He did. So that's how you win Wyndham Championships, I believe, finding ways to hit on the difficult courses. That might be true wherever you're at. Yesterday you were with us, Brian, and we play a game once a week where we throw movie lines at the voice of the Dash, Joe Weil. We carry Dash baseball on Thursday nights. Due to the rain last night, he wasn't able to get all the calls in, but you threw some tombstone at him and Joe Weil came through for you. Did he really? Let's hear. He can turn with their offer of being a starter, 0-2.

Outside, count at 1-2. Yesenia said back to him, I'm your huckleberry. Because he's up to the task. Well done, Joe.

Well done. Yeah, Joe's a pro. And there's no pause before, he just throws it straight in.

Seamless. Yeah, much like that pitcher did. We heard it. We heard it touch the glove. That's why I love baseball. You can always tell when something's happening. When's the pitcher going to get to the fact that something just hit the mitt? When's the broadcaster going to address this here? And Joe throwing in tombstone lines.

The guy is polished. He's dialed in on all things Dash, and he throws that in there as well. Give me another of Joe Weil's calls from last night, Dez. There are some dark clouds above us here at BB&T ballpark. There were some pop-up storms around the area. 1-1. Outside, count at 2-1. But it's hard to predict if rain will come through this area with the forecast. And listen, I didn't invent the rainy day, man.

I just owned the best umbrella. Incredible. So I'm all for working in these types of movie lines every single week.

You can tweet the show at sportsubtriad if you care to play along with our dumb game that we play with Joe. But we often enjoy it. That was from Almost Famous. I didn't invent the rainy man.

I just owned the best umbrella. It's probably the best work from Kate Hudson, too. I'm not a big Kate Hudson judge of movies there, Josh, but I don't think I've seen one where I don't like her. Yeah, that's a good point. And you pair up with Matthew McConaughey and it's cinema gold. It's a very good point. I think this is the week, Brian, you're in the media just like I am. Where you start to figure out, okay, it's almost here, things are starting to ramp up. The Wyndham I view as the kickoff to the busy period of the sports calendar here in the Triad. Because last night was the first football game we had to watch. It was the NFL preseason opener. Which means every week from here on until February 8th, we're going to have a college football or an NFL game to talk about. The Wyndham is our kickoff to all of that, which makes things a lot of fun.

It does. I tell my mom, I'll talk to you in April because that's football and then basketball. Her birthday was yesterday, so happy birthday mom, if I can say that.

And that will be the last time I really get a good conversation with her until the end of football and basketball. Brian, appreciate you being here, man. Watch you tonight at 6 and 11 tonight on WXI. It's the sports director Brian Formica on Twitter. At Brian Formica as we're here in Margaritaville, Setchfield Country Club, site of round two of the Wyndham Championship. In just a bit, we're going to be talking with Elliott Hamlisch, who is the head of the Wyndham Rewards top ten.

Look forward to chatting with him. But on the other side, Zion Williamson, the deciding factor and him choosing Jordan Brand. That's next on the drive. Oh, look who's back. This is the Sports Hub at AM600, AM920.

Now back to the drive with Josh Graham. We're now being joined by the tournament director of the Wyndham Championship. Mark Brazel is on location with Setchfield Country Club inside Margaritaville more specifically.

And what a festive scene it is as there is a tiki hut to my right. There's a band playing to my left and there is a golf tournament being played somewhere in the periphery of this. Mark, congratulations on the Wyndham Rewards top ten and fielding such a great field here. You were just talking to our good friend David Glenn who comes on right before us and I understand you believe this is the best field you've had in two decades. Well, we were told by the PGA Tour that they've done the research and from top to bottom it is from the standpoint of the number of the top hundred in the FedEx Cup rankings. And then on a number of world ranking points that this tournament gets, this is the best we've had in like 20 years. So that says something about how the FedEx Cup season is working with only three playoff events.

That is, I think that's really helping us a lot. And then we probably, we still have nine guys in this field that are trying to play their way in to the Wyndham Awards top ten. We have one of them, Paul Casey, who sits at number eight. We've got numbers 13 and 14 and Webb Simpson and Chez Rivey. If either one of them wins the tournament and Webb is playing well enough to win this tournament, they jump up to number five and there's another cool million dollars for them. And also Paul Casey has a chance to move up as high as number four.

He can move up to four and make an additional like $800,000. It's incredible. When you look at today and some of the highlights, Adam Spencer, he shoots a nine under par. And the neat thing is when it starts to get around on the golf course that a guy's having around like that, you start to see the patrons converge the way that they did last year when Brant Snedeker shot the 11 under.

When did that appear on your radar screen, what the Canadian was doing? You know, I guess I looked at it after his front nine and it was seven under through nine holes and I'm like, that's a 28. It's 28 strokes to get around the front nine. Okay, that was the same number that I think Brant shot either 28 or 27 last year on the back nine. But it was actually the front nine, it was his back nine. His second nine.

He shot, yeah, he went on the back nine first. Mark Brazel with us here, tournament director at the Wyndham Championship. Is the course playing the way you expected it would?

It's holding up. I mean obviously it's had a lot of rain on it, a lot of water on this thing. We've been playing lift clean in place, which you just have to because if you don't, you're putting yourself in jeopardy of having to kind of stop the event. And this allows you to play through the wet conditions. And you know, it's not real golf if you're going to be hitting the ball in the fairway, a perfect shot, and you've got this huge clump of mud on the ball.

So the lift clean in place is the right thing to do. Has the course drained as well? It drains very well here. It heads down all the little creeks and ponds that we have.

It actually does. I remember the year, like our second year here, and I was just like amazed at how well it was draining. We had quite a bit of build up. We had so much rain in an hour last night that I think the seventh green was underwater.

And I'm sitting here going, underwater? How does that work? How does that work for tomorrow?

So anyway, everything worked out well. Chad Kromer and his team, he's got his own team here, the superintendent and the agronomy staff here. But then they bring in some other superintendents from around the area, and they help out a lot too. During this week, how often is Mark Brazel looking at weather forecasts?

You know, believe it or not, I kind of look at it from time to time, but I'm not sure I'm believing much of it. You know, today was supposed to be a complete washout, knock on wood, but it's not going to be. But I mean, we're like at four o'clock, and we might have had a drizzle earlier. Welcome to North Carolina.

Well, it is. It's just hard. I feel bad for weather people. It's hard to predict weather. And last year, I don't know if you remember this Josh, they had 80% chance of rain every day on Sunday before the tournament. I'm looking over at my boss going, well this ought to be fun, right? And we had one time where we had to do the EVAC for about an hour, and that was it. That was the only rain we got. One time. So I just, you know, I'm not sure what to believe.

We certainly look at it. They've got their own weather guy, PJ Tour does, and he sends something out every morning, and he's pretty accurate most of the time. Two days ago, Jordan Spieth was going through his practice round, and a lot of the feedback I got from people, fans who were here at the Wyndham Championship was that Jordan Spieth could not have been better, more gracious, 30 minutes spending his time just signing every autograph he could, and his first time returning to this golf course since 2013.

Take me behind the scenes of what it took to get him here, and once he's gotten here, how he's received the event. Well, you know, I think Jordan, one of the things that kind of helped us last year, or this year, was that Jordan's sitting at like, I don't know, 68 or something like that on the FedEx Cup. Might be a little bit lower. So, the first playoff event goes from 125 to 70. It cuts 55 players out of the playoffs.

That's different than last year where it was 125 to 100, 100 to 70, 70 to 30. So, you know, Jordan's like, I gotta be better shaped. I wanna be at that top 30. So, he comes in here and he tries to win. He wants to try to win this thing so he can bump way up and be in that top 30. He did not like missing the tour championship for his first time last year, and I think that helps us. He wants to play in six in a row. He wants to be in that tour championship for sure, and he wants to be playing for the $15 million. So, we got him last minute, and I've been working with his agents since the British Open, saw them over there, had a lot of good discussions with them.

I certainly wouldn't bother him. I like for these guys to be able to practice without being bothered by tournament directors. When I'm looking at the top of the leaderboard, two of the top three are outside the United States, and when I look at the field, the Wyndham has become one of the more international tournaments we've seen when you factor in the fact that you guys, eight of your last 16 champions, have been from overseas, and I think 12 of the last 23. Is that something you pay attention to or just coincident?

No, I do pay attention to it. I think it's really neat to be able to bring in some of the best players internationally, so that these folks here in the Triad and North Central North Carolina can see some of these guys and get to know especially some of the young guys like a Viktor Hovland. I mean, here's a kid who's from Oslo, Norway, and he's a great, great player. He's going to be really good. He's going to be on the tour for a long time, and so I'm glad to see him playing pretty well.

But anyway, back to Jordan Spieth real quick. Every time he's finished practicing or playing, he doesn't think twice. He goes straight for the kids, and he starts signing autographs, and he signs every one of them.

What does that tell you? Well, it tells me that his parents brought him up right, and they did, and I know them, and they're great people. And he's a humble kid. He talks to the kids.

He smiles a little bit. He takes a bunch of selfies. I've been watching this, and I'm just so impressed, and he's not a guy. I appreciate all these guys that have signed millions and millions of autographs. I know what a pain it can be, but they all need to remember that they were there once wanting those autographs. And now it's all just selfies. It's a lot of selfies.

Yeah, it's a lot of selfies. And Jordan, you know, he goes, sure. And then he'll pop in, you know, he'll go funny face. I mean, he's really good with it.

I'm super impressed. We haven't had him in a while, so I haven't seen that. I do know that he and Ricky Fowler, they've signed a lot of autographs.

It's amazing. We were catching up with Webb Simpson, and he said he was in contact with Tiger Woods. And Tiger Woods, he's trying to get in good favor there. The top eight automatically qualify for the Ryder Company.

And right now he's number 10 in the President's Cup standings. He said, hey, you know, what do I need to do? Just be better. Play better.

And it looks like right now Webb Simpson's been just that. When did he say that? Before Memphis? Because he played his tail off at Memphis.

He did. Second last weekend. Second by himself. Top 20 in the U.S. Open recently as well. But is he one of the bigger draws you think you have here when you consider the local ties that isn't just Wake Forest, but Rowley and Charlotte? No, I think, you know, but when you look at Brandt, Snedeker, and Webb Simpson, those are our two top draws every year, year in, year out. I mean, they just, people flock to see them. And every time they hit that first tee, you know, for the opening day or maybe on Saturday, I mean, they don't miss many cuts every round here either. I mean, they're always in the mix.

They like this place. I mean, Webb has shot a bunch of 62s around here, a lot of 63s. Brandt's obviously shot a 59. I think he shot a 60.

He might have had a 61. I mean, these guys love this golf course. They love being here. I think Brandt kind of feels like this is home. But Webb, this is home for Webb.

I mean, Rowley, Winston, right in the middle of it. He lives in Charlotte. So this is really the center of the three places that he's kind of been. Webb Simpson is at 10 under par, tied for fifth place, and he's through 13 here at Wyndham, at the Wyndham Championship. He was my pick, by the way. Somebody asked me, I said, I think he's playing well enough just to continue and carry on. And he loves this course, as we saw last year, tied for second.

Last thing for you. You can always get bogged down with work when you're working here, even on the media side, and not just go out on the course and watch any of the guys play. Today, I forced myself. I told Aaron, Aaron never been to this course before, never had seen a PGA tour. I took him out on the course to, hey, I'm going to put down the phone.

I'm going to put down my notepad. We're going to go out on the course for an hour. And it was just delightful, especially with this field. Considering how much work do you have, do you ever get a chance to just enjoy it? I was telling somebody the other day, I mean, I might have seen a couple shots, but I enjoy everything I do.

But I don't get to watch a lot of golf. What is the most satisfying thing about this weekend? Well, I just love that we're bringing a first-class event to Greensboro and to the Triad and to Central North Carolina. So not just the people of the Triad can be here, but people from Raleigh and Charlotte and even Danville and people up in Roanoke come down for this thing. So we have, that's what people, people from everywhere hear this term.

That's what I have seen. That's the growth that I like, that we've seen that consistently over the last several years. And we're looking forward to seeing what's next year for this tournament.

Thank you for spending some time with us. That's Mark Brazel, tournament director at the Windham Championship. Coming up, the Forrest Gump of basketball. This is the Sports Hub, you're on the drive. What are we going to talk about?

This is the Sports Hub at AM 600, AM 920. Now back to the drive with Josh Graham. Broadcasting live from the Windham Championship. Second round action, well underway.

We'll update you on the scoreboard in just a bit. But there's a story that I think would have been the biggest story we're talking about going into an NFL football season around here. That it doesn't seem like anybody cares about anymore. And that's Eric Reid telling Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer exclusively that he's going to knee during the National Anthem. Take a kneel and do so for as long as he feels fit. And he feels like it's probably going to be during the entire season. And it feels like to me, we're all but moved on from the Anthem protest except for Eric Reid and just a few select others. None of the significant major star players are involved in this. It never really was a star player that took a knee aside from Colin Kaepernick who started it all.

A full disclaimer here, and I feel like I need to have this every single time I address the subject. I'm neither pro nor anti-protest. My philosophy on protest is this, and it's simple. If it doesn't break the law, and it doesn't induce violence, I'm not going to tell you the right or wrong way to protest.

That's just me. The NFL did not take action in telling Eric Reid that he had to stand for the Anthem. Same thing to Colin Kaepernick. So, by all intents and purposes, the Anthem protest was legal, and it certainly did not incite violence. That doesn't mean, just because it doesn't matter to me, I don't pay much attention to the protest, does not mean that I agree with the calls or disagree with it. My dad's a police officer.

I have cousins who are police officers. So when the calls is police brutality, my perspective on it is a little bit different than, say, somebody who doesn't have anyone close to them involved in law enforcement. But, putting that aside, it does seem like that nobody really cares about the fact Eric Reid is taking a knee anymore. Everybody has already expressed pretty loudly, one side or the other, their thoughts on what Eric Reid has done. So, I do feel like it's not going to last the rest of the season. Not because the cause is going to be stifled by the NFL or the Players Association. Instead, I just think Eric Reid is going to realize nobody else cares that he's doing this. I remember the back end of the season. He was kneeing, and nobody even paid attention to it.

Nobody even asked him about it in the locker room anymore. When it comes to protests, things run their course. And especially today with the news cycle that we currently have and how tight that is, it's very difficult to expect the same type of protest, the same cause, to have its duration expanded to a third NFL season. I just don't think that's realistic. I'd be surprised if he continues to do it.

I think he will notice the lack of attention with it. And we saw it this week. He said he was going to take a knee. None of the emails, none of the tweets I got as a result of that were regarding Eric Reid.

We had Scott Fowler on the show. He said it's definitely died down from this time last year when the Panthers were mulling over whether to sign a safety and to sign specifically Eric Reid. The two things, the biggest irony of it all, now that I think we're looking at this thing in hindsight, the two things that could have ended this protest two years ago. A year after Kaepernick started this thing, before he got blackballed by the league, leading to a lawsuit in which he won a settlement. What could have ended it is if the owners just signed him. He said he was going to stand in the fall and nobody knees after Colin Kaepernick stands.

I don't think that happens. The second thing is well within the NFL's control. They also could have just ignored it.

I thought it lost steam at the end of the 2017 season. The reason it was ignited and the conversation continued was because Donald Trump started talking about it. And the NFL did not ignore what the president was saying.

They instead tried to force a policy in at the last second and that put gasoline on dying gimbers. It ignited it for another season, but I think the NFL learned its lesson. I don't think they're going to touch this. I think it's just going to run its course and nobody's going to care anymore. You've got to figure out another way to get attention for your subject, for your cause, because I think kneeling during the national anthem, it's completely run its course. 3-3-6-7-7-7-1-600 the phone number.

You can tweet the show at Sports Hub Triad if you care to chime in that way. A couple things that we're talking about today. We're talking about golf movies. I haven't seen Tin Cup.

I have Caddyshack, Bagger Vance, Happy Gilmore as my top three in that order. Then I'm also interested in the sports athletes make look most easy because golf is always at the very top for me right there with baseball. But I didn't really consider NASCAR. Football is an interesting one to me as well.

Hockey, none of us would even try because we're not nearly coordinated enough to skate in the first place, let alone do so backwards and having to hit people and score with other strategic elements to the game too. So 3-3-6-7-7-7-1-600 on Twitter at Sports Hub Triad. Cam Newton was in Spartanburg talking to reporters yesterday. It was the first time he went to one of these media gaggles meeting with 10, 12, 15 reporters since the New Orleans Saints loss at the end of last season. During the offseason when he's at his galas and he's at his kickball tournament, he specifically requests no questions about football, no questions about my shoulder injury. He doesn't address it with James Corden in an interview.

All we had was the all or nothing video or make it the documentary that documented last year on Amazon and we saw just how severe it was. So Cam walks up to reporters and just as he's been really all throughout training camp to this point, there's been no sign of Superman. It's just a more thoughtful, candid, cautious Cam Newton who had no problem talking about his shoulder and answering questions. Here's something that he had to say in response to whether or not he was relieved to be able to throw that football last week, 35 to 40 yards.

To let it rip in a way he couldn't last year. Here was Cam Newton. I think it was a sign of relief for a lot of people because I wasn't right at the end of the season. And it was even a sign of relief for myself as well, being able to throw like that again.

And like I said, it's a process. I don't want people to just assume Cam's back. I'm doing a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure that I'm able to practice and the capabilities that I know I can and this team expects me to be.

That was yesterday, Cam Newton talking to reporters. We're here at the Wyndham Championship inside Margaritaville. There's a band playing that Aaron Gabriel, who's also a musician, is looking at judgingly.

Desmond Johnson is producing back in our Kernersville studio. What is this song that's playing right now? You're big into bands.

Maybe you can help me out. Oh, it's Sara Evans, Suds in the Bucket. Is that in your playlist? It is not. It definitely is not. That doesn't surprise me that Suds in the Bucket by Sara Evans is in the Aaron Gabriel catalog. That's not something that, as a funk band, we get asked to play often. Huh.

I'm a little surprised by that. Next time I go see you, I might have to request Suds in the Bucket and see what happens. I've got the ultimate fuel right now. Des knows I'm not a big soda drinker. But to get through and make sure this is the best hour of radio in the history of radio that's coming up, I've got a Mountain Dew that I'm ready to house.

So Des, get ready. You know those shows are best. You know that when I'm just fueled by caffeine that the show is always where it needs to be.

That's where we're at. I've got questions. Is this a full-size can of Mountain Dew? It's like a standard 20 ounce. It's a bottle. It's a bottle.

It's a bottle. It's not Diet Mountain Dew or No Caffeine Mountain Dew or anything like that? This looks like a Mountain Dew. For some reason it says South Carolina on the bottom of it. Why doesn't it say South Carolina on the bottle? Is South Carolina like a different brew of Mountain Dew going on over the border? Probably.

I don't know for sure, but it does say Mountain Dew on the bottle. So you know you're in for something special coming up now. Oh boy. How far are you into it?

Cam Newton. I'm just two or three sips in, baby, but get ready. Yeah. It's going down.

It is. As Young Jock once said, it is going down. The Young Jock reference. You didn't see that coming. I did not see that coming. That came out of left field.

I like that. Imagine how frustrating last year must have been for Cam Newton. Frustrating and terrifying where you're an athlete your entire life pretty much you're playing football or at least three quarters of it. Cam Newton's 30 years old, so I imagine 25 of those years have been spent playing football. And you've been relying on the physical abilities God gave you in order to win a Heisman Trophy and win a national championship.

And to be a number one pick in the draft and furthermore be an NFL MVP with the Carolina Panthers and to go to a Super Bowl. It is that physical skill set that no other player at that position has ever had that's gotten him here. But it's also that athleticism that kept him on the field with an injury that no other quarterback in the league would have been left in the game playing with. Against the Browns, against the Saints, there's no other quarterback I'm convinced plays that game no matter how bad their backup option is. Cam is so good they thought Ron Rivera thought he could win football games or had a better chance to win football games with a quarterback that could not throw the football physically. And if you're Cam, your mind's still telling you, you can hit that open receiver, but his body would not do, would not execute what his brain was communicating to the rest of his body. That has to be terrifying. And I think that's what I heard when Cam Newton was talking right there.

A little bit of caution. Yeah, I threw a ball 35, 40 yards last week. That doesn't mean I'm 100% right now. That doesn't mean I'm back.

You don't see what's going on behind the scenes and how I'm trying to prepare my body on a daily basis just to compete in training camp. That doesn't mean he won't get there. That doesn't mean he won't be able to play at an MVP level. Last year he was 6-2 and he was at 69% completion percentage during that time, 10 points higher than he was at any other point in his career. That was with a banged up shoulder. In 2017, 11-5 with less time to prep. 3,000 yards passing on the season. He was able to do that with a bum shoulder, so he can still do that. I'm not questioning it, but it was just interesting that Cam, who usually can shake away any question by just flashing his smile or flashing a joke, decided to be introspective and thoughtful and candid and, yes, cautious when talking about his shoulder.

I thought that was an interesting decision. You are listening to WSJS Winston-Salem, WCOG Greensboro, WPCM Burley, MFR High Point. However and wherever you're listening, whatever signal that is, we appreciate it. It is the Triad Sports Hub. Ed Harden, from the Greensboro News and Records, when he first arrived was thoroughly confused. He's no longer confused anymore because every year at the Wyndham Championship, I always love reading Ed's columns because he does such an excellent job. You do such an excellent job of bringing us to this golf course and telling us what's happening and giving us the bigger story of what's taking place at Sedgefield Country Club.

Mark Brazel was here last hour. He said in 20 years this is the best field he's had here at Sedgefield for this tournament. When you look at play the last two rounds, do you feel like the level of golf has been taken up to another level?

Yeah, I really do. In a sense that's the nature of this tournament. Every day is bigger than the one before. Each day is like a tournament in itself. You have no idea what's going to happen next. And really until late Sunday afternoon, you really don't know who's going to win the tournament.

What do you think the story has been so far? Well, I think it's partly Jordan Spieth. Not only is he here, but he's on form as much as he can be right now. He's a little wobbly, but that's Jordan's game right now. And just the fact that we've got Webb Simpson on the leaderboard, I really think he and Snedeker are the face of this tournament. Having both of them up there for a while was really cool. But now Webb's kind of, I think he's going to win the tournament.

I really do. What do you like about what he's done? He's just been steady. He hasn't gotten, you know, he hasn't had a string of holes yet where he gets out of control like Snedeker has today.

Now Snedeker's lost the draft. He's going to need another really low round. The key to winning this tournament is you have to hang around, but you have to have at least one really low round.

You've got to go low as you can go in one day or you're not going to be there at the end. Did Jordan Spieth do enough today to include himself among the hanging around group? Only that he's hanging around, yeah.

Only that he's hanging around. He's not out of it. He's only three back right now. So if he goes out and goes 64-64, who knows?

But I think he needs probably one lower than that. He said after the round that he felt he missed some shots that he should have hit because when you look at the rain last night, it really softened this golf course and slowed down those greens, which gives you a nine under par for Adams Fencing. Do you feel that Jordan Spieth missed a chance to really put up a low number today? I think he did.

Yeah, I really do. And he'll have another chance. This course is not going to dry out now. There'll be more rain and Sunday could be a dart throwing contest. Are you surprised the way the course is played?

No. No, that's the way this course plays. It drains well, but it doesn't drain completely. I mean, we got here this morning, there were fish in the fairways. So we had a bunch of rain and we had a lot of flooding they didn't really expect. The creeks rose, the lake rose. I don't know if they had to let water out of the dam or not.

I imagine they did. And they lost the course last night. The fact that they got it ready this morning really is an amazing testament to this grounds crew because they do it every year. This is the best kept secret on the tour.

These are the best greens and the conditions here are always perfect in the late summer. You can't do anything about the length of this course when you talk about it being one of the shorter courses on tour where essentially you're not pulling the driver out of your bag almost at all if you're one of the top guys. But when you feel like it's the roughs and the greens you can adjust many points. If it's wet and it's rainy, what options do you really have if you're Mark Brazel to try and challenge these players? Yeah, you're not going to defend this golf course with anything you can do humanly. It's not going to happen. The speed of the greens are the defense of this golf course but the truth is the condition of the greens make it so you can make any putt from anywhere if you're on.

Ed Harden with us here on Twitter at Ed underscore Harden from the Greensboro News and Record. What do you think makes this course difficult then or a challenge? The difficulty is you have to make birdies or you're not going to keep up. This is not a tournament where you can go out and shoot par one day. You shoot even par in this tournament, you're done.

You've got to go shoot after birdie, after birdie, after birdie and you better throw in an eagle or two there too because everybody's doing it. Do you buy the fact from tournament officials including Mark that next year the field is going to be stronger than this one? I do in the sense that there's going to be a week off next year technically with the Olympics the week before.

Aside from the four that would be competing for the Americans. So you're going to get players that you didn't get this year because the reason they didn't come this year was because they were tired. They needed a week off before the playoffs so technically you'll get that next year. And also we're going to watch Justin Rose lose $500,000 on Sunday and that's going to make an impact on the tour. Nobody really expected the top ten to change this week. Well we're going to get a couple people moving into the top ten it looks like. Jon Rahm's going to drop down and Justin Rose may drop completely out.

I don't know how rich these guys are technically but $500,000 you don't want to leave that on the table I don't think. One thing you noted in your column last night or this morning I should say the international factor and presence in this tournament 8 of the last 16, 12 of the last 23 winners here are from overseas. What do you make of that?

You know Brazel and I have talked about that for two or three years and we just can't figure out why. Part of it is this field is made up in part from kids who played in the AJGA ranks and a lot of those are internationals. For whatever reason there are a lot of internationals coming to the American game now, going to American colleges and they're coming out ready to play. It's mostly young internationals that do well here but then every now and then you get a, well we've had a history of them.

We've had 12 of the last 23 so you can take your pick. What do you think the primary motivation for Webb Simpson this weekend is? Obviously there's the local appeal of playing somewhere that's so close to home, whatever he might consider that to be.

Living in Charlotte, playing at Wake Forest, being from Raleigh and Broughton High. But on top of that he's 13th in the FedEx Cup standings. Could get into the Wyndham Rewards top 10 as you noted. But on top of that he's 10th in the President Cup standings.

The top 8 automatically qualify to play for Tiger Woods in the Ryder Cup. What do you think is top of mind for Webb Simpson? Well I think all that plays into it but when you get right down to it, this is one of his favorite courses in the world. He feels like he should win here. He felt like he should have won last year. He feels like he should win every year here. So he wants to be one of the top players in the game, he is, but he wants to be recognized as one of the top handful in the game. And he knows he can come here this week and take a big step toward that. He's on form.

He can win it all, not just this week but beyond. Before we let you go, again Ed Hart is spending time with us. You're somebody who's been in this area for a long time. And when I start to think about just the Piedmont Triad, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Hyde Point, the surrounding areas in between. This event, now that the ACC Tournament doesn't come to Greensboro every year, and the next year it will be and that's great and we look forward to it.

I really feel like the Wyndham and how it's grown with the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 and how players usually perceive playing here. It's our crown jewel I think sports-wise in the calendar, wouldn't you say? Oh absolutely it is.

And I think it has been for a long time. The ACC Tournament attracts a lot of people from out of state. This is a party that we throw for ourselves. Largely Triad people here. Greensboro people who have been coming here their whole lives.

This is a summertime social event of the season and there's a little golf going on too. That's very well said. But give me a sense though with how surprised you are that we are at this point considering where it was even 10-12 years ago. Well this tournament has a history of reinventing itself over and over and over. There was a time where everybody came.

There was a time where nobody came. There was a time where they've thrown money at it before. Kmart of all people came in here and threw a bunch of money at it.

We thought we were going to lose it more than once. The JCs ran it into the ground. We convinced the JCs to get out of the way and give it back to Greensboro. We got big money people to come in and take it over. Wyndham got involved. The tour got involved. And at the heart of it, we're playing on the best golf course on tour.

I don't care what anybody says. What I love the most is the history though. And you have a great perspective of it when you hear Sneed and many of the others that have taken this course. I'm so glad Tiger had a chance to be here four years ago. Is there something that sticks out at the previous course or this one?

Something that you always draw back on when you think of the history of this event that you admire? Well I think the fact that Forest Oaks did nothing wrong. But they saved this golf tournament. Forest Oaks did? Forest Oaks absolutely saved this golf tournament. It was never going to survive had Forest Oaks not stepped in all those years ago and embraced this tournament long enough to where it got its footing again. And again, there was a time, there was more than once, when this golf tournament was dead. They were going to push this into the fall, I mean beyond the fall season. And there was some talk about just dropping it off the tour entirely and making it a event. The mid-2000s. So, you know, time and time again this tournament has had to figure out what do we do now.

And I think in 2007 when they made the move to come across the road and get back here at Sedgefield, I think it changed everything. Ed, always appreciate your insight. Thanks for playing along with us and we'll read your stuff in the News and Record. Thanks man, appreciate it. That's Ed Hardin on Twitter at Ed underscore Hardin, and in the Greensboro News. And up! Interesting stuff with Ziamson and also Cam Newton, The Drive.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-09 13:10:33 / 2023-02-09 13:30:17 / 20

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