One-on-one with Jim Gray and Sam Reeves | The Bret Baier Podcast

One-on-one with Jim Gray and Sam Reeves | The Bret Baier Podcast

On this episode, Bret is joined by Sportscaster and FOX News Contributor Jim Gray, and businessman and the subject of the new book The Ball In The Air: A Golfing Adventure, Sam Reeves, as they discuss the 2023 Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia. #FoxNews

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Joining us tonight Jim Gray from Fox Sports at Augusta National and Sam Reeves businessman lifelong golfer one Of the subjects of a new book about golf The ball in the air a golfing Adventure By Michael bamberger Sam's also a long Time Patron at the Masters is heading There tomorrow so let's head there first Jim good evening set the stage for us The Masters starting tomorrow Good evening Brett well all eyes again Are Beyond Tiger Woods he's trying to Come back I had the massive injury and Came back last year made the cut all of The eyes are on tiger as he tries once Again to collect another green jacket And continue the lore and the magic from 2019 and we'll just see Scotty sheffler Is trying to repeat that's been a very Difficult task here at Augusta National All Eyes also on Rory McIlroy as he Tries to get the Grand Slam in golf so Those are probably the three main Attractions right now yeah there's also The weather there's going to be a big Big factor yeah the weather is a big Factor and a question mark there's also Jim the the whole thing about the live Golfers playing versus the the PGA Tour And how that Dynamic Works we're looking At Dustin Johnson and cam Smith and Bryson dechambeau Uh yes there's been a whole lot of Tumult in the in the World of Golf and

It continues here and it comes to Augusta National but it's been a Peaceful week everybody uh putting their Best foot forward not a whole lot of Controversy of media is talking about it Quite a bit of course the live guys they Have 18 guys in the tournament they're Hoping that they can have a good showing Trying to show what they are doing uh is Something that golf is going to have to Deal with they've dealt with it so far Uh Fred Ridley spoke about it today the Chairman of Augusta National and he's Trying to keep it the focus on the golf Course yeah and the focus on the Masters And so far that's been successful that's A big Focus Sam you've been to a ton of Masters uh tell me your early story and How it's kind of changed Okay well first of all for all the Golfers this is a very special week Starting tomorrow and uh it's been going On since 1934 accidentally Brett that Was the year I was born and then we know Horton Smith won that year and Gene Sanderson made his Double Eagle the next Year uh my first Masters 1955 and that Was middlekoff won that year so I've Been going 68 years off and on to uh the Masses and so my impression back in Those days uh obviously was Bobby Jones Was the architect of that and for me in Those days Bobby Jones was a obviously a Legend in the Sports World we had a lot

Of Legends in the Sports World in those Days Babe Ruth probably the greatest of All sports legends and maybe Brady the Second but they were in that era and in Those days uh Brett America needed Heroes if you would so a lot of the Sports people were Heroes and so Jones Figured that here's a kid that grew up 60 miles south of Atlanta and so so for Me Jones was an alkyne yeah so I played Sports but then gotha came so my first Was 55 uh you could get in for five Dollars there were two uh Gates west of Where the president uh entry is today You drive in you'd Park one of the Members uh practice today you'd pay your Five dollars and you'd get uh for 25 Cents you'd get a ham and cheese or you Could get a pimento cheese or whatever For a dollar you'd have a full lunch but In those days I think also for me Brad It was almost as ironical and look back On we were seeing the chains of golf Before that it was Hogan it was a lot of Grays and and it was a more of a drab And you know even the USDA of the the Blue Blazers and the in the Oxford Colored pants everything so it was a Draft it was almost a robotic way that Golf played golf and then at that time Fast forward and at that time middle Class won 5 dollars uh five years six Years later Palmer had come on the scene and the

Parts had already gone to 20 000. so we Moved from a drab austere type of golf To now we have a person comes on the Scene the flare flamboyant he attacked Golf courses uh with the Vigor and and Hit down on the ball put these big Divots wore the yellowish uh in sort of Way instead of Grays he wore yellows and Pinks and he brought an enthusiasm and That was also brought a parallel of America and that those days America was Beginning to come out of the second World war the beginning it was this Vibrancy and so that's what golf was a Prototype if you would of what was going On in America yeah there's a great Period to be and to see the evolution of Not only the Masters but the game of Golf you know back to this book Sam and You're one of the characters in this Book it really is a book and I've read It now and it's great it's a book about Golf And it's how it mirrors life Is that fair That is fair Because as uh we were doing the the book I had known Michael for five six years I Trusted him I think he's a right of Rights on several levels it's easy to Make a narrative just just Straightforward but then very few Writers have the ability to go so that You the reader have to be fill in the

Narrative but in this case I think that There is a connection relationship Between Golf and life and external of Golf as we all know it's it's very Athletic it takes coordination uh it Takes speed it takes uh dexterity it has All the trappings you can play at a high Level you can determine what your level Is you can you can achieve Exceptionalism but you can you can also Measure where you are and and that's the External that's what we see in the in The the what we'll see from the players But golf is also not unlike life it's an Internal and though those are all the Emotions of Life the emotions of of of Of Joy and sorrow and and again giving you Your best failing succeeding uh and and With all of that the next day you get up And try to do it again just like we do In life yeah it's an amazing read Jim You know Sam for a long time it's pretty Fun to have him in the in a the subject Of a book It's a great great book and and he is The best friend of golf and and Sam I've Always wanted to ask you this because You're one of the few people who's been In the presence of Bobby Jones Arnold Palmer Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods Can you describe the impact and the Differences of them and how and how they Have transformed this game

Yeah it's the first person I I did see Mr Jones I was in his presidency Obviously at that time was struggling Very badly from syringomelia a spine Disease by the way today if he had it he Would be walking and everything so he Found a correction Port but so I never Really was able to shake hands with him Obviously I've spent time uh with uh Some of the other players you named I Played with most of them and so I've Seen the involvement and for me Jim Goff Itself started uh originally it was for Rich man back in 1670 and 1800s and then Old Tom Morris came along and he started Building golf course on what was known As common land it was abandoned land Almost for these uh cities and townships In England Scotland Ireland and they Would build these golf courses so it was For the Common Man and old Tom Morris Kind of captured that and then I think That that again it's it's Palmer brought That back in that's what tiger brings so That to me is a genius of golf it is for All peoples and there's a there's a Connected relationship of what how it Touches the external and the internal it Touches our soul and it touches the Outside Sam who do you like this week however I would uh obviously most of us uh we're A big Rory fans down in South Florida I'd love to see Roy win my great friend

And everything is Adam Scott he won 10 Years ago I was there with him that Would be uh that would be very special For him to repeat uh on his 10th Anniversary but the the favorite for Most of us is Roy such a wonderful human Being also amazing amazing young man What we can say Jim I was just going to ask how have you Made golf a way of life and and how have You applied it to every aspect of your Life Sam Well again I think again it it covers Both uh the A different the external and internal I Don't want to overdo it there but yes it Is a a thing that you use you utilize The teachings of golf in in life it's Also a great way we all know but I Wouldn't be connected with both of you Brett and and Jim if we're not for golf So it's a great connector and so from That you learn and you value and you you Build these relationships golf is a you Can play alone and you can play together And so you together this is a wonderful Place to be and golf brings that uh to Our friendships Etc Sam it's so Interesting how you how you like to talk About you know golf is on the same field As any other Pro what other sport does That happen in and you can go out and Play one day like Tiger Woods you can go Have three birdies and then the next gay

You can hate the game you can be just Awful and and you're back to that Amateur status but Doesn't that kind of keep bringing you Back because the game doesn't always Reward you but there's some sort of Fascination that keeps reeling you back In And I agree with that I think there's a Fascination I think that's what brings Us back uh the next day we again at the End of the day no matter what happened That day we wake up and we're uh anxious To go the next day and again not to Overdo it uh Jim that's life itself we Get up and we we have to go again and I Think that golf is uh also we don't know Exactly what's going on I don't know What drives Tiger Woods to spend two or Three hours a day getting ready to hit a Practice ball and then another hour to Two hours at night getting ready for the Next day the the the the discipline in Itself will and of that is intense why Is that because he loves God he wants to Be in the arena he wants to compete and Then so he can sense that's part of his Life that's a part of the joy of Life Yeah and that's the reason I think the Connection is so strong you know Jim we Covered the uh the tiger accent Obviously you and I and directly that Day in the Fallout from it I've talked To people since who really are just

Amazed at the ability for him to be back In this stage at this Arena again Obviously he made the cut last year but To watch him uh hit a ball I mean Walking is a challenge because it's a Hilly Course Augusta is What about that I mean it's it's Astonishing really That's a great word astonishing because What he goes through just to get to the Golf course the constant rehab the icing Obviously circulation is a problem and And just to put himself in the position Then the undulation here the topography At Augusta National this isn't like Walking the Genesis at Riviera where It's much more flat this is hard work And it's not the gulf and tiger has said That in his press conference yesterday And numerous times he can still hit the Golf ball and he can hit it as far as These guys who knock it out there 320 Plus yards so that's not the problem It's not the physically hitting the shot You would think perhaps it would be but It's not it's the endurance and it's the Walking and it's the undulation and it's The cumulative of that it's not that He's not in good shape it's the the foot And the leg just can't handle that so uh He talked about yesterday does he see Perhaps that this could be the last time And he said quite honestly he said yeah He's thought about it not saying it is

But that day will come and it will come Soon and he can't wait to get in that Buggy when he's 50 years old in three Years and ride around with Sam's great Friend Fred Couples and those guys on The senior tour because playing golf he Can still Excel it's the other physical Aspect that's very difficult Brad yeah Sam you hang around a lot of athletes You know Tom Brady and Steph Curry and You mentioned Rory McIlroy in your Relationship you know I hear people say Yeah golf's not like a real Sports sport I compel them to go out there and try to You know put the tea down on the on the T ground and hit a ball but I I think When you look at those athletes how do You compare them I I think that uh that golf uses more Uh more emotions that than almost any Other sport also and I think they are Gifted and each of those that you've Named were gifted in their own way uh And they are have a X Factor that I'm Not sure they even understand and so uh It's hard to compare one sport versus Nexus even hard to compare one golfer Versus next rest should assure it all Four of the those people you name are Brilliant athletes probably the uh some Of the greatest we know South changed The way basketball is played we know What Tyga's done just by the purses etc Etc we know what Roy has done everybody

Says you can't win uh the gospel because Of this this and this the fact is he's Won five Majors Roy knows how to win Majors he knows how now he's got to have The the sorry sort of line up and and Roy can get it in the house so he'll be There it was really energy gem when you Spoke about uh tiger even this week I'm Told I was talking to Freda yesterday Even today and he said even on Monday Tiger had one gear and by twos he had Another gear and he actually was hitting The ball about another 20 or 25 yards For the Tuesday he was on Monday that to Me is amazing that you can even time Your game such as that but again tiger Is the most brilliant uh player uh the The that I've a golf out I've ever seen You think he has another win in them Pardon me do you think he has another Win in him Odd uh that would be a stretch again Everybody said don't ever say no for Tiger uh obviously the odds of that Would be astronomical Brett uh obviously Everyone is hoping that the win would be A cut or top ten for me that would be a Win for the ages yeah but the crowds Jim They're still circling aren't they Well they really are because you know in So many ways Tiger Woods for his sport He's Muhammad Ali he's walking around as Muhammad Ali and remember what that was Like uh he's one of one not one of many

He's singular uh in his greatness and uh He's just he's just he's an International treasure uh Tom Brady has The same thing going Michael Jordan has The same thing going so the expectations Are raised to such a height he can go Out and shoot 300 par but if he's far Back that's a failure so he's he's lived Up and surpassed everybody's Expectations and just by being out here And doing this on a leg that by his own Account he might have lost on a life That is a blink of an eye and a snap of A finger away from being wiped out in That crash to think that he's doing this At this age and obviously he won in 2019 Which was before the accident I think That perhaps that might have been the One that everybody was looking for at an Advanced age for golf even though Athletes are getting much further along Brady played at 45. Phil Mickelson won a Major over 50. so it's possible but just The fact that he is doing this it is it Is off the charts I don't really know of Anybody who has that amount of money That amount of Fame that amount of Glory That would go through what they're going Through so that they can walk this Course do you Sam I I just don't know That person Yeah I I think golf is that's part of Golf that we've just talked about Earlier and everything and I can give

You a story like uh you know almost two Years ago uh dick Ferris and I played in In the trumpet that was almost 100 years Old uh the swallow sermon and he could Had uh ALS well he he wanted to play and Everything he couldn't could not take Solid food he would he'd have to pull Aside and and feed himself he was having To use ice cubes uh to play and Everything there's a man that's changed Uh air travel force uh through when he Was a chairman of United he changed Destination golfers on as a co-founder Of Pebble Beach he was a uh a member of Augusta he was the chairman of the PGA Did all these things why would he can go Out and play in a golf tournament where He's having to self-feed himself and use Ice Cube just so that he could have uh Get any type of fluid in his body and Then after we we finished we were Fortunate enough to win and he he holds A trophy up and and so my question is What was he thinking I have no idea what He was thinking but it's it he was Thinking of how what golf was about I'm Sure in his mind remember all members Were welling up within this is what it's About and he's and he could not could Not speak and he wrote me Brad on there Uh we won uh and and that's that's what He that's what he he was about so tiger He he's out there he wants to be in the Arena he he loves this it's his

Fascination and a connection that golf Has over all of us that have played yeah All of us that grew up and playing on Munis Etc de Ferris was a great God let Me leave you with this Sam what's your Hope for this book a ball in the air I just saw a share golf it's all it is My only hope is it's four characters I'm One of the one of four the the the the Little girl Fatima that got out of Kathmandu Brett I can't imagine no one Gets out of Kathmandu and so I think That she is it's amazing what she's done And and Ron French golf saves his life So I just hope it comes out that what Goth what it means at its deepest level And and and take what Michael has said Read what is not said he has a famous The most three pertinent words in the Whole book was after his uh best friend Fred who'd played hundreds of rounds With I've walked off the end of the pier And the ocean uh suicide and then Instead of trying to explain it he put I Don't know and I think that we don't Quite know what the traction is from God We don't know a lot of things what we do Know is ancient of old said when you say I don't know that's the beginning of Knowing and so as we take God take place In golf and we become part of it that's The beginning of understanding what Tiger Woods a little just a glimmer of Why he's doing what he's doing

Well Sam and Jim I really appreciate the Time it's going to be a great week great Talking to you guys Thanks again thank you Brett thanks so Much

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