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September 26, 2014

Thomas Bjorn

Stephen Gallacher

Martin Kaymer

Ian Poulter


PAUL SYMES: Gentlemen, thanks for joining us. Ian, difficult start, seemed to struggle to get things going out there.

IAN POULTER: Yeah, wasn't obviously what we were looking for. I think we was looking to get off to a fast start. That didn't happen, and we couldn't seem to get anything going. Putts weren't dropping when we had good looks, and we missed when we had outside chances and a few putts were left short. All in all a disappointing morning.

PAUL SYMES: You must have been delighted with the reception on the first tee and something you'll cherish for a long time I'm sure.

STEPHEN GALLACHER: It was a special reception on the first tee, something that I definitely will remember for the rest of my life. It was great to get going. Just a pity about the result, really.

PAUL SYMES: Moving on to you, Martin, frustrated that you couldn't quite get the job done in the end?

MARTIN KAYMER: It's a little disappointing, especially if you lead all day. We started off very well and we were 3-up after four holes. Then Jimmy, he chipped in or hit the bunker shot -- he holed the bunker shot on 9 and chipped in on 16, which was a little surprising. But I guess in match play, those things happen. We were 2-up, three to go. That's why it's a little bit frustrating that we got only half a point out of it. But we had enough chances. Especially I had a chance on 17 and 18. And on 17, I have to make that putt, and unfortunately I didn't. But a half point is better than none.

PAUL SYMES: Thomas, 12 years away, I'm sure it's great to be back in The Ryder Cup fold.

THOMAS BJÖRN: You make me feel so old (laughing). Yeah, it was nice to be back. I thought it was a bit of things going through the head this morning, but it was nice to get on the golf course. Martin and I get on well. We've known each other for a long time, and it was nice to get out there. The week, it seems so long before you get going. So we got out on the golf course, we were very comfortable with each other, and felt a bit more comfortable than I thought it would have been. Yeah, it was a good day. We mixed it up well and unfortunately we didn't quite close it in the end, but we had a good day on the golf course, and a lot of good positives that we can take away from this morning. So we live to fight another day.

Q. How did you feel emotionally when you walked on to the first tee and when you were standing there?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: It was just euphoric, really. It was very exciting. It was good to walk on with Ian, as well, who has been there and done it a few times. Yeah, the first tee in a Ryder Cup is special, but obviously special in your own country. Takes it to another level I think. But it was what I expected, basically, and a bit more.

Q. You're talking about the reception, the atmosphere was what you expected, but I don't know about with you guys, but just standing around the golf course today, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. Is it difficult, especially when you have the home crowd rooting for you, is it something that made it quite hard for you to focus 100 per cent on your game?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I think your first Ryder Cup, obviously there's a bit of excitement and a bit of sort of, don't really know what to expect. Took me maybe five or six holes to get into it. I was a bit out of rhythm. But I would rather have the fans on you and cheering for you than not, if that's what you mean. I don't feel anymore pressure at all to be honest, no. All of the other guys on the team, as well -- it's a team game. It's not down to me or anything like that, and I know the fans here are very partisan and they will be cheering us on for the next couple of days, and I'm sure that they might become the 13th man.

Q. I don't think a lot of people expected two Ryder Cup rookies to come out and play against you and do so well. Can you talk about what you saw in Patrick and Jordan today?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, of course. They're two great players. They're two excitable players. Jordan has had a great start to his career, same with Patrick. You know, when you're playing against guys who are rolling putts in, then you're going to be hard to beat, and that's exactly what they did very well today. I thought they ham-and-egged very well. When one was out of position, the other one was right in position, and they holed the putts. And that's what you have to do in this format. Better-ball, you need to make birdies, even with tough pin locations, even with the tricky wind that we had out there on the golf course. You still need to win holes with birdies, and we didn't do that today and they did. Hats off to them. They played very well.

Q. Were nerves an issue for you or was it just a matter of it not going for you this morning? You talked about the euphoria of standing there on the first tee. It's a very difference experience from anything else on the golf course.
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I think there's nerves any time you play. It's just you learn to channel it and that's why you've got pre-shot routines and things like that. Maybe a wee bit to start with. I didn't feel under any pressure at all, really. I was really looking forward to it, and it just didn't really pan out. That was all. Didn't quite play that well. And then when I did start to play well, I never capitalized on it by holing the putts. You know, the two guys we played against, like Ian said, played very well. They dovetailed very well, and when one was out, one was in. It's tough to beat. We just never got the birdies. That was all.

Q. You've been something of a talisman for the European side in recent years, but you were struggling with your game somewhat this morning. How important is it for you to get to grips with it over the next few days in terms of Team Europe, and also how do you go about doing that, because it's such a quick turnaround?
IAN POULTER: Me personally or the team?

Q. You, personally, and for the team.
IAN POULTER: Obviously my record has been pretty good. So you know, taking a dent this morning, I can shrug that off and look forward to tomorrow. This is a team game and they have to beat 12 of us. It's not just about singling one or two guys out. This is about us digging in when we need to and that's exactly what we need to do as a team. Me personally, I need to hole a few more putts and that's what I didn't do today. I left a few putts short, which is very frustrating. But this is a strong team and a team that you'll see fight very hard right till the end. I would fully expect the guys out on the golf course now that are fresh and ready to go, playing with passion and doing what they do best.

Q. A lot of guys seemed to not make putts that I think they probably thought they would make today. Was it the speed of the greens? What was it exactly about this golf course that made it more difficult?
IAN POULTER: There's probably a couple of factors. You know, the wind on certain greens, in particular 7 and 8 are quite exposed. It gets quite windy when you're standing over the putt, the ball, even as slow as the greens are, kind of oscillating slightly. You're trying to factor in a straight putt; is it going to move right-to-left in the wind, isn't it going to move. That's also very, very tricky. And these greens are very subtle. It's not like the slopes and the breaks are easy to read. Most of these greens have tiny little subtle breaks. So that's why I think some of the guys, one, will be affected on pace, because the greens are slightly slow; two, the wind; and three, the breaks are very subtle.

Q. Are you disappointed to not be back out this afternoon, given what happened this morning, and did you know that you weren't going to be playing?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I'm not disappointed at all, no. Like Ian said, there's eight fresh guys chomping at the bit ready to go out and do their part. It's ultimately down to Paul, what he sees guys fit for certain -- everybody's got a role to play, and the guys in the afternoon are out there just now, and they are raring to go and see what happens at the end of the day.

Q. Did you know at the start of the day that you wouldn't be playing this afternoon?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Pretty much, yeah.

Q. We all expected you to be playing this afternoon, because you've been so successful in the past; do you feel a feeling of being dropped or rested at this moment?
IAN POULTER: I knew I wasn't playing this afternoon. It's very difficult to play everybody in five matches in The Ryder Cup. You know, obviously the first two days, you've got four groups to go out morning and afternoon. So guys have to sit and rest. We've got a very, very strong team. We need to keep that team as fresh as possible and make sure everyone gets a good rotation and a good amount of games. I was fully aware that I was going out once today and that I could have a rest this afternoon to see exactly what was going to happen on the board. I knew I wasn't playing five coming in this week, and I probably didn't want to play five coming into this week. Not many people have been able to play five and win five, and there's a reason of that is because it's very tiring. So I'm 38; we've got some younger pups on the team that might be able to do it better than I can.

Q. Nearly the same question. Are you disappointed not playing today in the afternoon, and when did you know that?
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, we talked about it already on Tuesday and Wednesday, what my ideal scenario would be, if I want to play two, three, four or five, and I told Paul what I would like. And what Ian said, to play five matches after what we have done playing the FedExCup and playing so much golf recently, it's very difficult to get 100 per cent. I believe the guys on our team, they are motivated and ready to go. Obviously I would have loved to play, but the end of the day, it's not about our egos here. And I'm sure Paul, he has a good tactic and a good strategy. I'm not disappointed. When I play, I'm ready to go. If I'm not playing, then I will try to rest and I will get the point the next day. The way I did in 2012, when I didn't play Saturday at all, that made me feel like, you know, I want to contribute something to the team tomorrow. So you are almost a little bit more motivated, which is fine. I can rest now and I'm ready tomorrow morning if he puts me in the team.

Q. In the last few years, you've been an assistant captain; has that helped you now, bringing some more experience as a player again?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Not really, I don't think. I said it earlier in the week, the hard part for me this week is to realise that I am a player and not really concentrate about all these other guys, what they are doing. My role is to go and deliver on the golf course, and I've been very determined and focused on that this week. I'm not -- I don't think being behind the scenes brings that much experience to how you hit the golf shots. I was comfortable on the golf course, and it's down to having a good partner and a good friend walking behind us in José Maria. So that was the most important thing for me today, just to get out on the golf course and feel like I'm back being a player and not just sitting on a buggy watching golf.

Q. From your record and your experience in this competition, you have quite a leadership role on the team. Does it make it harder to play that role when you've been well beaten like that?
IAN POULTER: No, obviously it's a loss on the board, whether that be 5&4 or 1-down or however that be. I don't look at it as a heavy loss. I just look at it as a loss. Ryder Cup is very black or white. It's very simple: You lose or you win. I said to Stevie walking off the golf course today, when I played with Darren Clarke in 2004, we had our butts kicked the first time I ever played, and obviously we've had that today. But you know what, things can change very quickly, and we have to keep our heads up right now. It didn't quite work for us on the golf course, but we have to look forward to the matches we're going to play ahead. This is a tricky golf course and tricky conditions, and I don't think the scores are as low as what some people are expecting out there. So we have to stay focused, be strong as a team and go out there and deliver. If my role is to play twice or three or four or five times, then whatever I get asked to do, I will go out there and do whatever I'm asked to do.

Q. Can you give us your assessment of the atmosphere, sort of noise vibe?
IAN POULTER: Incredible.

Q. Compared to other Ryder Cups in particular.
IAN POULTER: Incredible. To walk to the first tee with Stevie, at home for him, that was a special moment. He's going to remember that for a long time and I'll remember it, as well. It was an amazing atmosphere. But obviously we couldn't do our bit to get them really loud, and that's the bit that for us I think was disappointing. We really wanted to get them going today, and personally in our group, we just couldn't quite do that. There's a sea of people out there. This is a great golf course to have spectators around. The banking around the golf course, everybody gets a good view. So the atmosphere's great.

PAUL SYMES: Thanks a lot for joining us, chaps, and we'll see you tomorrow.
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