Wayne Gretzky joins Shane Bacon and Brad Faxon to talk about the 2018 US Open

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Wayne Gretzky stops by to weigh in on the 2018 US Open.

- Wayne Gretzky here, future father-in-law of Dustin Johnson. Also played a little bit of hockey back in your day. And you've traded 20 years between the glass for now being a fan of a guy that's now number one in the world. What's it like watching him dominate golf right now?

- Well listen, first of all, there's so many great athletes, and so many great golfers that each and every week anyone can win. And that's what makes sports so wonderful. But right now his focus is so unique and his ability is so special.

And most importantly, he's just a wonderful young man. So yeah, it's exciting for all of us. I know his mom and dad, and his family are extremely excited. And I know Janet and I are really thrilled to be here and be part of the New York energy again. It's just a really special place. And so it's been a lot of fun for us.

- Well you know, Wayne, early in the coverage Shane started off, after we saw Phil Mickelson hit some beautiful wedge shot out of a bunker, like he always does, and he said, Phil with a wedge, Michael Jordan with a basketball, Wayne Gretzky with a hockey stick. What do you say about Dustin Johnson, driver, the way he's thinking? I mean, there's so many things he's doing well.

- You know, I stood with somebody the other day, didn't know who I was, and I was telling him that one of the most special things about Dustin that people really maybe don't know is his knowledge for the sport, and for the actual game itself. And for golf course design, and the soil, and the kind of grass. He's very unique. He knows a lot about the game and he loves the game.

And most importantly, he never blames anyone else when things don't go his way. I can remember being in Seattle when Jordan played so well and he deserved to win. And obviously, Dustin missed that putt. And I remember everybody was shook up. And obviously he was devastated because he didn't win. But I said that, you know, as worried as we were, we spent the next 20 days in Idaho and he played golf every single day for 20 days.

And that would be like me losing game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, and-- don't take this personally-- but playing pickup hockey with guys like you. And I just remember thinking, this guy loves the game so much he's going to be fine. And so from there he's gone on to win, obviously, and he's having a great tournament right now. But hey, it's a long way from over.

- Hey, Wayne, do you talk about things that he could do different that you used to do when you were playing hockey professionally? I mean, we throw the term GOAT around a lot, but I don't think a lot of people are going to argue with you being the greatest of all time. Is there stuff you guys talk about that he can use from your career on the golf course?

- I think that he's doing everything he can do. You know his preparation, and his mindset is so strong right now. And as Brad was saying earlier today, these guys worked out this morning. They get up, they eat breakfast, they train for an hour and a half. His routine doesn't change. And so he is so focused, as all the other guys are.

And I know him and Brooks are very close and their competition level is extremely high right now, and they're both excited to be in the position they're in. But you know, there's not a lot that I need to say. He's a great player. He was a great player before I met him. And both his mom and dad and grandparents did a wonderful job. He's just a great, special young man.

- Some of the old timers like us around here watching these golfers and what they do in the gym, especially how they work out and prepare for a final round or a third round of the US Open. It's different in your sport now, too?

- Completely different. And like your sport, these guys are athletes today. Guys like Dustin, and Jordan, and Dustin Thomas, and guys like that. They're so special because they're so strong now. They're so big and they're so powerful. And that's the same as in ice hockey now, guys like Ovechkin and guys like Connor McDavid.

And it's a good thing, because that means their game's getting better, it's growing. And nobody is going to take away what guys like Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr did in the sport, because they're so special. But the game, like your sport, has changed. And to me, it's changed for the better.

- Well, if he's going to keep putting like he is now, I don't know how you stop him.

- He was putting in the living room the other night. I'm like, my goodness, you didn't get enough over there? So he loves it.

- He played so well at Oakmont. Things changed. We've seen him get really close in major championships before, not able to close the door. He did it at the Oakmont. Did you see a change after that win a couple of years ago with the US Open?

- Oh yeah, listen, I think to me, winning a championship as even a team sport or an individual sport, that's what it's all about. And the great thing about golf is you have basically four majors, so you have four times you can be a champion. And then of course, the Ryder Cup every second year, or the President's Cup every second year. So you got this opportunity maybe every second month, where in team sports, like hockey, basketball, baseball, football, it's once a year. So we can have four champions in one year in your sport, which is exciting for the fans.

But he desperately wanted to win. And listen, I know everybody says when he lost those couple of tough matches and couple of tough decisions that he let it roll off his back. Listen, he took it as hard as anybody. But he just took it like a man and he came back, he fought harder, and he just said, you know, it's my fault. He didn't blame anyone.

And you know, I always love listening to him talk. Because he never says a bad thing about a golf course, or the weather, or the wind. He's just always saying, you know, it's tough, and the tougher it is, the more fun it is for me.

- That speaks a lot about bouncing back after Chambers Bay, wins the next year at Oakmont. He's got a four-shot-- we appreciate you, Wayne, stopping by. Thanks.


- You're doing a great job. Nice to see you, Brad.

- Back to you, Joe.