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THE RYDER CUP MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 4, 2012
JULIUS MASON:¬† Good morning, everyone, I'm The PGA of America's Julius Mason and I would like to welcome those joining us on the phone lines from around the world and those right here at NASDAQ Market Site in New York City to the United States Ryder Cup Captain's selection news conference.
We have some very special guests in the audience that I would like you to meet, beginning with PGA of America vice president, Ted Bishop; secretary, Derek Sprague; honorary president, Jim Remy; the CEO and honorary PGA of America Member, Joe Steranka; from the New Jersey PGA section, please welcome president Bryan Jones; vice president, treasurer, Andy Brock; secretary, Scott Paris and executive director Scott Kmiec.¬† From the metropolitan PGA section, president Brad Worthington and honorary president, Joe Felder.¬† We are also joined by the 2012 United States Ryder Cup Captain, assistant, Mike Hulbert.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce from Hillendale Country Club in Phoenix, Maryland, the 37th president of The PGA of America, Mr.Allen Wronowski.
ALLEN WRONOWSKI:¬† Thank you, Julius and good morning, everyone.¬† It's certainly my privilege and honor to be here representing the 27,000 men and women professionals of The PGA of America around the country.¬† PGA professionals are the best at teaching the game, playing the game and promoting the game of golf, and it's been our core value since we started the association here in New York in 1916.
We are now just 23 days from the first tee shot being struck in the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club just outside of Chicago, and this will be the first Ryder Cup played in the State of Illinois.¬† As you know, one side already is in place for The Ryder Cup Team.
Last week the European Ryder Cup Captain Jos√© Maria Olaz√°bal completed his team.¬† On August 12, at the close of the PGA Championship, there were eight U.S. Team members that were locked into place.¬† Today we find out what players's collective stock has risen to earn a berth to complete the U.S. Team.
Before I introduce our captain, I have to say that it has been a pleasure and privilege to work with Davis, and he is an outstanding gentleman and we could not be more proud of you, Davis, in the way you've represented the game of golf and The PGA of America and The Ryder Cup.
Ladies and gentlemen, our Ryder Cup Captain, Mr.Davis Love III.
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† Thank you, Allen, and welcome, to Allen and all of you at the PGA who have been on my side and on my side, and up with me late last night; I appreciate all of the support.¬† My dad was a club pro and I grew up in the back of the pro shop like some of the guys on our team, and it's been an honor to be setting here.¬† It's been an incredible two‑year journey for me.
I have been anxiously awaiting this day.¬† I will be glad when this day is done when we can move on and tart playing golf.¬† There's been a lot of talk and a lot of pressure, and it's been very exciting to say the least.¬† But we have a great eight‑team member nucleus that we got as Allen said at the PGA Championship, with Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods, an incredible eight.¬† They have been playing great, obviously, all year.¬† We are very excited about them.¬† I could not be more excited about our team.¬† I'm very excited today to tell who you the next four team members be will.
It was obviously a tough decision.¬† We have a lot of guys playing great.¬† But I'm so excited about these four players, I can't tell you, and they are also very excited.
And our first announcement, this guy is probably the best athlete on the team, he's perfect for Medinah, I've been saying all along I was going to plug some holes in our lineup that I thought we had, and this guy will be playing on his second team, Dustin Johnson.
Then I've been saying that we also needed experience.¬† This next guy is one of the most consistent players on the TOUR, one of the most respected players on the TOUR, I've been in the team room with him five times.¬† He's played on eight; this will be his eighth team and he was 5‑0 in his last international match; Jim Furyk.
Our next player fits the role of one thing I've been saying a lot, that we need hot putters, and there really has not been a hotter putter on TOUR since the British Open and he brings a lot on and off the golf course, brings a lot to the team room, and he can pair really with anybody on our team, which I think is a great asset.¬† This will be his first team, Brandt Snedeker.
And then last but not least, and if you read between the lines, but not in any particular order, except that we are doing it by height, and we left off alphabetical in points list and things like, that figured that was a better way to do it.¬† Certainly, a guy that's been the best player in my mind on TOUR the last five or six years, another guy that pairs well with anybody, and another great putter, and somebody that I really trust on and off the golf course, in the team room, has been a great asset to me already getting prepared for this night, this day, this last night, is Steve Stricker.
I can't tell you how excited I am that these four guys are going to round out our Ryder Cup Team.¬† I think as I said, we are looking to match guys up.¬† We are looking for pairings.¬† We are looking to plug some holes.¬† We are looking to add some experience, add some putters.¬† These guys all fill those roles perfectly.
I think we have got a great team.¬† I think we are extremely deep this time; I think deeper than we have ever been.¬† I can't tell you how excited for the next 22 days I'm going to be to talk to these guys, work with these guys, make some pairings and get ready to play some golf.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Thank you very much, Captain; Allen. Davis, if you don't mind, we'll go to the phone lines to get some thoughts from your picks.¬† Let's go in height order.¬† Dustin, are you with us today?
DUSTIN JOHNSON:¬† I am.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Say good morning to your captain and tell us what your feelings are this morning.
DUSTIN JOHNSON:¬† Good morning, Captain.¬† Obviously I'm very excited to be on the team.¬† I'm really looking forward to this.¬† I think that I've played well the last few weeks to make my pick pretty solid and I'm really excited about it.¬† I've played The Ryder Cup and The Presidents Cup both away, so I'm really looking forward to playing one on U.S. soil.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Thank you, Dustin.¬† Let's go to your second announcement, Davis; Mr.Furyk, are you with us this morning?
JIM FURYK:¬† I am, Julius.¬† How are you doing?
JULIUS MASON:¬† Very good, thanks.¬† Say good morning to the Captain and give us some thoughts, please.
JIM FURYK:¬† Good morning, Davis.¬† How y'all doing.¬† I'm extremely excited.¬† I've had the opportunity to play in quite a few Ryder Cups, but Davis is a good friend and someone that we all respect and look up to.¬† It will be fun playing for one of the guys that I have played a lot of years on the PGA TOUR with; so looking forward to it, and I can't be more excited this morning.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Thank you, Jim.¬† Selection No. 3, Brandt, good morning, are you there?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:¬† I'm here.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Say good morning to your captain and let us know how you're doing this morning.
BRANDT SNEDEKER:¬† Good morning, Captain Love.¬† I'm doing great.¬† So excited to be on this team.¬† It's been a pressure‑packed couple of weeks for me, but it's been all worth it.¬† It's such a huge opportunity for me to be in my first Ryder Cup and look forward to getting to Medinah and making Davis look like he's a genius and play as good as I possibly can.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Thank you very much, Brandt.¬† The fourth selection, the shortest of the four, Mr.Stricker, good morning.
STEVE STRICKER:¬† Good morning, everybody, Davis, Julius.
Yeah, obviously very excited to be a part of this team; that's an understatement.¬† Just because you all know how much fun it is and how much pride we take to be part of this team, and to play for Davis is going to be a thrill.¬† I've been a friend of Davis for a few years, and you know, he was with me there at Wales, kind of leading me around in the first group off on the Sunday finals against Lee Westwood.
So I'm really looking forward to it.¬† It's a great time.¬† It's great camaraderie between the players and getting to know everybody, and it's a tremendous amount of fun trying to get that one common goal and trying to win that Cup back.¬† So that's what we are all gearing for and looking forward to.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Thank you very much, Steve.
Q.¬† There's always as much focus on who made the team and who didn't.¬†¬† I wonder if you can talk about how tough it was to leave off Hunter two won twice this year.
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† It was tough to leave anybody off.¬† I think as I said, this is probably the deepest, strongest year of earning points that I have seen.¬† There was a lot of guys that played a lot of really good golf, and you can analyze the numbers up‑and‑down and back and forth.
It was tough to leave, really, anybody off, because we could have gone very, very deep this year down the points list, to keep the points list running, a lot of different things.¬† It's tough to leave anybody off.¬† There's four great players that we have picked that are all playing very well and bring a lot to the team.
And it was definitely a tough call for me.¬† And I'd like to thank my assistant captains who gave me a lot of great input.¬† The eight players on the team gave me a lot of great input.¬† And it was a tough decision, but I felt like in the end, we rounded out our 12 the best way we knew how.
Q.¬† I just wanted to ask how much weight you gave the last two tournaments.
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† I kept saying that I wasn't going to watch a whole lot of golf the last couple weeks.¬† I was at The Barclays, but I got to watch the weekend (laughing).
I did watch a lot.¬† I honestly don't know how much weight we put on it except‑‑ you know, not really the numbers, but how guys were putting and playing.¬† You know, I didn't say, well, one guy finished T‑6 and one guy finished T‑20 so we are going to give him an edge.
I watched from the beginning of the year, like Keegan Bradley, making that putt at L.A. and Phil making that putt at L.A. to get into a playoff; Keegan making the putt at Akron; things like that was when I was looking for and not particularly scores.
Yeah, the last two weeks, kind of what happened, what Hub and were saying is that there were some guys that were feeling the pressure to make the team.¬† Really since the British, since the PGA, a couple of guys have really stepped up and handled that pressure very, very well, and that was a big factor.
Last week and The Barclays were important, but not ultimately the deciding; kind of really the last few months of good, consistent play is what we were looking at.
Q.¬† Can you just talk about how tough last night was?¬† Can you walk us through the process of how you came to your decision, and did you call Hunter and Rickie and tell them you weren't going to pick them?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† I talked to a lot of guys that we didn't pick last night, and that process was very difficult.¬† Fred Couples gave me some very good advice.¬† He goes, "I'll give you something to be nervous about; the speeches you're going to have to make in front of millions of people."¬† That kind of made me feel a little better, took a little bit of the pressure off.¬† (Laughing).
I've been on the receiving end a couple times of, I didn't pick you, I'm sorry phone calls.¬† And they are tough.¬† It's probably the least thankful part of the job, but it's part of the job.¬† And again, as Corey Pavin said, "You're the captain.¬† That's why they picked you."
It was not enjoyable.¬† But the process was, we just‑‑ we have been watching.¬† It wasn't just last night.¬† I think all our assistants and the guys on the team will tell you that it was not just last night.¬† It was a long, long process.
I'm really thankful to our veteran guys on the team who have really stepped up; Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker; guys that have played a lot on these teams have helped me a lot.¬† And then my four assistants have been invaluable.¬† We have put a lot of thought into this.
Again, it wasn't just last night.¬† Last night was‑‑ I kept saying, I'm just delaying the inevitable. ¬†I have to make a decision and make some phone calls.¬† It was a long time coming.¬† I know my wife, Robin and I, we are usually pretty good sleepers, and we like to sleep in.¬† And that has not been happening much the last two or three weeks.
If anything affected my play with this Ryder Cup Captaincy, it's lack of sleep.¬† I don't think it bothered me when I was out on the golf course.¬† I think I'm just tired of not sleeping and thinking about it so much.
You put so much effort and passion into it, and that's why I've missed some teams, why guys don't play well trying to make The Ryder Cup Team; it's because this is a pressure‑packed part of the year.¬† When you get down to the summer and you know the points are going to end at the PGA Championship and the captain is going to make some picks, it was tough on everybody.
It was not a long night.¬† We got it done a lot earlier than I thought.¬† I thought we would be up till midnight and not sleep at all.¬† Once it was over, I finally did get some rest, and I'm excited to take these 12 guys, who I think they have totally bought into that this is their team, it's not Davis's team; this is the U.S. Team, and they are going to get golf bags that say 'USA' on it.¬† They are not going to say not 'Davis' or 'Captain' or 'Hub' or 'Fred,' and they have bought into that.
They have had a lot of input and we are all confident in the direction we are going.¬† I'm excited about it; that it's starting.¬† It's not over.¬† Now it's starting.¬† Now we get to go play golf.
Q.¬† You talked a little about putting, the importance.¬† With regard to Dustin, for example, you talk about filling holes, will you tailor Medinah to some degree and tweak it to help you out?¬† Obviously you're allowed to do that.¬† Can you talk about that and how much of a factor that will be?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† You don't have to tailor Medinah.¬† You know what you've got.¬† As Tim Finchem said about The Barclays, is that "this is a big ballpark, isn't it."¬† That is a big ballpark, and it's perfect for us.¬† I love Dustin Johnson on that golf course and I love really our whole team on that golf course because we have a great driving team.
I did watch a lot of golf the last two weeks and our guys are really driving it great.¬† That suits Medinah.¬† I think if you look right down the list, you can just poke at any of the names and go, man, he's driving it great.¬† I think that's a big key.
Obviously Dustin, since he came back, I played right around him because I was right near the lead the whole week at Memphis and I watched him play a lot firsthand and obviously on TV and hung out with him right after he had won in the locker room.¬† Dustin came back putting very, very well.¬† He was hurt; couldn't hit a lot of balls, but I think he putted a lot.¬† He's putted great since he came back at Memorial and been putting very, very well.
You know, obviously when you look at Furyk, Stricker, Snedeker, that's a lot of good putting in that group.¬† So we are definitely excited from that side and the way they drive it.
Medinah it's a big, long golf course that's going to have fast greens and it's going to look like a Major Championship.¬† I think a lot of guys on our team are really used to that kind of golf.
Q.¬† Can you give us an evaluation of The European Team, especially with the way Rory has been playing lately and also have you been thinking of pairings yet?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† Oh, yeah, we have been thinking about pairings.¬† Been thinking about it‑‑ we are basing our picks on pairings.¬† You have to start thinking about it.¬† I think we want our guys to know generally who they might be playing with, because they are getting ready to go play two big weeks of golf.¬† They are going to be playing together and they are going to be hanging out together, and we want them talking about it and we want them starting to match up, pulling this team together.
It's tough in golf.¬† It's not like USA Basketball who got to travel a bunch together and play a whole bunch of games before they got to the Olympics.¬† We are all going to show up Sunday night, Monday morning and have to go get it.
The European Team is obviously great.¬† They are playing well.¬† Jos√© Maria, like me, had a tough choice and he did a great job.¬† You know, I know they are going to be tough; they are every year.¬† But I can tell you this:¬† I love my team.¬† I'm excited about my team, and I can't wait to see how it matches up.¬† We put our four out there and they put their four out there, you never know what's going to happen, but it's going to be exciting for sure.
Q.¬† You said you wanted hot players; in that regard, did Johnson and Snedeker more or less separate themselves from everybody else coming down the stretch?¬† And could you even foresee pairing them because they are hot and because of the driver/putter combination?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† I think they would be a good team together.¬† We have got a lot of great match‑ups.¬† The hardest thing now, you think, well, this day, we got this over with; now it becomes a little easier.¬† Now we have to figure out four guys to sit out Friday morning.¬† Picking the matchups is probably easy.¬† It's sitting out hot players; you can't look at the list and say, we don't really know anybody that we need to sit out.¬† It's going to be tough to make that call.
They both have come back from injury, Brandt and Dustin.¬† They both came back right at big tournament time.¬† First tournament back for Dustin was Memorial; that's not an easy golf course to jump back in on there.¬† I think he was probably like Top‑20 there and won next one.
Brandt starts The Open Championship and comes right out, has a chance to win and he's played consistently since then.¬† Yeah, they came out hot.
The hard thing was, I laid it out early on when I thought we needed, and we stuck with it.¬† I need Jim Furyk; I need Steve Stricker.¬† All of the guys on the team will benefit from those guys being in the team room, being in the locker room.¬† Those guys, as I said, can pair with anybody.¬† Gives the team a lot of confidence.
And then you can't argue with the golf that Brandt and Dustin have been playing.¬† So I think it matched up well, and it really did kind of lay right out there for us.¬† And that's what Hub kept saying, these two guys, with the pressure on, have played very, very well.
You know, you go back to Akron or you go back‑‑ you can pick a lot of places where Steve and Jim have been very consistent year after year after year.¬† Steve Stricker has been I think our most consistent, in‑the‑hunt, best player, for five, six, seven years, and the only guy to ever win the Comeback Player of the Year back‑to‑back.¬† The guy just plays consistent, steady golf, and he's a steady influence on a lot of players.¬† Obviously there's a couple pairings of guys playing with Steve Stricker, and that's what you want.
Q.¬† You're going to bring four rookies to Medinah and Europeans will have only one.¬† However, your eight veterans have played more career Ryder Cup Matches than the entire European Team.¬† Can you talk about how much you're going to lean on your veterans for leadership for the young guys, as well as the importance of having a mix of veterans and Ryder Cup rookies?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† Yeah, you definitely need some of both.¬† You need the youthful enthusiastic energy of the young guys, but you also need the calming influence.¬† I know the best thing that ever happened to me playing Ryder Cup golf was Tom Kite.¬† Tom and I were friends.¬† We had been through a lot.¬† He beat me in playoffs.¬† I watched him hit a million golf balls, but we had not played a Ryder Cup match together.
When I got to play three Ryder Cup Matches with him, it just set me up for understanding what The Ryder Cup was all about.¬† You take a Brandt Snedeker and put him out there in his first practice round with Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker, pretty much that's all you need to do.¬† After one day, he'll be ready to go.¬† And you pair him with a veteran, a Furyk or a Mickelson or a Stricker or a Tiger Woods maybe, those guys will lead him along, and that's what it's all about.
Building a team and camaraderie are what The Ryder Cup is all about.¬† I think our team will tell you, we pull together a lot better than people think we do.¬† And then the only thing we do is we try too hard because we are so together.¬† We get in our own way a little bit.¬† That's going to be our goal.¬† We've talked about it a lot.¬† Fred's talked about it a lot, about what he's done to have our guys loosen up, have fun, and go play golf.
And these guys know how to do it.¬† We just have to go do it for three days at Medinah.¬† But I think we have got a great group of guys that are going to mesh well together.
Q.¬† Brandt, if you can hear me, I just wonder if you can take us through leaving TPC Boston yesterday and getting the phone call from Davis, what that was like, and how excited you were, if you can give us birdies and bogeys, hole‑by‑hole description of that?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:¬† Yeah, it was a little nerve racking.¬† I didn't have any clue really.¬† People kept telling me that I thought I would know something, but Davis played is very close to the vest.¬† I had no clue one way or another.¬† Got on the plane, got here to Minneapolis and got a voicemail from Davis just asking if i brought my putter from Boston and if I wanted to be on the team.
I was just so excited when I got here.¬† Couldn't hardly sleep last night, I was so excited, so excited this morning.¬† Just a huge, huge thing for my career.¬† Last few years, I really tried hard to make this team, and to accomplish that is a very humbling thing.¬† But also, now I'm on the team so have to make sure that we play well so we can keep that Cup in the U.S.
Q.¬† Based on your experience in The Ryder Cup, 24 players are in the top 36 of the World Rankings.¬† That has to be one of the strongest Ryder Cup teams on both sides.¬† I just wonder if you can talk about that.
JIM FURYK:¬† Yeah, I wasn't aware of that.¬† As a player, I don't think you look at the stats quite as strongly as you do in your position.¬† It's pretty phenomenal, really.¬† To have 24 players of the top 36 is mind‑boggling.¬† As Davis said, really happy with our team.¬† It's really strong, but we have our hands full.¬† There's a strong team on the other side and we'll have to play them real tough.
Q.¬† Davis mentioned the importance that Tom Kite had on him when he was a young Ryder Cup player.¬† Do either of you have someone that you can point to that took you under their wing or calmed you down when you were a rookie Ryder Cup player?
JIM FURYK:¬† I definitely made some mistakes I think my rookie year.¬† I spent too much time practicing.¬† I wore myself down.¬† I did the classic‑‑ made the classic rookie mistakes.
But my calming influence, I played my first match with Tom Lehman and second match with Lee Janzen, both guys that I looked up to.¬† I played a lot of golf on TOUR with Tom Lehman and I used to joke that every time I played with Tom, I played very well.
So it was kind of‑‑ he was a calming influence and someone that I was very comfortable playing with.¬† Even though I didn't get the point in that match, I learned a whole lot about Ryder Cups.
STEVE STRICKER:¬† I guess for me, it would have been, you know, maybe Davis and Jim, I started making these teams when I was either my 39th or 40th birthday; so I guess I was a little older than normal than some of the other guys.¬† Being able to spend some time with Tiger out there, a guy who has had a tremendous amount of history in The Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, he's been a pretty calming influence on me out there.
But you know, really, going back to Wales with Davis, the captain, he took me under his hand for that initial match out, I guess it would have been Monday, the final, the singles day.¬† They put the trust in me to lead the team out there in singles.¬† He was right there in my back pocket all the way.¬† So he's given me a lot of confidence and calming influence along the way, as well.
Yeah, it's important to get that from a multitude of players.¬† It's a nerve racking situation and you want to be prepared.¬† There's guys, obviously older guys, that have to step up and help some younger players deal with that situation.
Q.¬† You talked about looking forward, maybe dreading this day for quite a while.¬† Was it as difficult as you thought it was going to be?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† I think it was more difficult.¬† You know, it was tough to make the phone calls.¬† I think that's the hardest part.¬† The decisions on our four players was actually a lot easier than I thought.¬† The phone calls, because we had a lot of them, a lot of great players that are not on this team; guys are going to make a lot of teams; guys that are going to have a shot at winning the FedExCup the next couple weeks.
This process that the PGA of America set up has work very well.¬† Now we can have a little space between the PGA Championship and when we make our selections.¬† But there's still golf to be played before The Ryder Cup, and there's some guys that are not on the team that are going to play some really good golf going forward and I hope that happens.¬† I hope they play very, very well.
It was a long process.¬† As I said, it wasn't just last night.¬† It wasn't just this last week.¬† It was definitely tougher than I thought.¬† But again guys like Corey and Paul Azinger and Freddie who have been there before, were certainly a big help to me.
Q.¬† How much did your team change from the day you left Kiawah to now?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† I don't think it changed.¬† Who we were thinking about didn't really change much.¬† I think it just solidified with Brandt and Dustin; that they really played well under the pressure.¬† They just confirmed what we were thinking.¬† They held up under tough pressure.¬† They played a lot of great golf since the PGA Championship.
Like I said, I think we were just delaying the inevitable, wait until the last minute to study for the test.¬† Hub was up there at the PGA with me.¬† I think we were pretty close back at the PGA.
Q.¬† Obviously Stricker and Furyk have a lot of experience with Tiger, playing with him.¬† Does that give you a certain comfort level, or are you kicking around different ideas for possibly some new pairings with Tiger?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† Well, Tiger/Stricker's worked pretty well.¬† Tiger's driving the ball unbelievably, putting well and I would say the same for Steve.¬† So they would continue to be a team, that we are certainly going to look at.¬† Freddie gave me some good advice:¬† You're going to take your assistants and a couple guys in the room and come out with the pairings.¬† I think once we do that, we'll be a little more clear.
You know, Tiger, Stricker have had great success.¬† Steve just said; Tiger makes him feel comfortable.¬† Well, you know what, I think Steve makes Tiger feel comfortable, and that's what you want.¬† You want those guys to both be comfortable with the pairing.¬† Let them go practice early in the week.¬† I wouldn't want to play Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods, for sure.
Q.¬† When you walked off that 18th green yesterday in Boston, did you think you had done enough to make the team?
DUSTIN JOHNSON:¬† I thought I made my case pretty solid, but, you know, like I said before, it's ultimately up to Davis to pick what he thinks is best for the team.¬† You know, I'm happy to be on the team.¬† I'm really looking forward to it.¬† I think I bring a lot to the team.¬† I really think I can help.
Q.¬† I had a sense talking to you in the scoring area that you didn't think maybe you had done quite enough.
DUSTIN JOHNSON:¬† No, I thought I did enough.¬† Obviously, you know, being off during the year puts you a step back, but all of the events I've played in this year I've played really well, I've played solid, so I think I made my case pretty strong.
Q.¬† Your eight veterans and their Ryder Cup careers, they fared pretty well in singles matches, not so much in foursomes and four‑balls.¬† Do you have a theory of why that is and what can you do to turn that around?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† Well, one theory is that the European Team is always strong like us and it's always pretty close.
When you go back and look at records, you can pull out names of Hall of Fame guys and you think, well, these guys must have had an unbelievable Ryder Cup record and you look at them and you go, wow, they have a terrible Ryder Cup record.¬† You never know.¬† Pairing guys up is tough but playing The Ryder Cup is tough.
Tom Kite should probably should have a lot better Ryder Cup record but he got stuck with me for three straight matches.¬† We played Jos√© Maria and Seve Ballesteros, three straight matches.¬† That's not fair to Tom Kite; stuck with a rookie kid and has to play the Spanish Armada three times in a row.¬† You never know; you can analyze it, analyze it to death on the numbers.¬† But you know, we have guys that pair up very well this time.¬† That was something crucial that Paul was telling me is you've got to make sure when you're picking guys, you're picking pairings and who is going to sit out, things like that.
I'm excited about the teams that we are going to put together and how they are going to play.¬† We really didn't study the records quite that much just because I know from being around seven teams that a lot of great theories on Thursday night, and you go out and play, and one team will lose 2‑down, but they lost to a team that was 11‑under par; and another team will win, and they will come in and tell you, gosh, we played terrible and we were 1‑under and we won.
You never know who you are going to get matched up against, what's going to happen from the other side and how the matches are going to go.¬† A little bit, throw the records out.¬† Right now these 12 guys, there's not going to be‑‑ maybe two or three pairings that have played together in a Ryder Cup.
It's hard year‑to‑year to keep getting the same guys over and over and over again.¬† Obviously we talked about Stricker, woods, they have a history.¬† But Jim Furyk was 5‑0 in his last international match, but I don't even know who he won those matches with.¬† I just know Jim Furyk knows how to win matches, and he's going to take somebody out there and be a tough competitor.
Q.¬† Just listening to some of your hours about the putt Keegan holed in L.A., for example, and the way you answered John's question:¬† You start out with Kite, a statistical nut at Valderrama; you seem to be just the opposite.¬† True or false?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† I'm not a statistical nut, know.¬† You have to remember, I've been talking to Bob Rotella since 1985 so we try to stay away from analyzing the stats, just get into the process, not the result.¬† (Laughter).
Jack Lumpkin will kit me down and say, "I'm studying the stats, so here is what you need to work on."¬† But he doesn't tell me, wow, you really stink out of the bunker, look at your stats.¬† He says, "I've looked at the stats, I think we need to work on hitting it in the fairway more with your 2‑iron and 3‑wood and we need to work on your bunker play."¬† That's the way I look at the stats.
If you go and say, well, I can't pick this guy because in these two Ryder Cups he didn't win any matches.¬† Well, guys playing good right now is who we want.¬† Like Jim Furyk said, he's not looking at the stats, either.¬† He's thinking, how are we going to go win this Ryder Cup, who am I going to play with to win my match this year and I think that's really all that matters.¬† Past history, I know the other side's not looking at our record; well, what has Dustin Johnson or what has Tiger Woods, what's their record.¬† They know at Medinah they are going to be up against long hitters that are perfect on that golf course and that's really what matters.
Q.¬† In the old days, you used to play simulated matches against a challenge team prior to The Ryder Cup.¬† Are you going to be getting the team together before Medinah to play some simulated matched?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† Yeah, I'm going to have them play the BMW and THE TOUR Championship, and play with a lot of pressure for a lot of money for two weeks.¬† (Laughter) And then we are going to go.
It's good and it's bad that they are busy.¬† I asked a couple guys last night, I said, okay, you're playing great, you made the team, now make sure you rest up a little bit.
I think Dufner taught me a lesson early, three or four weeks ago.¬† I need to get ready, so I'm going to do some things differently than everybody else so I'll be ready for THE TOUR Championship and The Ryder Cup.
But they are going to have to play a lot of golf going in, and that's good.¬† Like I said about USA Basketball, we don't have time to go do anything else.¬† I can't say, hey, everybody meet me at Medinah your one week off, in a big, busy stretch and we are going to play all week at Medinah the week before you go back to THE TOUR Championship to try to play for the FedExCup.
No, we are not going to do that.¬† We have a lot of guys who have played a lot of golf at Medinah and a few guys that have not played any.¬† All of the guys that have played Medinah will have four days when they get there, and a couple guys might go play, but no, we are not going to.
I saw simulated football yesterday at the Giants practice.¬† We are not going to do any no‑pads matches.¬† We are going to talk a lot about what we are going to do when we are there.¬† I think getting prepared mentally for everything that's going to happen that week is very, very important but these guys will be golf ready for sure because of the events they are going to be playing the next two or the next three weeks.
Q.¬† I know you've got your assistant captains who are obviously going to be playing a big part in this and you mentioned Jack Lumpkin.¬† In the past, captains have brought other members of the delegation; is Jack coming?¬† Is Mark coming?¬† Any other people from North Carolina perhaps going to be part of the delegation?
DAVIS LOVE III:¬† Well there's a guy from North Carolina that hangs around Chicago golf courses quite often, so he may be around.¬† I was on the 23rd floor of the hotel last night and thought of Air Jordan.¬† He's been a big part of what Fred's been doing the last few years.¬† I've talked to Michael.¬† Michael's going to be hanging around with Fred probably a lot and be an influence.
I told Michael this a couple weeks ago.¬† One of the neatest things I ever saw in The Ryder Cup was Michael riding in the golf cart with Tom Kite.¬† I thought‑‑ he came out to watch Freddie and I play and I thought that was one of the coolest things.
So I want my team, like Fred did, get to see Michael.¬† Rather than him sneaking around in the gallery, I want him to be seen and I want him to be in our team room and be hanging around and be a great influence.¬† I have a couple other guys like that that are going to be hanging around.
My brother, Mark, he and I are busy with another tournament at Sea Island two or three weeks after The Ryder Cup, so he's been helpful to everything I've done in golf and he's going to be there.¬† I told him, I just want you to sit in the cart and ride around with me and tell me what I'm supposed to be doing.
He'll be a trusted advisor and he was probably a little too busy for the assistant captain's role.¬† He's going to be a big part of it, and obviously my whole family is going to be there.¬† Drew Love is trying to figure out if his golf coach will give him a week off to come watch.¬† They are very excited about it.¬† I don't know if Lexi Love can get off; she's helping run the McGladrey Classic and I don't know if she can get a day off.¬† Obviously it's a big thing for our family and for our town.¬† We have a lot of people coming up there.¬† It's going to be a lot of fun.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Questions?¬† Questions twice?¬† Dustin, Jim, Brandt, Steve, congratulations once again and thank you very much for joining us today.¬† For Ryder Cup general chairman, Don Larson, we look forward to your hospitality at Medinah Country Club at the end of this month.
Allen, Davis, thank you very much for today's availability.¬† Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain's news conference.¬† Thank you very much for joining us and enjoy the day.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports