TRAVIS HILL: Thanks for coming out, and welcome to the first press conference of our day. This is our competitors' press conference. We have our three inductees this year that are competitors. We've got Sandy Lyle, we've got Hollis Stacy and we've got Phil Mickelson all here. I'm just going to open it up for questions and let you guys kind of have at it.
Q. Could each of you talk about your exhibit, inductee exhibit cases that are upstairs? I think you all got to see them today for the first time. If you could just kind of talk about what it was like to see those and the emotions of seeing all your memorabilia.
SANDY LYLE:Yes, I mean, when I've just been looking at it right now. Very humble, and many, many years obviously of playing golf, and seeing pictures of your father when you were a child yourself, some of the old clubs that you used to use, which you dare wouldn't use nowadays. But yeah, it was very exciting to see the whole thing, the Masters jacket, some of The Open stuff, and I got my Scottish kilt there, which I wore during the Masters dinner the following year.
It's something that your grandchildren and your own sons can see, and as you say, these days it's cool, so I'm very happy with that, and I'm sure Phil here has got the same sort of ideas.
HOLLIS STACY:My exhibit I looked at. I came from a very large family, from Savannah, Georgia, so it was wonderful to see my entire family in the exhibit, and to see the clubs that we played with back then. They weren't hickory shaft, but they were damn near close.
You know, it was fun to see the clubs. The flag that's in my exhibit was before the USGA branded the Women's Open the Women's Open. It's the 18th flag at Hazeltine that I won, and it just says U.S. Open.
And then there is the first metal wood to win any medal driver to win any major championship.
When I first used that, looked at it, I thought it was huge, and nowadays it's rather small. But it brings back, evokes a lot of memories of our childhood and where we came from and where we are, and we will be immortalized.
But it's really cool. I've really enjoyed every part of this. Phil?
PHIL MICKELSON: I had fun picking some of the stuff out and being able to kind of look back on some of the victories and tournaments and accomplishments and so forth. I don't date back to the hickory shafted era. I do have a persimmon driver, though, in my locker, and I won my last NCAA in '92 with a persimmon headed driver that some friends of mine in San Diego made for me, and that driver is in there. It is fun to look back on the old clubs. I think that's the biggest thing. The drivers, the heads were so small. Our 3-wood heads nowadays are bigger our 4-wood heads are bigger than our drivers were back then. It's fun to see the evolvement, how equipment has evolved over the years.
Q. Is there some quality or characteristic you find in all Hall of Famers? I don't want to put words in your mouth, somebody that you've noticed about other Hall of Famers?
SANDY LYLE: Do I see anything in common? I think they've all got their own categories, from the Sam Sneads to the Tom Morrises that are in there from way, way back in the 18th century. It's all about playing golf, making a score. Whatever the conditions of the golf courses were, they had to produce a score at the end of it. I mean, right up to today, 2012, a lot of golfers probably don't realize how lucky they are to play on such great greens and bunkers and 7,000-yard golf courses. I know a quote from Gary Player some years ago when he said, oh, the young players of today will be hitting the ball nearly 400 yards, and we thought he was going off his rocker by then, that Gary was coming up with this 400-yard thing, but it's also proved by some long distance hitters now that can fly the ball 380, 400 yards and these sort of long clubs they use now, and you've got the Bubba Watsons now that can fly it 330. I know Phil can get it out there quite a good distance, as well. So maybe Gary ain't so crazy as we thought he was when he came up with the quote. It's just gone crazy, the distance, but they've still got to put a score on the board, no matter if it was in the 18th century or now in 2012.That's what I see. They've all got their stories but they're still playing golf.
HOLLIS STACY: I think not knowing Phil so well but just knowing Sandy the last day or so, it seems the common denominator is the heart that the players have that are in the Hall, the heart to get the ball in the hole no matter what, no matter you know, the pressure coming in. I saw that shot on TV, 18th hole at the Masters. I saw that putt you made at the Masters to win.You know, that took a lot of heart. So that separates those that are in the Hall and those that are not.
PHIL MICKELSON: One interesting thing that I looked at was I saw how everybody was from maybe a different background, but everybody wanted it bad enough they found a way to get it done.They all took different routes, slightly different routes to get there.But everybody who wanted it bad enough would do whatever it took to achieve their goals. That's kind of what I see when I go through the lockers and I look at the history of the individual history of each player in there.
Q. Phil, tough speech for you to write or easy? Tell us about it. And you're pretty even keeled most of the time, but is this an emotional time for you? I know you've got a lot of golf left, but is it an emotional time because you're reflecting on all that's gone on through your career?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's been fun, actually. It's been really fun to look back at not so much the accomplishments as much as the people and the life experiences that have taken place over the years. I think that's what's been fun. I love the article you wrote the other day because it told stories from family members and Keith Sbarbaro, the rivalry with Harry Rudolph. There were a couple of stories I didn't even know, the one about Keith. I kind of forgot that I had asked him back out to go play after beating him in a playoff, little things like that. It was really fun to reminisce and remember those stories that have taken place over the years. Although I'm still writing it, I have a little bit of time left here. That's the thing that I've enjoyed the most is the looking back at the people I've interacted with, relationships that have been developed.
Q. Tough for you to write?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, because I play golf, I'm not really a writer like Dan Jenkins, who it just flows naturally. I answer questions okay, but to actually start something and have a point and a conclusion and all that, that can be a challenge.
Q. Last year Ernie said he kind of felt a little strange being enshrined when he had a lot of golf to play. Anything about this feel awkward to you, or do you feel old at all?
PHIL MICKELSON: Maybe, but it's still fun. It's still fun. I think that it's cool to look back on accomplishments, and I'll have an opportunity over the coming years to try to accomplish more. But as I look back on the whole process of getting to this point of achieving these goals in the game of golf, the relationships and the life experiences are what I keep coming back to because the destination is not really what it's all about, it's all about the journey, it's all about the process and the experiences that take place throughout that has been fun for me to look back on at this point.
Q. Phil, I thought you might want to talk a little bit about inspiration, and today sadly is the one-year anniversary of the death of the great Seve Ballesteros, a Hall of Fame member. Talk a little bit about that.
PHIL MICKELSON: Thank you. Seve was the person that I enjoyed watching the most because he played with such charisma and such flair, and he played with a style of go-for-broke that I enjoyed watching. It's compelling. Watching him win the Masters in 1980 was a big inspiration for me.Sandy has actually spent a lot of time with Seve over the years. I'd like to kind of hear some of his stories with Seve, or times, experiences you've had with him because he was the captain of the Ryder Cup, on your team a number of times, and you had a chance to really interact and get to know him a lot better than I did. I did for a few years out here, we did some photo shoots and so forth. I've got some great experiences with him, but nothing like what you've had.
SANDY LYLE: Well, I first met Seve at the age of 16, and I was an amateur golfer, and I got an invitation to go down to London to play in a pro-am, and I didn't realize who I was going to be drawn out with, who my pro was going to be, but it was Seve Ballesteros at the age of I think probably 17. He turned pro, I think, when he was about 16, so he was at a very early age, which was very unusual at that time for somebody to turn pro that early. So I made my relationship really with Seve, because I actually beat his score that day. I did something like 71, he did 73, and he did say some very nice things after I'd finished. He said, "You very good golfer," and I said, "Thank you very much, Seve. I'll see you soon in a couple years' time," and not many years later, I turned professional at 19, and like a couple of gunslingers we were checking each other out, is he better than me, am I better than him. And we were always spending time on the range, and a lot of times on Sundays we were teamed up together battling it all out.And then of course in the Ryder Cup things came along. He was a captain. Unfortunately I wasn't on that team at that time when he was the captain in Spain, but going from what the other players said, he was so enthusiastic, he was almost playing the shots for his players as he was out there. There's a lot of charisma, a lot of enthusiasm. He loved to win, we all loved to win, but he did it with great theater. Obviously many times with Seve, we've had him in car parks, we've had him in trees, we've had him playing out of water. He's a real gallant at the job. I'll have a few stories later on tonight that I'm going to say but I'm not going to give any away right now.
HOLLIS STACY: I have one about Seve. Having grown up in Georgia, my brother-in-law would go to the Masters all the time, and John Leach, who you just said, he'd be in the back when they were changing, doing work on the clubs, and there's Seve fiddling with his clubs and he was changing his grips, moving it over just a little bit this way, just right before he teed off. And John said that Seve is working on this grip, and he's got this $700 cashmere on, and there's gasoline going all down the sleeve. And Seve didn't care. He didn't care. He was changing that grip and making it perfect. And then he went off to the first tee.
SANDY LYLE: But even traveling with Seve, the likes of Japan and the Dunlop Phoenix tournament, walking around the street, he was like another Elvis Presley. They all just absolutely loved him. You thought he was a big name in Europe, but he was huge and mega in Japan and things, and America, as well, obviously. But he was really a big celebrity icon in golf and a very recognizable face, and when you did see him there was big crowds, autographs, photographs all over the place. He was kept under the radar sometimes, but he took all the limelight.
Q. Two questions, the first for Sandy and the second for all three of the champions. I've caught bits and pieces of the story when Mr.O'Grady called to inform you of your entry into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Could you share that with us?
SANDY LYLE: Yes, it was late last year when the phone call finally got to my house. His secretary phoned me first, and I wasn't in the house at the time but I got message that there was an important phone call from George O'Grady. I immediately thought, what have I said wrong about something. I thought, not Monty again. (Laughter.) So eventually I did speak to George, so my heart is going a million miles an hour at the time. I'm just waiting for the we've decided to but no, it was actually very good news for a change. He did say I've got some good news for a change, that you're going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and it went quiet for a few seconds. I was a bit taken aback, I suppose, but it was a bit threatening at one time when I thought, I'm in trouble here. But all good news.
Q. Hollis, talking about being taken aback when you find out that you're going to be enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame, could you guys collectively share with us the experience of what it's like for your loved ones, for your family when they found out, either you telling them or what have you that you were going to be in the World Golf Hall of Fame?
HOLLIS STACY: Well, first, I was when Phil was announced that he was in the Hall of Fame, I was like, isn't that wonderful, and I said, I wonder who they're going to pick next. So you know, it was definitely way off the radar. I got the phone call, and it was a fake phone call with Mike Whan. You know, I'm always trying to do some business, help the LPGA, and then all of a sudden I hear this radio voice of Jack Peter. And then I went, oh, my God, this is it. So it was they started talking, and basically it was like white. I was in shock. It meant a lot to me. I called my mother immediately, and then she was at church, and finally I got a hold of her two hours later, and my first words were, "Where have you been?" But it was quite emotional for my mom and I. It was great. It was just what it means to my family, you know, I was working out today trying to clear the head, and I'm looking out, and honest to God, I told Rosemary, my escort, I said, honest to God, 30 people walked by and maybe one person was not part of my party. So I have a lot of people here from Savannah and all over the country, and it means a lot for my family.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it was very cool to get the phone call, but I think it wasn't until we were on the drive over here that it kind of hit Amy and I that we've really had a pretty great life experience these last 20 years, the things we've shared, and what's great is that I feel like at this age we can still have more, but we look back and we've lived a lifetime in the last 20 years together, the things that we've done, the places we've traveled throughout the world, the things that golf has brought to our life, the way we use it as a timeline with our kids. It was really a fun time for us to share just talking on the drive over here what the game has meant to us and what these last 20 years have brought to us because we don't really slow down and reminisce and think about it because we're just right in the thick of it.And this was kind of the first time we've kind of looked back together and thought about all that we've done together. It's been fun.
SANDY LYLE: My experience? Yes, the phone call eventually arrived, and then really sort of to get my sons over here and see the memorabilia sort of stuff, it's winding the old clock back because you don't really like blowing your trumpet to your sons, I did this and I did that, I sort of let them come with the ideas. They don't recognize that much of the Hall of Fame early on, but I think now that they've been here and have seen all of the things that are going on, they really are and they're old enough to understand now, so it's a cool thing as they all say over here now, the young ones and that. It's exciting for them, and obviously the rest of my family, I've got two sisters which are not over here, but they're a little older than me, so they decided it was much easier to stay at home and watch on TV and things like that. They'll be very excited. They'll be holding a drink for me tonight.
Q. Phil, your autographed stone paver outside on the circular walk on the lake is next is Arnold Palmer's. What does that mean to you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, anybody that's here in the World Golf Hall of Fame it would be an honor to be next to, but Arnold was a guy I really looked up to and tried to emulate and admired the way he played the game, the way he handled himself, the way he treated other professionals and everybody. From the first time I played the U.S. Open in 1994 at Oakmont, which was his final one, watching him treat the volunteers to an hour and a half discussion and autograph session, picture session, when he didn't have to do it, he just thanked them for all of their contributions. In this week in and week out on TOUR, we get roughly 1,000 volunteers each week that make tournaments run smoothly, and Arnold realized that. He appreciated that and made sure that they knew he appreciated it.
Q. Just a quick follow-up on Sandy. How old are your boys and are they here?
SANDY LYLE: My two older boys are 29 and 26, and then I've got a younger one that's 17 and a daughter at 19. They're all here. There's like nine of us at the moment with boyfriends and girlfriends, things like that. So it's quite a squatter to get around. My credit card is taking a bit of a bashing this last week, I know that.
Q. And they went through the exhibit today, yesterday?
SANDY LYLE: A couple of times now, yes.
Q. And I also wanted to ask you, Hollis, I'm curious, this time of the year when the Hall of Fame induction came around, was it a little bit of a hollow thing for you because you're wondering am I ever going to get in there and how much does that add to making it?
HOLLIS STACY: Basically it was kind of an out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing, that's why I was so surprised. I have not thought of being in the Hall of Fame. So there were no hollow feelings or anything, so I was just shocked when I got the phone call, pleasantly shocked.
Q. You said that you kind of went white with the phone call, and Sandy, you said you thought you were in trouble, and Phil, you said driving over here with Amy it kind of struck you. There's so many halls of fame, Cooperstown, Canton, Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, but this is the World Golf Hall of Fame. Have you had that, hey, I'm in there moment yet, or do you expect to have that?
HOLLIS STACY: The big wow hit me when I got in, when it was announced. The ride has been fantastic. I've had so much love given to me by my friends and family and fans since November when I found out. It hit me immediately. I'm pretty overwhelmed and humbled by the whole experience.
SANDY LYLE: I've lived here in Ponte Vedra on and off near the TPC for nearly 14 years now, and I must say honestly I have not been around the exhibits, but I've seen lots of advertisement with Gary Player doing the sort of forefront of it. I've never really had the urge to come and see it, and I know I've been on the short list for many, many years and never quite got through.So having been here now and seeing what it's all about, it has got that sort of wow factor like the pathway with the autograph in stone.You have your face all mashed there in copper or brass or something, that's forever now. And I'm sure tonight in about three hours' time it's going to be you look out there at the audience and that, it's going to be quite a wow factor. I'm very honored to be part of the Hall of Fame, and as it may continue and grow strength.
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if it's actually hit me yet, but when we were going through the lockers and looking back at the greats of the game, people I never actually met or spent a lot of time with, guys like Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson who I've spent a little time with, Gene Sarazen, these names of the game, and to think that my career is in the Hall of Fame along with theirs is something that's pretty cool. That's something that I don't hasn't really hit me yet. I think it will later on as my career winds down. I reflect on how cool it is to be in the same exhibit as these greats.
Q. Sandy, when you see so many of your peers go in ahead of you, do you start to wonder is this ever going to happen, or were you kind of like Hollis where you just didn't think about it?
SANDY LYLE: Well, I got reminded quite a few times, that's the thing. You know you've had a few majors and you've been around and you've been involved in Ryder Cups and things. Quite a lot of people, and some of them are players and voters, have said, you're right down into the short list, you're close. But that close went on for quite a few years, and I sort of thought, it ain't going to happen. It didn't happen to me as a Ryder Cup captain, and I thought, maybe this sort of thing is going to be overlooked again.You do think that, and you can't force your way in, you have to be voted. You can't win it. You can't win a tournament and get into it straightaway. It's just something you have to bide your time, and if you I think I've always been a reasonably cool customer and been nice to people, and obviously my record speaks for itself. I kind of thought, well, Langer has got in and Nicky Price has got in and friends of mine have got in, and I thought, I'm going to be overlooked. But it's happened, so I'm very happy.
Q. When you were going through the inventory of all your personal items, what to donate permanently or temporarily, was that any one item that brought back a lot of memories or maybe you did not want to part with it, that it was just too personal?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think our stuff feels pretty safe here, so there wasn't too much hesitation. But I was talking to some of the past LPGA Hall of Famers, and they've donated items to Halls of Fame in the past, whether it was their state Hall of Fame or what have you, and a lot of those items have gone missing. That's not the case here. I know how safe it is here. So even though I may not have direct possession of it, I know it's in a safe spot.
Q. But as far as memories, something that you really hadn't looked at in a long time that brought back a lot of memories?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, just recently I had a 6-iron that I shot a pretty good shot through the pine straw, and Augusta had that 6-iron, I actually gave it to them and it was on display here. They actually lent it to the Hall of Fame, so to see that 6-iron was pretty cool.
SANDY LYLE: I've got a 7-iron that's not bad, either.(Laughter.)
HOLLIS STACY: You know, I feel safe with everything. The gold medals, you can't exactly have them on your coffee table in your house. Actually they feel safer here than either of my homes, so I'm glad they're here.
SANDY LYLE: I cherish the Open Championship belt, which is one of the things that I wasn't aware of when I won the Open in '85. People sort of were bugging me for a while after I got the trophy of The Open saying that the Prestwick members have had a commemorative belt made of The Open Championship, and I didn't know what they were talking about at the time. What belt?So it's a bit of history there, the belt that I received. It was the 125th anniversary of the belt, and I was one of the lucky ones winning the Open at that time. Louis Oosthuizen, who won it in St. Andrews, was the 150th anniversary of the belt, so he's received a belt, as well. So there's only I think about four or five in the world right now. The original belt is in the vault at St. Andrews. There's one that goes to, I think, Kel Nagle, who won the 100th year. I got the 125th. So there's not many of them around. So I'm really happy. As you say, I don't leave it lying around on the coffee table. It usually stays in a safe back at home, so I'm really happy that it's here on display, and also to create a little bit of history, because not many people know about the Open Championship belt. We're going back in history now to sort of the 1860s when Tom Morris, Jr., won it three years in a row, and he received a belt because that was part of the usual thing. If you win it three years in a row you get the belt. In 1871 there was no trophy to play for at the Open Championship as we know it now, so that's why we play for the Claret jug as we speak now.
Q. Can talk about your presenters, who you selected, how they were selected, guidelines? Do you know what they're going to say? And if you were presenting them tonight, what would you say about them?
SANDY LYLE: You don't usually sometimes get the person you want to get because either they're frightened of the situation or whatever. The natural would be obviously Renton for me. In the world of golf you'd be amazed how much you hear his voice around the world, if it's the world feed from Britain helping The Golf Channel out. He's always there for Europe. He's known my family from Scotland for many, many years. So he was the natural he was very honored to do it, and I think he's a dab hand at speaking, and he'll be good for me to be introduced by.
HOLLIS STACY: My little sister Martha is introducing me, and she's the only one I would ever consider introducing me. We've just we're like best buds, friends, sisters in golf. We complete each other's sentences, we'll watch tournaments together on the phone. She and I are the second sisters to win national championships. I wouldn't think of any other person.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, most of you know Steve Loy, who's introducing me, and since I was 18 years old went to school at Arizona State. He has been one of the closest people to me in my life, and I just am honored that he's here and introducing me. He's been the person I've shared many of my dreams and goals with and who's helped me achieve them. So I feel like we've kind of been in this together, and I'm really excited that he's going to be doing it.
Q. Phil, back to that 6-iron on display here, where did that shot rank on your personal list of all-time greatest shots, and what are a couple other that are in that top 5 for you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, that was a good one looking back on it. I looked back on it at this year's Masters when I went back to the same spot, and I thought that I remembered it being a little bit wider gap. But that was one of my better ones certainly at an important time. I also had not won in a while, so to take on some risk there where I needed something to happen, even though I had a one-shot lead, I felt I needed to take advantage of that hole. That was one of my better ones. But I go back to the '91 Tucson Open, my very first tournament win, is one of my memorable shots ever when I hit a 9-iron to 10 feet on the last hole and made the putt. I had never won a tournament then. I was still in college, and to pull that shot off at that time under that situation was to me one of the greatest shots that I've ever hit and one I'll remember as being that.
Q. Where is that 9-iron?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's in my garage. I still have it. I've saved all my clubs throughout the years.
Q. Every journey has at least one fork in the road or turning point. I'm just wondering all three, is there the most compelling, most important turning point, fork in the road where your career might have gone a different direction than the Hall of Fame?
SANDY LYLE: I'm just trying to think of something. I think really the mid '80s my career really went very well, obviously having the wins of The Open and then '88, and I took a severe turn to the right going south sort of late '89, and I think I'm still on that road right now. I don't seem to have got off it. But I think it was just tiredness in my situation where it went that way. I played a lot of golf. But I'm very happy that I played so well in the '80s, even though I would have loved to have played a lot better in the 2000s. The money that they play for now is quite incredible.But I'm still on that road going south unfortunately, but if I can just stop here for the rest of the time, I'll be very happy.
HOLLIS STACY: I think my fork in the road was when JoAnne Carner turned professional, and that changed everything for women's golf because she kind of brought with her a lot of great amateurs, Laura Baugh turned professional, Nancy Lopez, and that core group with Amy Alcott, basically those faces got the Tour where we were like we were doing really, really well. That was early on. I always thought that I would be successful, and I never I always knew that I would win. It's a dream come true to be in the Hall of Fame. I'm just lucky that JoAnne started it all.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I'm not so sure that there was a fork in the road for me. I think that I've always wanted to play golf and have been able to at each level, whether it's junior golf or college and amateur golf or professional, been able to have some success to where I was able to build on that. I felt like there have been years where I haven't played as well, there have been years where I've played great. Every career has ups and downs. But there was never really a fork that I had this major decision to make. I've always just loved playing golf and have appreciated the fact that I'm able to do it for a living.
TRAVIS HILL: Thank you so much.
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