B He gave them a new look, which
made them get a little bit of hope. But,
I think it’s better with a Couples kind of
approach. Or even Nicklaus. Nicklaus
was sort of like, “Well, who do you
want to play with, Joe Blow?” And he’d
say, “I’ll play with him.” And he’d say,
“Okay, you go play with him.” That’s
more of a captain who does what the
players want. I think they need a little
guidance and not over-guidance.
are guys who would just as soon let
you fall in a lake and drown right there.
THE POST Tiger is then a kind of
paradox in this context. He’s not a nice
guy that way but it is a team event and
it has been suggested that his father
brought him up and wired him to not
be interested in having teammates.
THE POST Now the American cap-
tain has four picks. Does that make it
harder? What would be your strategy
with four captain’s picks?
MILLER I would always go for the guys
that were good putters. In match play,
the guys that win usually are the guys
that are the really good putters. Those
guys drive the guys like me, the ball-strikers, crazy. It would drive me crazy
to play against Tom Watson. I would be
inside of him maybe 13 times out of 18
holes and he would beat me by a shot.
So, I would definitely pick the guys like
a Corey Pavin, who has the combination of, “You can’t beat me. I’m tough.
And I can putt the lights out.” That’s the
kind of player I’d be looking for.
THE POST A lot of people think Scott
Verplank fits that description, yet he’s
been left off several teams even though
his Ryder Cup record is very good. A
good putter and a tough guy.
MILLER I think there is some truth
to that and I also I think even Tiger
and Phil have touched on it and that
is that the PGA of America is making
an awful lot of money off of their star
power. So in the deep recesses, and
this is just my own opinion, at least for
a while there, at least until they both
fell in love with the whole idea, there
was this, “Hey.” They have rectified
that (giving players a stipend to donate
to the cause of their choice). So, I’m
saying, it seems like, and it might be a
coincidence, that the attitude among
the stars has gotten a lot better since
that has been initiated.
But the point that you made, that
these guys are trained to be lone
wolves – it’s all about me and it’s hard
to get chummy and be a great champion, I would say superstars in golf aren’t
necessarily the sweetest guys in the
world. They’re professionally nice but
they’re not real sweet, chummy people.
“...superstars in golf aren’t necessarily the sweetest guys in the world. They’re professionally nice but hey’re not real sweet, chummy people.”
PHIL MICKELSON AND TIGER WOODS SHAKE HANDS ON THE 18TH GREEN AFTER FINISHING THEIR FINAL ROUND AT THE AT&T
PEBBLE BEACH NATIONAL PRO-AM IN FEBRUARY. MICKELSON SHOT 64 TO WOODS’ 75 THAT DAY TO WIN THE TOURNAMENT.
THE POST And there are guys on
both sides of the Atlantic that fit that
THE POST And you?
MILLER No doubt about it. The ‘dern
tough guys that can putt. It’s that easy.
You get the good-looking guys and oh,
they hit it a mile and they have a beautiful swing and ... forget the nice guys!
In match play, I don’t want nice guys. In
match play usually, I hate to say it, the
guys who are really good in match play
MILLER You’re gonna get me in more
trouble by the minute.
THE POST Well, some of that’s a com-
pliment. Faldo wasn’t the nicest guy on
the golf course. You know him fairly
well. But that sure worked for him.
MILLER Most guys copied the Hogan
attitude and some of them copied their
swings to Hogan. And Hogan basically
didn’t want to get too chummy with
anybody. That’s the way he played his
best golf. It’s a fight out there and if
you’re not out there to shoot the bull
and make the guy feel nice and relaxed
MILLER I remember in college, I used
to be nice to everybody and I decided
one time to stop talking to everybody
and I just started winning everything.
So, instead of letting out my energy and
idle conversation, I basically turned into
Ben Hogan and my play really improved
and it was really amazing. I was like a
different golfer. Afterward, I would be
very kind and friendly after the match,
which I won. But it really did work.
And, if I were captain, I might tell my
guys, “Okay, when you get on the first
tee, say, ‘Nice to see you,’ and that’s
the last thing they hear from you until
you say, ‘Sorry you lost.’ ” A