The following is a transcript of Eric Soderstrom’s Sunday night interview with Golf:
SODERSTROM: Hi, Golf. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
SODERSTROM: Yeah, so, how’re things?
GOLF: Seriously? That’s your first question? “How’re things?”
Let me apologize for thinking that a Golfweek reporter would’ve actually prepared for this interview.
SODERSTROM: Don’t get chippy with me, Golf.
GOLF: Don’t use dumb puns, Eric.
SODERSTROM: I really think you’re out-of-bounds here.
GOLF: Seriously, stop.
SODERSTROM: Am I driving you crazy?
GOLF: I will redesign your face like Torrey Pines if you keep it up.
SODERSTROM: Why are you so angry?
GOLF: Like you don’t know.
SODERSTROM: Kelly Tilghman?
GOLF: Hey, who brought the Harvard grad?
I’m sorry. I’m just tired. Really, really tired.
Four weeks ago, I’m on vacation in Switzerland, waking up at 11 o’clock, eating cheese, skiing for a couple hours, drinking hot chocolate… You know, like Swiss Miss, but so much better.
I’m in the ski lodge, and people are just walking by, not saying anything. No one’s whispering, asking for autographs or pictures.
Not once did I hear, “Hey, look Mom, it’s him! It’s him!”
SODERSTROM: They could have been saying it in a different language.
GOLF: Trust me, they weren’t. No one cared. I felt like a PGA Tour Fall Series event.
GOLF: Next thing I know, it’s January and I haven’t slept for two weeks.
SODERSTROM: Have you tried drinking warm milk?
GOLF: You don’t stop, do you?
SODERSTROM: Sorry, it’s an impulse.
Let me just try to get an accurate timeline here. You say you haven’t slept for two weeks, but the Kelly Tilghman situation didn’t really hit the fan until last Monday…
GOLF: Consider that the last straw.
SODERSTROM: What was the first one?
GOLF: Me having to come back from Switzerland just because the PGA Tour has to start their “season” three days into the new year.
SODERSTROM: So you’re just mad you have to go back to work. Join the club.
GOLF: No, no. You don’t get it.
I wouldn’t mind coming back to work so soon… if I didn’t feel so empty. So …. mistreated.
GOLF: Were you excited about the beginning of the PGA Tour season?
SODERSTROM: Kind of. Not really.
GOLF: May I ask why?
SODERSTROM: I don’t know… No Tiger, no Phil.
I guess if they don’t care, why should I?
GOLF: I can’t even begin to explain to you how much flak I get every year for that. Basketball called me in early October, and goes “Hey Golf, Lebron James just told me he’s going to sit out the first three weeks of the season.”
I go, “Really?”
He just starts laughing and goes, “No!”
I also got an e-mail from Football while I was in Switzerland.
It said something like, “I heard the PGA Tour is trying to create some sort of preseason, some sort of lead in. Something to get people talking early. Something to get Tiger and Phil excited about the Opening Dive.” Excuse me, Opening Drive.
So I write back, “Really?”
He answers, “Sure! And Tom Brady sucks!”
SODERSTROM: I see.
GOLF: There’s no buildup there. Every other sport I know spends at least a month before his season overdosing on ESPN preview shows and fantasy rankings. I’d be happy with a quarter of that hype.
I don’t know a happier guy than Baseball when opening day rolls around.
Me? I spent the last two weeks before the Mercedes-Benz Championship praying that Michelle Wie would get a last-minute sponsor exemption to the Sony Open.
Then I get home from Switzerland, and before I can even hang my new Far Side calendar in the kitchen, I’m watching Boo Weekley ring in the 2008 season with a ding at airport security.
I actually don’t even know who won Mercedes. I didn’t feel like staying up that late. But I do know that Boo Weekley accidentally left two bullets in his carry-on.
And now Rory Sabbatini is telling me that he’s done talking to the media?
SODERSTROM: Have you watched any of the Sony?
GOLF: I turned it on to see who was filling in for Tilghman. But then Golf Channel showed some video of a sailboat and Nick Faldo said, “A nice sunset this evening,” so I flipped to reruns of “Deal or No Deal.”
SODERSTROM: I see what you’re saying.
GOLF: I’ll be honest with you. If CBS didn’t run a Masters commercial during the third quarter of the Chargers-Colts game tonight, I’d be searching Monster.com right now.
SODERSTROM: Don’t you think you’re being a little extreme?
GOLF: Maybe. But what else could we talk about?