Wednesday, March 5

Johnny Miller's Secret to Winning Majors

Johnny at Pebble Beach. (Lexus)
LAST WEEK NBC SPORTS HOSTED a media conference call in advance of the PGA Tour's Florida Swing. Sportscaster Dan Hicks, analysts Johnny Miller and Frank Nobilo, and on-course reporter Notah Begay discussed a range of topics.

On winning majors, here's Johnny unedited and unfiltered:
The secret to majors, let's face it, we've made such a big deal out of major championships, that it's really about handling pressure. Some guys, including me with the putting, I justthe pressure got me. I was lucky to win two of them. I had three seconds in the Masters, but I would have won a Masters or two if I had just putted reasonably well, but I justit's all about handling pressure and dealing with pressure even on Thursday, right off the get-go.

You can get that in practice rounds a little bit. But if guys win majors it's by accident. But there's not a lot of guys that basically just go in and play a great major and be dominant and win. It's almost an accidental win, within reason. Obviously they've got to perform, but like Tiger would do it systematically and take it all apart and leave everybody. Phil could do it a little bit. But it is just all about pressure.

We've made such a big deal with the majors, starting with Jack Nicklaus, and of course Tiger taking the ball and bringing it to more of a crescendo. It's pretty amazing. 
If you win a major you've got to deal with a lot of choke-y type putts and shots and handling the pressure of it and knowing it's going to change your life. It's hard to do.
I think Johnny might be on to something. I love "choke-y type putts and shots."


Who on the call said this about Tiger Woods?
I think his game has come back down to earth a little bit. I do think he has the ability to create that separation, and he doesn't necessarily have to have his "A" game, but it used to be that he could be somewhat off of his game and still finish in the top 10. I think that if you just look at his top-10 performances over the last two or three years, they're not as high of a percentage as they were prior to the scandal.

I think that those are two things that you just really need to look at, and so prior to everything that's happened away from golf, if you were to pace your game according to Tiger Woods, you knew you were going to be around the top 10 and probably most likely near the lead. And I don't think that's the case right now.
Multiple choice:
A. Notah Begay
B. Johnny Miller
C. Frank Nobilo


Brian Kuehn said...

Okay, I 'll take a stab, Frank Nobilo.

The Armchair Golfer said...

And the correct answer is ... Notah Begay.

Brian Kuehn said...

Oh oh, no Tiger at Notah's charity event anymore.

Actually, I hope Tiger continues to support Notah even if his friend provides some mild criticism. Tiger can't be that thin skinned, can he?