Sports Files with Greg Gaston - Oct. 19, 2012

Uploaded by WKNOPBS on 21.10.2012

>> Female announcer: This is a
production of WKNO, Memphis.
Production funding for "Sports
Files" is made possible in part
>> Gaston: My guest today on
"Sports Files" is professional
golfer Loren Roberts.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Hi everyone and welcome to
another edition of "Sports
For over 30 years Loren Roberts
has been splitting fairways and
dropping putts at golf's highest
He was an eight time winner on
the PGA Tour and has gone on to
win 13 times on the Champions
Tour, capturing 4 Major titles
in the process.
This season Loren stands 22nd on
the money list heading into the
year's final two events, which
includes the annual Charles
Schwab Cup in two weeks.
But for all his accomplishments
on the links, the modest,
somewhat quiet Roberts, is just
as proud for what he's done off
His association with the St Jude
Classic has been a long,
distinguished one.
His Annual Pro-Am golf event
benefits Le Bonheur Children's
Something extremely important to
Loren and his family.
And his commitment to the 1st
tee of Memphis has been
essential to the growth of that
Organization, which you will
find out first hand later in the
We're talking birdies and eagles
with the "Boss of the Moss"
Loren Roberts, coming up next.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Gaston: Loren, thanks so much
for joining us.
>> Roberts: Greg, my pleasure.
Thanks for having me in.
>> Gaston: Happen to have an
open week here.
We appreciate the "Boss of the
Moss" being with us.
Loren, you got a victory this
year -- your 22nd on the money
You're getting ready for the
Schwab Cup coming up.
How would you describe your
season to date?
>> Roberts: Well, you know, I
got started good, obviously,
with a victory early in the
And then last week was my first
top ten since then.
So it's been a different year
but, you know, I am 57 now.
But, you know, I'm looking to
hopefully keep playing 'til
probably about 60 and stay
competitive until 60.
Hey -- Golf is a lifestyle for
So anytime you're playing
anywhere it's great.
>> Gaston: You beat me to the
I was wondering about that as
far as how long you want to
continue to go in this
competitive mode, week in, week
out, all of the travel.
So you're saying maybe three
more years -- that's it?
>> Roberts: Well, you know, I'm
going to definitely hope I can
stay competitive, you know, for
the chance to win until I'm 60.
And then after than, you know,
I'm going to play some.
It'll be fun golf.
You know, obviously, I want to
be competitive in the major
championships for us which is --
that's key for me, you know, for
the Senior U.S., the Senior
British, Senior PGA.
That's where I want to be
And we'll just see how it goes.
>> Gaston: Has the Champions
tour changed since you started
in it to where it is now?
>> Roberts: Oh, it really has.
Really it's gone from really an
exhibition tour from the older
You know, the guys that came
from Nicholas and Palmer and
even guys before them.
It's gone from an exhibition
tour to a really competitive
your now because guys are
staying competitive on the
regular tour until the day they
turn 50 and coming out on our
tour and still keeping that
competitive edge.
So you look at guys that are
coming out..
Freddy Couples plays Kenny
I mean, we've got VJ Singh
coming out next year.
Guys that are still very
competitive on the regular tour.
And I've noticed the length of
the golf courses.
We've gained probably two to
three hundred years in length
we're playing.
Most courses are 7,000 yards now
which it wasn't like that even
when I started in '05.
>> Gaston: You've accomplished
so much.
On the Champions tour, you've
won four majors.
What is your biggest
accomplishment in the game of
golf on both tours or anything
else that comes to mind.
>> Roberts: Well, obviously, it
was nice to get some majors.
I really enjoyed winning, you
know, the two senior Britishes
that I had because to me, that's
where golf started.
And I won a Turnberry which was
great with Nicholas and Watson.
So much history there.
It was great to win that.
Obviously, is till hurt a little
bit from that US Open.
A lot of stuff going on there.
And it was tough.
I had the chance to win there.
But hey, it was great.
I had a chance to win the
Masters in 2000.
I ended up third.
That's probably the one thing
that kind of sticks to me a
little bit that I didn't get a
major on the regular tour.
>> Gaston: And obviously, if I
asked you if you had to have a
do over for a tournament, you
would say the U.S. Open.
You won a victory on the PGA
tour, as far as the majors are
But how about if I asked you if
there was one shot you could do
over or a putt you could do
What tournament would it be in?
>> Roberts: That's easy.
I had a six and a half foot putt
for par in the US Open.
If I knock that putt in, it's
I win the tournament outright.
Then we had to go in to playoff
the next day.
So that's the one shot that I
wish I had back.
Especially when you're kind of
known as a good putter "Boss of
the Moss."
To have missed that one.
But that's the way it goes.
>> Gaston: Was the a read
Was that nerves?
Was it just -- Hey, these things
>> Robert: Well, you know, it
took me a while to get my career
I played 12 and a half years
before I won a tournament on a
tour which as '94 at Bayhill
earlier that year.
And I had a six foot putt on the
same type of putt on the 17th
hole for par that I needed to
make to beat VJ and Fuzzy.
And I knocked it right in the
hole with no problem.
So I had the same putt, you
know, three months later Open.
And I missed it.
That's the one thing that I
really remember is that one shot
-- that putt because you win a
major championship, your life
can change.
It really can.
And I'm very happy with my
career I've had though.
>> Gaston: Loren, how
competitive would you describe
And do you believe to be really
successful as a professional
golfer on any level, you have to
be very competitive?
You have to almost be downright
-- I don't want to say cut
throat -- but when you go out
there, it's not a friendly
Sunday afternoon with your
buddies having a couple of beers
and just playing 18 holes.
>> Roberts: No, you have to be.
I don't care what field that
you're in.
You have to be competitive.
You have to want to continue to
improve all of the time.
That's the key no matter what
you do.
You want to always try to get
better all of the time, improve,
do what you can to get better.
You know, I've always felt that
I'm very, very highly
But its kind of like, you know,
the duck paddling across the
You know, those legs are going
like crazy.
You just don't want to show it
You want to have that, you know
-- that heart of fire.
But you have to be able to
handle it in the right way.
>> Gaston: When you were growing
up in California and trying to
get to this level that you've
gotten to, who did you emulate?
Who were the golfers that you
looked up to?
>> Roberts: Well, I just
remember that I would get these
golf magazines and I'd cut out
pictures of Nicklaus.
I'd make these collages where
I'd cut all these pictures out
and paste them up on a big
And I've have them up in my
He was kind of my idol growing
But I had some interesting
It's like any sport or any
profession -- When you get to a
certain level, you meet people
and you develop relationships
with guys that have been there
and done that.
And that's the great thing about
it, at least for me in the golf
world, is that the guys that
have come before -- You get
those relationships.
And I had a couple of great ones
that really helped me.
Olin Dutra was the 1932 US Open
champion -- '34 PGA champion.
Gave golf lessons at this club
in this town that I lived at in
St. Louis.
He took me under his wing and
talked about putting.
And we'd go out and play nine
And he was 70-something years
old back then.
And we would go out.
And then I had a relationship
with Byron Nelson that was just
You get those kind of things for
me through golf.
Those kind of really help to
propel you.
>> Gaston: You still have the
collage of Nicklaus?
>> Roberts: No, I don't.
>> Gaston: It may be worth
something today.
>> Roberts: I think it's
probably faded by now.
>> Gaston: What would people be
surprised to know about you --
Something they don't know that
they would be surprised to know
about you.
It could be away from the golf
course, something you like to
Do you like punk rock?
I mean, what is it, Loren, that
people would be like ,"Wow."
>> Roberts: Well, you know, I'm
a family guy.
I love being around my family.
And really, I spend so much time
on the road, basically.
I hate to say it, I probably
spent more time with my caddy
over the last 30 years than
maybe I spent with my wife.
But you know, I mean, I just
love being at home with my
family and spending time with
And I like working around the
And my wife and I kind of like
to drive around.
We're kind of into architecture
which we kind of like to look
around and look at different
type of architecture, and
houses, and buildings, and
things like that.
We're kind of like pickers.
We like to go through and look
at old antique shops and things
like that.
That's kind of what I like to do
when I'm not at the golf course.
>> Gaston: Most people know you
played on the '95 Ryder Cup team
that lose.
You've also played on two
winning president's cup teams.
I know you were at Medinah on
Sunday, the final round for this
year's Ryder Cup.
You risked losing four point
Your thoughts?
Would there be anything you
would have done differently if
you were the captain?
Talk about this -- I don't know
if I want to call it a collapse
but a loss by the United States.
>> Roberts: It was a pretty big
And first of all, you mentioned
the Presidents Cup versus the
Ryder Cup.
There's big difference between
The Ryder Cup, obviously, is the
preeminent event because it's
been around for so long.
And I don't know what it is.
The US dominated that for 50
plus years and no were just
really struggling.
It was great to get the win up
the road to Louisville four
years ago.
It's been a tough road.
It's hard to second guess,
obviously, Davis.
We were right there --
Basically, had it.
Really what it boils down to is
emotion and digging deep and
wanting it.
You know, the fellowship is
I mean, it's great to be there
and spend time with the players
because, basically, that is what
would be our Olympics.
I know golf is going to be in
the Olympics but this has been
our Olympics because this is the
only time we play a team sport.
We play individual games.
So it's a team sport.
And you know, its just a matter
of wanting to dig down deep and
want to get it.
>> Gaston: So do the Europeans
-- the last two times, do they
want it more?
>> Roberts: Well, it just seems
to me like they just have more
emotion when they come out --
more emotion.
You know, its tough.
When you come out of the second
half of the huge lead in any
sport, you know, you've got to
be able to finish it off.
And I know they're going to
seriously look back at , you
know, what we do.
And I was on a losing team in
'95 and we had, I think, one or
two point lead going in to
And we ended up losing.
It's the emotion of the thing if
you do it.
And I would question a couple of
things about maybe course set up
or something like that.
>> Gaston: But not player
>> Roberts: No, not player
>> Gaston: And you were an
assistant coach in one of the
Ryder Cups.
What year was that?
>> Roberts: That was 2006.
>> Gaston: So if you are a
captain, assistant captain -- If
you are the captain --
If you lose, you're second
guessed no matter what.
You should have picked this guy.
You should have not put that guy
on the team.
You should have not paired those
>> Roberts: it's a tough
It's a lose-lose situation no
matter what you do.
You know, the captain gets
blamed for the loss.
But, basically, once you send
the players out there, they have
to play.
I mean, you have to make the
You have to hit the shots.
You have to hold the putts at
the right time.
It's up to the players to do it.
Now how you space them and who
goes up against who is the
tricky thing.
>> Gaston: Alright, I know
you're very modest in what you
do for the Memphis community,
for the gold community, for the
charitable events that you are a
part of.
Obviously, Le Bonheur is very,
very close to your heart -- Le
Bonheur Children's Hospital,
where my wife works.
Also, the First Tee of Memphis.
The First Tee of Memphis has
really taken off, especially
over the last five to ten years.
Nyrone Hawkins has done a
tremendous job with that.
Great young men and women --
boys and girls I should say that
are learning the game of golf.
And you're a big part of that.
Why is it so passionate for you
-- The First Tee of Memphis.
>> Roberts: I got involved
originally back in 1994.
And I have to throw it out for
Cal and Melba Vincent and
Charles Hudson because they were
the ones who really started this
program back early '90s.
And it was down at Pine Hill.
And I had actually -- I was
looking for some sort of a
junior golf program.
You were talking about the
Presidents Cup.
That year was the first year I
played in the Presidents Cup and
they were giving players money
to donate to their favorite
So I was looking for a youth
golf program to make this
donation to.
I asked all the local
professionals around town, you
know, "What do you think is the
best junior golf program around
And without a single one
disagreeing they always said The
First Tee of Memphis.
At that time it was Mid-South
Junior Golf Association.
The kids are great.
They come out and they play.
They are the mot well-mannered
and nicest kids that we have.
And I said I want to find out
about them.
So I got in touch with them.
It just started from there.
It's obviously become the First
Tee of Memphis now and grown.
It's just a great program.
It really is because it's just
so diverse and kids from all
over different parts of town.
And it's just a great program.
You know, there are scholarship
possibilities through it.
I'm just thrilled to be a part
of it.
>> Gaston: And they're very
receptive of what you have to
tell them and to teach them.
>> Roberts: Oh, yeah -- without
a question.
I mean, obviously, golf is not
the whole idea of First Tee.
That's just one of the things.
That's one of the thing to get
them there, to have something in
common, a game to play.
You know, it's about the nine
core values.
It's about being a good citizen.
It's about responsibility, about
You know, its about life.
And that's why I'm so jazzed
about it really.
>> Gaston: And you have children
of your own and you want to be
able to help if you're in
position to help.
And that's what you've done.
Again, you've flown under the
You don't make a big deal about
We have to build it up more
because we know how important
you are to this community.
>> Roberts: The whole thing is
about the kids.
The important thing is the kids
in the program because they're
going to be the leaders.
They're going to be the future
leaders and that's what's great
about getting them going and
making them the focus.
>> Gaston: And, obviously, with
Le Bonheur you have children
there who have suffered who are
trying to get well.
It's -- Boy, you want to get
emotional, go over to Le Bonheur
Children's Hospital.
You go and walk around there.
But talk about that for a few
moments -- about the passion you
have for that.
Well, it was great.
It actually started out raising
money for Le Bonheur and for
their sickle cell center that
they had down there which, at
that particular time, was just
kind of down in the corner of
the emergency room down in the
bottom of the hospital.
So we thought this would be a
great little thing to help raise
some money.
And we ran a tournament for 12
years for them and raised a
significant amount of money for
them and grew that program.
And now that program has moved
over to St. Jude.
And so now we're involved with
other pre-natal care at Le
So you know, during the
tournament, we used to go --
Players would go down and visit
St. Jude because that was the
recipient for the FedEx St. Jude
I would go down there and see
some of these kids that were
suffering with these diseases
that were unbelievable --
different forms of cancer.
And I want to tell you what.
They would have better attitudes
than maybe some pros I've seen
who have just missed a seven
iron out on the eighth hole.
And to that -- That was amazing.
So how could you not get
involved and try to help
>> Gaston: Well, more power to
Thank you so much for all you do
as far as that's concerned.
Alright, we got two more
You have the Schwab Cup coming
>> Roberts: Well, I feel like
maybe I've got a little
something going.
That's the thing in golf.
You're always positive.
You always think, "Well, next
week I've got a little something
working here maybe."
>> Gaston: Until you miss that
next five footer.
>> Roberts: Yeah -- So I'm
looking to maybe make a little
noise hopefully the last two
tournaments of the year.
We've got the AT and T
tournament down in San Antonio.
Then we finish with the Schwab
Kind of looking forward to
already building towards next
So I'd like to finish strong and
get ready for next year.
>> Gaston: We like to end our
interviews with five for the
Although, I might add a couple
of more to make it seven for the
road for you.
Quick question, quick answers.
First thing that comes to your
I'm adding these two.
We don't normally do this with
our guests because we don't
normally have professional
Favorite golf course?
>> Roberts: Anywhere I've won.
>> Gaston: I thought you we're
going to go St. Andrews or
Maybe Turnberry.
>> Roberts: If I had to give you
my favorite golf course, I'd say
>> Gaston: Shinnecock -- okay.
How about least favorite?
You've struggled.
>> Roberts: I have never played
good at Olympic Club in San
>> Gaston: Really?
>> Roberts: That's all I'll say.
I've never played good there.
>> Gaston: Wow, that's hard to
Alright -- Your favorite
professional sports team?
>> Roberts: San Francisco 49ers.
>> Gaston: I didn't know if
you'd go Memphis Grizzlies.
>> Roberts: I still have
California roots.
I hate to say it.
>> Gaston: We know, we know.
You're a transplanted
Your favorite professional
athlete of all time?
>> Roberts: Oh, gosh.
Favorite professional athlete.
>> Gaston: Well, you like the
>> Roberts: You know what?
When I was a kid, I was a
baseball player.
I wasn't golfing as a kid.
And Johnny Bench was my favorite
because I was a catcher all the
way up through high school when
I decided to start playing golf
in high school.
>> Gaston: Really?
So you're a baseball player.
>> Roberts: Johnny Bench was my
He was my idol.
>> Gaston: What made you decide
to change?
Did your batting average dip
under 200 or something?
What happened?
>> Roberts: This is a -- I hit a
line drive to right field and
got thrown out of first base.
So that's what I figured.
I figured it ain't my sport.
>> Gaston: You had golf clubs on
your back running to first base.
>> Roberts: Exactly.
>> Gaston: Wow -- Okay, favorite
musician, signer, artist, group?
What music do you like to listen
>> Roberts: This is going to age
me but Frank Sinatra is my
I'm sorry.
I love Frank Sinatra.
>> Gaston: Old blue eyes.
Ever pop in one of those iPods
there and listen to it?
>> Roberts: It's the CDs in my
car right now.
I was listening to it on the way
to the stadium -- the station
>> Gaston: There's something we
found out that we didn't know
Two more.
Favorite television show of all
You probably don't watch a lot
of TV.
>> Roberts: This is really going
to date me.
When I was a kid -- Remember the
show "Mister Ed?"
The talking horse?
That's my all time favorite
That and "Rat Patrol."
Those are my two favorite ones.
>> Gaston: You are dating
And finally, what's your
favorite movie?
If it's a golf movie or --
What do you like?
>> Roberts: You know, I like the
old classics.
You know, "Gone With the Wind."
I like "The Sound of Music."
My all time favorite -- This
might embarrass you.
It might embarrass me -- "My
Fair Lady."
>> Gaston: "My Fair Lady."
The things we find out about the
"Boss of the Moss," Loren
Loren, thank you so much --
absolute pleasure.
>> Roberts: Alright, thank you.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Gaston: Last weekend golfers
from the First tee of Memphis
defeated their counterparts from
the First tee of Nashville in an
event called the I-40 Challenge
Leading the way for the Memphis
team with a three and zero match
record was Malik Luckett, the
First tee of Memphis player of
the year, who joins me now.
Malik, thanks for joining us
We appreciate it.
>> Luckett: Thank you for having
>> Gaston: Alright, tell us
about you're involvement with
the First Tee of Memphis.
When did you get started and why
did you get started?
>> Luckettt: I got involved with
the First Tee when I was eight
My dad played golf in college
and he asked me if I was
interested in it.
And I said not really but I
still joined it and I ended up
liking it.
>> Gaston: Why weren't you
interested at first?
Why did you say no to him?
>> Luckett: Well, I was a
basketball player when I was
And I was really interested in
basketball but I got interested
in gold really easily.
>> Gaston: yeah, once you got
started, what was it about golf
that you liked?
>> Luckett: That you had to
practice it.
Once you hit that first solid
shot -- the sweet spot, you just
want to be able to repeat that
shot over and over again.
>> Gaston: And not like
basketball when you can depend
on teammates, it's all about
So golf can be a team sport.
But it is individual which I
>> Gaston: Alright, Loren
Roberts -- What type of an
influence has he had on you?
>> Luckett: He has had a big
He helps me with the game of
golf whether it be incorporating
the life skills, what to do on
and off the course honestly.
>> Gaston: Yeah, all you guys
that are involved in First Tee
of Memphis -- It's not just
You're learning, as you said,
life skills, life lessons --
learning to be better young men
and women.
Academically, it helps you.
It's more than just golf, right?
>> Luckett: Yes sir.
It helps you become a better
It teaches you the life skills,
responsibility, sportsmanship.
And it helps you incorporate
those on and off the course.
>> Gaston: You're a varsity
golfer for White Station High
>> Luckett: Our seasons over.
I didn't qualify for state this
year but I am a two time state
qualifier my freshman and
sophomore year and a two time
all metro selection.
>> Gaston: Well, congratulations
And you've got a senior year
still to go.
>> Luckett: Yes sir.
>> Gaston: Alright, have you
started to think about college,
where you what to attend, what
you want to study and will you
play golf?
>> Luckett: I would love to play
college golf but as of where,
I'm undecided right now -- still
looking for the right place or
what I have the most interest in
>> Gaston: Alright, you just
came off that challenge cup
victory over Nashville.
You kicked some butt.
You went three and oh in your
How was that?
It was like almost a mini Ryder
Cup, if you will.
>> Luckett: it is and it was
This was our fourth year.
This is the first year we beat
Nashville and I'm also
undefeated in my singles
I just want to put that out
And yeah, this is the first year
we wont and it was great.
>> Gaston: Malik, who do you
follow, as far as professional
Who do you like to watch?
>> Luckett: Of course Tiger
I like Pafraig Herrington, as
Anyone who's hot.
>> Gaston: How about Rory
>> Luckett: Yes sir.
>> Gaston: He had a hot year.
Talk about your game.
Where do you feel you are very
strong at and where do you
really have to work at to be a
>> Luckett: I feel I have a
really strong short game.
Around the greens, I can get up
and down from virtually
And I feel I could improve my
ball striking -- just getting on
greens and regulations and
splitting the fairways like Mr.
>> Gaston: You were talking
about being eight years old
playing basketball.
I'm sure all your friends were
playing basketball or football
and not golf.
And then you got in to it.
Do you see now more young men --
young boys, girls your age
>> Luckett: Yes sir.
I see a lot of them become
extremely interested in it.
And if this keeps going, then
golf will be more than just a
game, as some people look at it
It will be an actual sport.
It is an actual sport but a lot
of people don't view it as an
>> Gaston: Alright -- First Tee
of Memphis.
How many more years are you
involved in it?
Is it up through high school?
>> Luckett: Yes sir.
Once you're 17, I think that's
the max.
And I'm 16 now so I have one
more year.
>> Gaston: Alright, you have 30
seconds to tell the young boys
and girls out there why its so
important to get involved at the
First Tee of Memphis -- if
>> Luckett: First Tee of Memphis
helps you with life skills.
It will help you improve your
grades, improve your social
Just it will help you become an
overall better person and you'll
learn a new game which is really
>> Gaston: Malik, thank you so
much -- absolute pleasure.
Best of luck.
And that will do it for this
week's show.
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