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August 16, 2004

Stewart Cink

Jay Haas

M.G. Orender

Hal Sutton

M.G. ORENDER: Thank you, Julius, and good morning to all of you. The 35th Ryder Cup Matches are just 32 days away, and in a moment you'll find out who the other members of the 12-man team are. Leading this team this year is one of the most competitive players that has ever played the game professionally, Captain Hal Sutton.

Being named Ryder Cup Captain is an honor that has only been bestowed on 23 individuals since 1927. When the officers got together to pick the Ryder Cup Captain, there was only one name that came to mind first, and when we sat down with Hal, when we knew the job was of it, when getting ready to do it is one of the things that we are going to have to do is out of the particulars that were available, pick the final two players for the team.

We asked Hal one thing, we asked, what do you want, and he said we want to win. And Hal has done everything that we could have ever asked of him, and it is my pleasure to introduce the captain of the United States Ryder Cup team, Hal Sutton.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Well want to start off by saying congratulations to the PGA of America and Kerry Haigh for a wonderful championship. They made they made it a very eventful championship on the venue that it was.

Kind of became aware of what being the captain of the Ryder Cup Team was all about. This was going to be very difficult and it became a very difficult decision. There were people moving in and out and I've never been a captain, I will ask Julius before this day is over with, has there ever been that much movement. The job was very difficult. People who were very deserving didn't get to be on the team. We have two deserving people, is it okay to go ahead and start this?

JULIUS MASON: No, let's draw it out for another 15 minutes.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: I don't want to draw it out a second longer (laughter.)

Many have proud of the two guys that we picked. The first guy is Jay Haas. Is Jay on the phone?

JULIUS MASON: Mr.テつHaas, are you with us?

JAY HAAS: I'm here.

JULIUS MASON: Why don't you say good morning to your captain and to the media.

JAY HAAS: Good morning, Hal. Glad to be on this conversation.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: We cannot be more excited about having you, Jay.

JULIUS MASON: Jay, why don't you share with us a little bit of what happened last night.

JAY HAAS: Well, I was in the car, and obviously, I didn't know what to expect and figured I would get a call one way or the other, and Hal and I had a little small talk and then said, we would sure love to have you on the teamテつ-- and kind of was waiting for a bus, I didn't know what to say, I was emotional about it, it was something I had pointed toward for the last couple of years now, and to realize that is pretty exciting.

I know there's quite a few deserving players, and like y'all said there was a lot of movement and a lot of scenarios that could have happened yesterday, and I was just disappointed that I didn't play my way on, but I feel like I played pretty well and I'm really, really excited to be chosen.

JULIUS MASON: Jay, we thank you, this morning for joining us. If you can sit tight for a moment, we'll have some Q&A in a couple of minutes, but I'd like to turn it back over it Hal.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Well, Jay, you have played very well. I, for one, and certainly everybody else on this team, will be excited to have your father image on our team (laughter). And speaking of fatherly imageテつ--

JAY HAAS: I said, "I'm playing with some people that are about my kids' age, I'm comfortable with that."

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Speaking of fatherly image, I asked Jay if Bill would be available. But he said no, so we went on our list here, we went to the next guy, and I want to stop before I do this and say that there were many deserving people. There was only two spots, and that's the part that makes this captaincy very hard. You know, I found out what that's all about yesterday.

Anyway, our next guy who I am extremely excited to have on the team is Stewart Cink. Stewart, are you on the phone?

VIJAY SINGH: I'm on the phone, Hal.

JULIUS MASON: Some reaction, Mr.テつCink?

STEWART CINK: Well, I don't remember ever being this flattered in my life, especially with Hal and I, we shared Ryder Cup spots where he was playing and I was playing the last time, and just to know that the captain of the Ryder Cup Team thinks enough of me as a player and person to pick me and put me on the team; it's like a dream come true.

And like Jay said, and I couldn't hear everything Jay said, but I did hear him say he was disappointed that he didn't qualify on his own, and I'm the same way. I wanted to finish high enough in the PGA to guarantee myself a spot, but I didn't. So I'm just so excited to play for the U.S. and to play for Hal and those other guys on the team. I was looking at the list last night, I think it's going to be so much fun and we're going to mesh really well.

JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, Stewart.

We'll have some comments and we'll open up to Q&A.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: I think the closing comments out to be that we have a tremendous team, starting at the top with Tiger and Phil, Davis, David Toms, Kenny Perry, Chad Campbell, []Fred Funk Chris DiMarco and Chris Riley.

I tell you, I called Chris DiMarco and Chris Riley last night and left messages, and Chris Riley called me back. And Chris Riley made being captain worth everything by his excitement for having made this team.

I hung up the phone, called my wife and told her, I said, you know what, this young man is the most excited he's ever been in his life. It was fun to see somebody that excited about something.

I want this and I have wanted this to be about not who didn't get picked or not who didn't make the team but the guys that did. And I want to congratulate everybody this made this team. I especially want to congratulate Jay and Stewart. They are not only great players, but they are great human beings. This team has been rounded out very nicely with their additions.

JULIUS MASON: Jay, Stewart, Hal, thank you very much. The floor is open now, ladies and gentlemen, to questions.

Q. With four rookies on there and two new guys jumping into the mix yesterday in the Top-10, did that prompt you to look more towards guys that had been through the ringer before, or were those guys on your list pretty much no matter what happened yesterday with all of the permutations?

HAL SUTTON: I had approximately five guys in my mind the entire time. You know, somebody could have changed that. There was a lot of changing that went on yesterday. But Stewart and Jay were in my mind the whole time, as they were in Jackie's and Steve Jones. Just so y'all know, I probably made three telephone calls to each one of them, talking to them about the scenarios. Steve Jones called me back twice on his own, too, so we talked a lot in an hour's time about this. It was unanimous. All three of us thought that Jay and Stewart were the right choices. They are going to help us go win that Ryder Cup.

Q. Did you call anybody else who didn't make the team, and was Verplank's ankle problem and foot problem a factor in perhaps not getting in?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: I did call Scott Verplank. Obviously, he was disappointed. I was worried about his foot problem and his ankle problem. As I said earlier, there are many deserving people. He was one of those deserving people. They only give me two spots, and instead of us focusing on who didn't make the team, I would rather focus on the two guys that did.

Q. But is he the only one that you called?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: He is the only one I called.

Q. Can you talk specifically about what Jay and Stewart will bring to this team in terms of their play?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Well, the obvious thing that they bring to the team, they played well for quite a period of time here. Both of them are in the Top-25, I think, in putting. Both are great drivers of the ball. Both are good iron players. Neither one of them are what I would call prolific, long hitters. But too bad, so sad, guys, I'm one of these guys that doesn't hit long enough. The ball is still that close it us when we hit it.

But Oakland Hills is not the monster that it used to be and Jackie Burke had an interesting comment whenever I called him yesterday. He said, "Hey, Hal, they only give away trophies on the greens. They don't give any of them away on the fairway or on the tee." So that was his way, he started the conversation. He said, "Let's look to the good putters." []

Q. As you know, as I think you know, Michelle, Chris Riley's wife, is pregnant and due sometime around the start of the Ryder Cup. Did you discuss any of the possible scenarios with Chris when you spoke to him?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Well, I did know that, but I didn't know that from his conversation last night on the phone, and I was not about to throw water on his feelings (laughter). He was so overjoyed with the fact that he had made the team. You know, I know that, he knows that, and I guess we'll have a conversation about that.

I applaud the fact that he's made this team.

Q. Is there any way that you might have a contingency plan should something happen during that week?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Well, the contingency plan is obvious; in the rules basically, if one of the guys can't play, we good to the 11th player, which would be Steve Flesch.

I have notテつ-- it was premature for me to talk to Chris about that last night.

Q. How seriously did you consider Jerry Kelly, and did he play himself out of contention by not making the cut this weekend?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: I considered Jerry very seriously. Jerry is a fighter. He really wanted to make this Ryder Cup Team, and like I said earlier, I'm sorry, everybody, that we can't pick everybody on this page. Everybody deserved to be on the team, but they only have ten guys that play their way on, and the two captain's picks. I went with what I thought the team needed, and that happened to be Jay and Stewart, and it's a shame that we have to make it about who didn't get picked rather than the two that did.

I feel for every one of those guys that didn't get picked. I didn't have but two choices.

Q. Did he play himself off the team this weekend, though?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: It had a bearing in my mind. I tried not to make it on one tournament. I didn't want anybody to play themselves on or off. The other side of the coin, and I expected this question and it may be this person right over here to ask me this, was Justin Leonard. Justin Leonard is the personal side of that. He played great this championship, but I cannot pick him because of just one event here like this.

So I tried to make this over a longer period of time. I mean, certainly, it's been a three-year scoring period. This is the first time ever in the history of the Ryder Cup that we've ever had three years of scoring.

Q. Can you reconstruct how you found out and where and when and how it all happened?

STEWART CINK: We got off the plane yesterday here in Atlanta after coming back straight from Sheboygan, and first thing I did was turn on my phone and saw no messages, which can't be all that exciting. And then we weren't on the ground 15 minutes and the phone rang and I saw that it was Hal. So I ran to the other room real quick and Hal says, "Stewart?" I says, "yes," and he says, "Let's do it." I think the first thing I said was, "What do you mean, let's do it? Am I on the team?" Because I didn't know exactly what he meant. I didn't want to say, let's do it, let's talk about why I can't have you on the team. []

I was excited, of course, when he said, "I want you on the team." My wife had run in there, too. She was looking at me and trying to get something out of me, and I gave her a thumbs up, she jumped, almost hit her head on the ceiling and went back to tell the others. That's how it went for me.

Q. The players you selected have not one a lot of tournaments this year. Is that a factor, no factor at all? What's your thoughts on that?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Well, Stewart won a tournament.

Q. Only six wins this yearテつ--

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: You said the players I selected.

Q. I mean, the players you have on the team, sorry.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: You know, that's just the world we live in today, Jerry. Fewer people are winning tournaments. They are being scattered around the world. You know, a lot of guys that we chose from have not won a great deal of tournaments. The guys that won the tournaments were already on the team. I think we are looking at overall play week-in and week-out. There's good guys that have done it.

One thing I'd like to add is I like the way these guys have closed tournaments. Two weeks ago, Stewart Cink finished eagle-birdie at The INTERNATIONAL to capture points. Jay Haas finished birdie-birdie that same week and he lipped out for eagle or he would have finished eagle-birdie. Got to like those kind of finishes. We need good finishes at Oakland Hills.

Q. You mentioned the scoring system and you just mentioned players being scattered around the world. Just curious how Todd Hamilton might have fit in your mix. He won four times in Japan last year but no points for that, but comes to the PGA TOUR, stares down Davis Love, beats Ernie Els in the British Open, major championship, wins, and shoots 68 yesterday. Doesn't have an opportunity to get points is my question, I guess.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Well, again, we are talking about the dark side of being the captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team. Many deserving people. Todd Hamilton won twice, stared down two great players to do it. I went with what I thought was in the best interests of the team. Not that I didn't think Todd Hamilton would be in the best interests of the team, also, but it was an unknown.

Todd did a very classy thing. He took the heat off of me early in the week by his comments of saying that he understood that, basically, this was the gist of his comments.

One thing I'd like to point out is that the two golf courses that Todd won are exact opposites to Oakland Hills, and that played into my mind in making this decision.

I mean, you know, time will tell. We are four weeks away from whether I made the right decisions or the wrong decisions. And by the way, I'm going it hold you accountable, Jay and Stewart, for that (laughter).

But anyway, you know, I stand by the two guys that I picked, and I am sorry to everybody that I wasn't able to pick. It's a tough position to be in. You know what, we've made the decision and we're going forward. We're going to Oakland Hills to win the Ryder Cup, and I'm not going to make any bones about that.

You know, M.G. said it earlier when the officers came to me and they asked me to do it. They mentioned one word and they said win. This didn't say pick popular choices, they didn't say do the politically correct thing or anything else. They said they wanted to win, so that's what we are trying to do.

Q. You made a comment earlier last week that sometimes the U.S. credentials look like heavyweight on paper and the Europeans being featherweights[]. Is there something that you can do differently to prepare them or is there something that you see in the chemistry that will avoid that?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: I think only time will tell. I wish I had an ingredient that you could go ahead and start writing about it. I think I did have some ideas, some pairing choices and things like that, but I feel like we can change the chemistry of the team.

But it's too early for me to expose because I'm not 100% set in gold that I'll do it.

Q. What do you think the message is that your team sends to Bernhard Langer's team?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: The message? I don't know. If you add up the World Rankings, the U.S. team is pretty strong. We are a heavyweight contender. Our World Ranking total is pretty stout, and the way it's stout is it's a smaller number, higher World Ranking.

So I don't know what you're looking for when you ask me that question.

You know, I think what the message should be is that we've got 12 good guys, 12 guys that wanted to make that team, 12 respected golfers, 12 respected gentlemen. My mission and my goal is that we are going to play like gentlemen and we are going to play like champions. We are going to tip our hat and shake our hands at the end of the week, win or lose.

Q. Since you and I had the exchange about heavyweight and featherweight, is this a team that will punch above its weight?

HAL SUTTON: I think it is. I think the Americans are hungry. We've only won three out of the last nine. You know, we need to turn the tide a little bit here in my opinion.

And I owe Bernhard one. He has given me a couple singles defeats, you know, and if I can't do it with my clubs, I'm going to have to out-captain him.

Q. Jay and Stewart, can you tell me how much of an indication you guys had that you were going it get this phone call saying you were on the team? Were you 30テつpercent sure, 50 percent sure? How strongly did you feel that your chances in your discussions with Hal over this time frame were?

JAY HAAS: Well, I didn't have a lot of discussion with Hal. Basically it was keep playing hard. You know, we want you on the team or whatever, but no indication I was on any kind of short list or anything like that. I guess I felt like all along I was shooting for the Top-10 and I didn't want to leave it in Hal's court to have to disappoint me or anybody else.

You know, almost accomplished that. I would not put a percentage on it. I guess I felt like I was on some kind of list to be one of the captain's picks, I don't know whether it would be five people, ten people, whatever, but I felt I had to continue to impress throughout the course of the year. You know, it was publicized that I wanted to do this, but I don't think I wanted to do it any worse than, you know, 15, 20 other guys. It was just because of my age, I guess. Everybody is surprised that I'm in this mix. I guess I never felt that that was an issue. Just I'm a golfer out here, I'm one of the guys trying to accomplish some things, and, you know, I neverテつ-- I guess I got the publicity because of that.

But I certainly don't think I wanted it any more or any more badly than the rest of the guys. Hal basically gave me an indication to keep playing hard and we'll see.

Hal did a great job of being intentionally being vague over the last week or so. He wanted everybody to qualify for the team, and that's a great way to put the onus on us as players to show him what we had, basically and to see what kind of shot we could get when the chips were down. I think that any captain in the future should also take a great page out of Hal's book the same way and do the same thing.

Like I said, he didn't give me any indication. Although he told me yesterday, he said I didn't have anything to worry about, but I still don't know if I believed that because I didn't hear it and it would have made my weekend a lot easier if I had known that.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Maybe that was by design. I couldn't quite get it out because I really wasn't certain.

STEWART CINK: I'm glad I didn't hear it because I enjoyed myself having something to really play for, not that the championship at Whistling Straits was not enough because we had our hands full playing that course. I enjoyed giving it everything I could give it to qualify and unfortunately came up a few putts short.

It was something I never knew, I never counted on being picked at all. I knew I was in the mix after I finished last four or five tournaments, I was at least in consideration for a pick, but I just, it's something you never expect. You never expect to be picked. I think everybody did a great thing, all of the players did a great job of trying to earn their way on the team and then see what happens there.

Q. For Hal and Jay, first of all, how much of the decisionテつ-- I'm going to stay on the light side and not go to the dark side. How much of your decision to pick Jay was his willingness to forgo much of the Champions Tour this year, and Jay, I'd like you to follow up and talk about how rewarding this is to make that decision and now be picked for the team.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Not only was it with Jay, but a lot of guys showed me how much they wanted to be on the team by how they played, how they selected their events. We'll talk about Jay because he selected playing on the regular tour. We play for quite a bit more money than they play for on the Champions Tour, so with the way he was playing, I think he made the right choice.

You know, Jay, I know all along, Jay wanted to make this team. I think it's been a personal goal of Jay's to make the team. I think anybodyテつ-- he almost did it. Outside of two guys who played tremendous golf yesterday, he would have made the team on his own right. I applaud his efforts over the last two years. He's played tremendous.

Take over, Jay.

JAY HAAS: Well, it's an accomplishment that I'm proud of. And to be in the mix, to be in the hunt to do it over the last year and a half or so, is unbelievably gratifying.

In 2000, I finished 146th or something like that on the Money List, and at age 46, you know, I felt like it might be my last go.

To fight my way back into respectability and to contend in events, it's a very satisfying feeling to be competitive with the best players in the world. Although I haven't won, I've had some chances, and I haven't pulled that off.

I know there was a question earlier about the lack of wins. But, I don't know, just to be in the mix, I've had more fun this year and the last year and a half, I think, than I've ever had in my whole career.

I don't know, just to have the chance to do this and to go the course every day and to compete and to be competitive and to play with the best in the world is what I've tried to do all my career, and to do it now is even more gratifying.

Q. I'd like to ask Jay and Stewart, if I may, just about their memories, their experiences of playing in previous Ryder Cups.

STEWART CINK: The only one I played in was 2002, which was the 2001 Ryder Cup. It was the best memory I have in golf as far as a whole week of great camaraderie, great competition. We played in the U.K., obviously, and once you play on international teams like that, you just realize how special it is and how lucky you are to be in that position, and you really don't ever want to miss being on the team.

So that was my true motivation to try and play my way on the team, and then coming up a hair short, but now I'm so happy to be picked because I get a chance to experience it again.

I just remember, really on the course, it's great, it's competitive, but once you get into your comfort zone of playing, you kind ofテつ-- you fall back on what you've done in your past practicing and tournament experience and it just becomes golf. But off the course it's so special, in the players' room, in the locker room, around your spouses and all of the PGA officers, it's a totally different experience from any other tournament played. I'm so happy to be able to experience it one more time.

JAY HAAS: Well, it's been nine years since '95, and quite a much longer time since my first in '83.

But between those two, it changed enormously. I don't think we had, I don't know, it looked like a practice round I guess the last day in '83. There were not many people out there. The players themselves, I believe, were very intense and have always been intense about it. But until the middle to late '80s, I don't think the fans really got into it. So from '83 to '95, it was an incredible jump in intensity and I think that was a surprise to me in '95 at OakテつHill how much different the Ryder Cup had become.

And so I'm expecting more of the same this year. I don't have any score to settle or anything like that. I never felt like I needed to atone or anything like that. I'm just obviously very disappointed with the loss in '95, but this is such a close competition that it's just who is playing well that week. I do want to say that making the team is just half the battle, and obviously, as Hal said, winning is very important, and now we've just got to come together and see what we can do to prove the best that week.

Q. Question about both of the players. We talked about Stewart Cink's win. How much did that factor in your decision in choosing him, and as far as Jay Haas, he joked about the age thing, but how much did that play into it as far as you feeling comfortable with someone who is a contemporary of yours?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Well, the thing that played in the most in my mind was guys, and I've said this all year long, I was looking for guys that I felt were playing the best at the time we had to make our choices. I do feel like Stewart and Jay over the last two months have played the best.

Anyway, they played the best over the last two months. Stewart won at Hilton Head. That played into it. But it was just part of the equation.

And the fact that Jay's a fatherly image and one of my peers, may have played into it a little bit, but I was more impressed with the way he played. I'm excited about the two of them not only becauseテつ-- I'm going to say this one more time, not only because of the way they played, but also because of the human beings that they are. They are just really good people.

They are just the people we need on this team. That's the best way I can put it.

Q. You steered us towards a lot of stats to look at when we were making all of our speculations. In the end, was putting really the distinguishing characteristic that you were looking for to maybe separate one guy from another?

HAL SUTTON: Good iron players and putters. And I said that two weeks ago. I've stood by that. I've played Oakland Hills quite a few times this summer, and I did that for a reason. I wanted to make sure that I was qualified to make the decision what I felt like it would take to play Oakland Hills well.

Both guys drive the ball well. We need to be in the fairway in order to hit the ball at the flag. We need to be able to hit good iron shots so we can keep them below the hole, and it's going to be a lot easier to make a 15-foot uphill putt than it is an eight-foot downhill putt at Oakland Hills. Those are the things that weighed heavy on my mind when making the decision, and I'm happy with my decision.

Q. Chris Riley said yesterday before he qualified for the team that he thought there was no way that he would be a captain's pick. How much were you considering him, and secondly, similar to Justin, he had a great tournament yesterday but he has not had a great season by any stretch. How much of a concern is that to you?

HAL SUTTON: He was a consideration of mine because he's such a great putter. I'm thankful that Chris played his way onto the team. One of the things that caused maybe for me not to have him first and foremost in my mind in considerations is because of the way he had played over the last two months, and then on top of this, the birth of his child. That's a big event in a person's life. I have four small children of my own, and I know that that's a big event in a man's life and it's a big event in a woman's life, too. So he's got not only his own personal things that he's got to deal with here, but he's got his wife's personal feelings to deal with here, too. So that was my mindset about Chris.

You know, Justin had played well at the British Open. You could tell his game was turned around, but he had missed three cuts in a row prior to that, too. So I'm happy for Justin. He played great. He had an opportunity to win the golf tournament yesterday. He's probably more let down by that than the fact that he didn't make the Ryder Cup Team.

But, he still played great.

Q. Can you just set the scene emotionally for you yesterday a little more? Did you have a bunch of sheets of paper with notes that you were tearing up coming down the stretch? There was one point where Justin could have won the tournament and not made the team; how emotional was that for you?

HAL SUTTON: It was chaos. The last hour of the TV telecast, prior to the playoff, like I said, I probably was on the phone six to ten times with both Jackie and Steve.

You know, I was looking at different scenarios, trying to add these points up in my mind. Rebecca calls me in the middle of it and says, "This is the scenario: If this guy wins, this guy wins, this guy wins." It was chaotic.

Julius had told me from day one that this would be the day that I probably would not want to remember about being the captain. It really wasn't that hard. Stewart said it best when he said I had not played my hand out. I felt like I did not play my hand out. It was open to anybody to be on the team. I had not committed myself to anybody. I did that purposely because I just felt I wanted the onus to be on the guys. I wanted them to be able to play their way on the team.

I flew back with Scott Verplank from the British Open. He sat right beside me. I told Scott, don't depend on me to pick you; you make this team. I tried very hard. I know that Scott was first and foremost in a lot of people's minds to make this team. I tried to make sure that every guy knew, play your way on the team.

Jackie Burke called me six weeks ago and said, hey, man just go ahead and announce that 11 and 12 make the team automatically. If you want to make the team, finish 11th and 12th.

I said, no, there's a better way to do it; we need the free agency pick here, but I'm not going to commit to it anyway. If anybody wants to be on the team they have to play their way on the team. So that's the approach that I took.

Q. We've had two obvious cheerleaders over the year, Payne Stewart and the Zinger, they both were just always up and kind of leading the team in terms of spirit, so forth. Do you see someone with that ability? I'm looking at the list trying to pick a cheerleader. Do you see someone in this role or will it emerge?

HAL SUTTON: I don't know that you ever know who is going to be the cheerleader or who is going to be the inspirational leader of a team until it actually happens.

I think that will emerge. I think that person will be there. And if not, I'll do the job. (Laughing) I'm up for the challenge of that myself. That's all I'm going to be able to do is cheer those guys on that week.

I'll gladly accept that role.

Q. Back to Justin for a quick second, if yesterday had been some kind of an epic battle with Vijay in which they both shot 68 and came down to the last hole, instead of him making so many putts down the stretch, might that have changed your thinking?

HAL SUTTON: It might have, Doug, but that's something that we'll just have to speculate. I've tried hard to say all year long that I didn't want it to be about one championship.

I don't know. That would be speculation. I'm not even prepared to answer that. That sounds crazy, I know, but it's a moot point. Justin played great. Could have won the championship; didn't. And I picked the two guys that I felt like could help this team and I'd like to focus on that if we could.

Q. Two questions for Jay Haas. One is are we making too much of this fatherly-figure thing, and the other is, what is your assessment of this team?

JAY HAAS: Well, obviously, you can't hide the fact that I'm 50 years old and the oldest member of the team and all that. But as I've said this year, I'm just trying to put myself in the mix of the players trying to accomplish this goal. I guess I don't look at myself any differently than any of the other 156 players a week, just a guy out here trying to succeed and never felt I was more or less than anybody because of my age.

The old saying that the ball doesn't know who you are or how old you are or whatever; it goes. If you hit it straight, it goes straight no matter who is hitting it, and I guess that's what I tried to live by.

Second part of your question, I'm sorry?

JULIUS MASON: The assessment of the team.

JAY HAAS: Well, obviously, you've got experience, you've got players that have been up there at the top for a long time. You know, on paper, as they say, it's a very strong team with the World Rankings and everything, but as we all know, that doesn't mean much when the time comes we will certainly have to perform that week.

I think it's a great mix of personal ties, friends, competitors, from top to bottom. Like Hal, I'm really excited about Chris Riley being on the team, excited about Chris DiMarco playing his way on there. Chris DiMarco, we played on the Presidents Cup team last fall and I really liked his sponge out there. I thought he wasテつ-- he made some great shots down the stretch in a couple of matches. And Chris Riley, as the players all know, is one of our top putters out there.

If you look at the tapes of past Ryder Cups, you see the team that wins is the team that hits the 6- and 8-, 10-, 12-footers consistently. You see highlights, here is this guy putting and boom, he makes it. Or here is another guy missing. The matches boil down to half a point here and there, and those half points are so important. You cannot discount the greens, and that's where Chris I think is the strongest.

Q. Definitely Jay and Stewart finished strongly, but they don't have great Ryder Cup records. Is that a concern for you; why or why not?

HAL SUTTON: No. But we didn't have many guys to choose from that had a Ryder Cup record at all.

You know, Jay is an experienced, seasoned, qualified player, and so is Stewart. Stewart was, correct me if I'm wrong, he went 4-0 in the Presidents Cup in 2000; is that right, Stewart?

STEWART CINK: Yes, sir, that's right.

HAL SUTTON: That's what I thought.

Q. For M.G., there have been a lot of references today, sort of dancing around the question that I wanted to get to, which is that players are scattered all over the world, but actually, many players around the world concentrate here now on the PGA TOUR. Just as a for instance, Scott Verplank finished 11th twice coming down the stretch, is there any process by which the PGA of America will look at the points list? Will you look at how the points are dispersed in the future engineers?

M.R. ORENDER: After the playing of every Ryder Cup, we review all of our policies. Before the articles recently had come out, the staff had done an analysis prior to the start of this Ryder Cup cycle. We belief that the way we do it now is eminently fair. And we went back and looked at where the impact would have been if you had gone to, say, to the 20 as points-getters and there was basically very little, if any effect over the last four Ryder Cups. So we're satisfied with the process that we have.

Q. We all know how close recent matches have been, but do you think this is a team that could and perhaps should win a by bunch of points?

HAL SUTTON: You know what, nobody everテつ-- unless it's Tiger Woods winning the U.S. Open by 12, we kind of forget how many we win by. Right now I'll settle for a win, whether it's a half a point or a half a dozen points.

You know, the European team is always up to the challenge. To go back to this gentleman's phrase right here, they seem to play above their weight; that, they do. Bernhard is going to be a great captain. He was a great competitor in the Ryder Cup Matches himself. I've experienced a couple of those times myself.

But the Americans are going to be up to the challenge. We are going to go in there with a mission and we're not going to settle for less.

Q. As some attribute their success to their alleged camaraderie, but there's a perception that they are the bunch that hangs around the bar by night and plays spirited golf by day, and we're more of a-milk-and-cookies, go-to-bed-early group. Do you buy into any of that or is it overrated?

HAL SUTTON: Damn, I was going to have milk and cookies by everybody's bedside every night. (Laughter.)

You know, I don't buy no that. Here is the scenario, really and truly. They come to America, they usually come alone, they know each other, they go to dinner with each other. They play in America a lot. We don't go to Europe very much. We have our families, we're independent contractors, we're all going different directions when the tournament is over with. When you watched all of us scatter out of town every week, you'd understand that there's really no time for us to do anything. We're usually so exhausted as the week wears on, we work hard by day, we eat our cookies and drink our milk by night, as you say.

But I will tell you this. If it's within my power, we will come together as a team and we will play like we are drinking beer together in the bar at night and playing golf together by day. So welcome together as a team.

Q. Sort of a general question, without doing the math, it looks like the U.S. Team is significantly older than what looks like the European team will be and they seem to have some generational turnover. Is there a concern that none of the younger U.S. players have seized on this opportunity, and is it crazy to think a captain could pick Bill Haas instead of Jay Haas to give him that experience, somebody that's unproven, but a talent for the long run of the Ryder Cup?

HAL SUTTON: I think we live in a world that's, what have you done for me right now, and the team, we've got the guys that are, "what have you done for me right now." I don't think any team is trying to sees any young player so that they can win the Ryder Cup ten years from now. I think every captain is trying to pick the guys and hoping that the guys make the team that can help them win that present Ryder Cup.

I think they have got a lot of young, unseasoned players on their team because their older, seasoned players didn't have the type of last two years that they needed in order to be on the team. They do have a changing of the guard.

We have a slight changing of the guard right here. That is just the life we live in. We grow older, we don't play as well and somebody takes over. (Laughing).

Q. Tiger Woods' record in the Ryder Cup has not matched his status as the game's leading player, do you think that having gone another year without a major win will give him extra motivation for Oakland Hills?

HAL SUTTON: I think Tiger's motivated to be the best he can be right now. I think he's challenged by it. Every time that I think Tiger Woods is challenged, he somehow rises to the occasion and I don't expect this to be any different.

I think everybody was watching Tiger Woods on Friday, thinking, well, this might be the very cut that he misses and he birdies three out of the last five holes.

I mean, Tiger Woods, if not the most talented player in the world, is one of the most talented players in the world. Tiger will be ready at Oakland Hills.

Q. You mentioned earlier that we'll find out in a month whether you made the right or the wrong decisionテつ-- stop laughing.

HAL SUTTON: Doug, I already anticipate this.

Q. How many points do you think that Bill and Stewart need to deliver for that to be a right or wrong decision?


Q. I said Stewart, didn't I? You said Bill back there. Someone messed me up. []

HAL SUTTON: Jay, you are going to play, right? (Laughter.) You did understand me to say you instead of your son, right? (Laughter.)

JAY HAAS: Even if I dress him up like me, he's a little too tall and has a little more hair.

HAL SUTTON: Might be a touch thinner, too.

JAY HAAS: That's right.

HAL SUTTON: I'm hoping that they deliver as many points as they can deliver. One thing that I want to set the stage for right now, and I'm glad you brought this up, Doug, we have maturity on this team. I really like the maturity of this team. I'm going to need maturity, because in the past, the U.S. has played to be politically correct. They played everything they felt like they needed to play in order for everybody to feel good.

We are going to do this differently this year. I'm going to ask everybody to be grown men be mature about what they are going to do and I'm going to play the guys that I think this can win it thing. If that means that Jay and Stewart play five machines, that means they play five matches. If that means they play two matches, that means they play two matches. And I picked two guys that I know can be mature about that; I hope y'all will be, anyway.

I'm going to go back to what the officers put on me to begin with; they said they wanted to win this thing. We are going to have to be mature guys to do that.

Q. From your own Ryder Cup experience, could you explain why the Matches or has been since 1983 always so close? I'm looking at the U.S. Team, there's five major champions and the European team is going to have no major champions for the first time since 1981.

HAL SUTTON: It's close. These are all great players. Everybody understands the significance of this. The fans speculate about it. They look forward to it. Y'all write about it. I've been going to Oakland Hills all summer and I'm watching this venue transform into one of the great stages in the game of golf. You cannot believe what's already at Oakland Hills in terms of getting ready for the Ryder Cup Matches.

I think everybody feels the importance of this. Players are doing everything in their power. They will start doing everything now that the teams, or the American team, is decided they will start playing their schedule.

I can safely say that I think guys will alter their schedule so that they feel like they can be in top form before the Ryder Cup Matches.

So when you do that on both sides, there are guys that feel ready and that's why it's close, they fight to the end. And stars major champions that are on the different teams, we have six and they have none; you figured that out, I didn't figure that out.

One of the things that I looked at that's interesting is that there's actually only going to be one British Open Champion out of the last ten years that's going to be on either team, unlessテつ-- I think that will be the way it will be, and that's Tiger Woods. That was one of the things that factored into it looking at Todd Hamilton. I happened to notice that.

Q. Being are you that determined to win, that you get there and there's somebody whose form has gone sideways, would you consider sitting them until Sunday?

HAL SUTTON: I don't know that I would totally sit them until Sunday because I don't think that's fair to throw them no the competition on Sunday.

But they will probably get a taste of it, but I'm going to stick to my guns. We are going there to win.

JULIUS MASON: PGA of America President, M.G. Orender, Jay Haas, Stewart Cink, and U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Hal Sutton.

End of FastScripts.

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