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September 27, 2014

Graeme McDowell

Rory McIlroy

Justin Rose

Lee Westwood


SARAH GWYNN: Thank you very much for joining us and well done this afternoon. Lee, down there, we'll start with you.


SARAH GWYNN: You've moved to second in the all-time Ryder Cup points list this afternoon. It must be a very proud moment for you.

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, very. To move above Seve Ballesteros in Ryder Cup points is something that I guess you just don't ever imagine doing. He's just such a legend and a Ryder Cup legend that I would never have dreamt of it. I've always said The Ryder Cup is not about individual points totals and stuff like that, which it's not. It's about winning the Cup for Europe and winning as many points as possible. But if you perform well and to be in with names like that, it's obviously very satisfying.

JUSTIN ROSE: (Shaking Lee's hand).

SARAH GWYNN: A battle out there but you must be satisfied to take half a point from that match.

JUSTIN ROSE: It was a complete contrast to the game this morning. This afternoon I would say both teams really struggled and both of us had a hard time trying to close the door on that match. Obviously we put ourselves in a hole with 1-down playing the last and Martin just really picked me up, really, and said, "Come on, we really deserve to get half a point out of this game." That made the task simple, really, playing the last. Everything else was forgotten, all the mistakes that we'd made prior to that. Suddenly there was a job to do on 18. We caught a little bit of a break or the U.S. caught an unlucky break with the lie they got in the bunker, because that was probably the decent spot to miss it. Martin hit a good bunker shot and it came down to a 5-, 6-foot putt, and it was nice to get something out of the day.

SARAH GWYNN: Rory, first win for you and Sergio, massive confidence boost for tomorrow, isn't it?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, it is. It was nice to get our first full point on the board and contribute that to the European cause. And yeah, I mean, Sergio and I struggled for the most part yesterday, but we came out and both played a lot better today. Just great to get a win and be a part of what was a wonderful afternoon session, and obviously going into tomorrow, we have a lot of momentum on our side. But at the same time, we just need to cast our minds back to two years ago when we were in a similar position to the U.S. Team. There can't be any complacency on our side. It's going to be a tough battle. We know the U.S. Team are going to come out strong and we need to focus and get the job done and try and win the session tomorrow.

SARAH GWYNN: Graeme, you and Victor, that was one hell of a partnership, isn't it?

GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, a hell of a lot of fun the last couple of days playing with Victor. Talked about it last night, he's a world-class player and he's really showed how good he is, how classy he is on the world stage this weekend. I think him and I were both disappointed not to be on the golf course this morning, but I think it paid dividends this afternoon. Our legs were fresh and we were fired up and ready to go again. You know, we ran into a team playing their fourth match, and you know, perhaps that was the difference. We got off to a fast start; they didn't, and it was nice to put that one away kind of early enough, and kind of got off the golf course and rest and get ready for a big singles battle tomorrow. Like Rory said, we were there two years ago. We know what can happen. Complacency is a word that's been the buzz word in our team room this week. It's something we've worked hard onto avoid complacency, and believe us, we'll be working hard on that tonight again.

Q. If you take yourself back to when you were in the team room, having finished Saturday and you're 10-6, what were the sort of things that you were saying to one another in that room that sparked you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: You talking about Medinah obviously? We were just talking about that in the locker room just now. Talking about how important Justin's putt on 18 was with Martin. Because any glimmer of momentum that they had, say they win that match, they take something with them into the locker room. And that's what happened to us at Medinah two years ago when Rory and Mr. Ryder Cup there did their thing coming down the stretch when Poults birdied the last five. You know, despite the fact that we were in a hole, it elevated the whole team. We took some momentum and some kind of level of belief into the locker room and it kind of filtered through all 12 players, and there was a level of belief that was in the room that was not there the evening before, even though we were in much worse shape going into Sunday than we were going into Saturday. Like I say, that's why that putt for Justin was so huge, because it gave them nothing to take away this evening. We're under no illusions, they'll come out all guns blazing tomorrow morning, like they did this morning. We weathered the storm and managed to have a great day, but we're expecting them to be fired up and we've just got to put our team together correctly tomorrow and be ready for them.

Q. Can you go back to that time at Valderrama and give us some memories about how he helped you then and the influence it's had in the eight Ryder Cups since then?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I think he captained like he played: Very flamboyant, unpredictable. You just remember him wanting him to do everything himself that week. Basically would grab the club out of your hand and want to play the shot, which was his passion for the game and passion for The Ryder Cup. I was very lucky at Valderrama. I was playing -- I sat in the team room looking around, and Seve is the captain and Nick Faldo is my partner, and sat over there is Bernhard Langer and there's Ian Woosnam over there and Monty and Txema, just people I'd grown up idolizing, and suddenly I was 23, 24 years old and sat in a roomful of my heros. You know, Seve being the greatest of those, because no disrespect to the others, but he's probably the most charismatic player that there's ever been. So it was pretty easy to play in that Ryder Cup to be perfectly honest. It was probably the most special one. I think everybody remembers their first one, but when you've got Seve as a captain and so many of your heros around you, you're going to remember that.

Q. Could you have imagined then that you would have amassed more points than him?
LEE WESTWOOD: No, your first one, you're just happy to be involved. It's a tough qualification process to get to the point where you actually play in The Ryder Cup, and then you play in The Ryder Cup and you just want to win a couple of points and contribute to what is hopefully going to be a winning side. You don't look nine Ryder Cups down and 17 years in advance (chuckling). I don't want to look 17 years in advance from this moment, I know that. You're basically just happy to be playing in a Ryder Cup, and once you've had a taste, you want to play in more and more. Myself and Jamie were talking about that out on the golf course; what a lucky experience it is to be involved in it and get to know the lads all better and hear those roars from the crowd. I was saying to him, you're going to see it up in the next event and it's going to be like, where is everybody kind of thing, because nothing can match The Ryder Cup and the atmosphere.

Q. Fatigue seemed to be a factor this afternoon. Does it register when somebody like Jimmy Walker, he just looked really tired this afternoon. And Justin, your swing on 17, was that fatigue and perhaps one of the reasons your game wasn't quite as on key this afternoon?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I mean, there's no doubt, Rory and Justin I think were the only two players on our team that played four. It's difficult to do. Victor and I, the captain said to us getting ready to go out in the afternoon, he said, you know, this team -- this is the fourth match. You guys are fresh. You guys are ready for this. I said to Victor, Jimmy Walker hit a tee shot on 3 that not many people in this media centre would be proud of (laughter). I mean, you know, that had to be tiredness, it had to be. I said to Victor, I said, "Listen, let's show these guys how energetic we are, let's show these guys how up for this we're and really try not to give them an inch." There's no doubt it's physically demanding for the guys that play five times. It will show this afternoon and it will show into the singles tomorrow. The captain, he's been very committed to his selections, leaving and resting players. Like I say, Victor and I were disappointed not to play this morning, but we understood and we understood the reasons why he was resting players and trying to keep players fresh. There's no doubt it's paid dividends, I think myself and Victor and Jamie and Lee going out yesterday afternoon fresh and winning points, and again this afternoon.

JUSTIN ROSE: My swing on 17, that might have been more a mental error through tiredness than a swing error, for sure. I hit a good strike, good 6-iron, just ballooned up in the wind and after you hit the shot, you think, what was I thinking, 6-iron was never getting there. So wasn't really a physical problem at that point. It was just a decision-making point, which at the end of a long day, is as relevant as the physical stuff. So the key for us is to be mentally sharp tomorrow. I think we can all walk around a golf course and put another good swing on it for another day. Just being mentally committed is going to be the plan tomorrow.

Q. Can you give us some detail, please, anything in particular that you guys will do tonight to ensure you don't get complacent, as Graeme was saying? What will you do?
RORY McILROY: I'm sure the captain, Paul, has a couple of videos lined up for us just to make sure that we aren't complacent or have any thoughts of complacency going to bed, because again, as we know, we've seen it happen before: Brookline in '99 --

GRAEME McDOWELL: Might have a few clips of Brookline for us.

RORY McILROY: Yeah, Brookline in '99. But then, again, show us some clips of a couple years ago at Medinah when we were in a similar position to the U.S. Team, all just to keep it in our mind that we can't go out and this isn't a walk in the park tomorrow. This is much more than that. This is a challenge. This is, we're going to have to go out and stay focused and stay committed to what we've done all week, which is try our hardest on each and every shot until the very end. As Graeme was saying earlier about Paul, you know, he's had a purpose for each and every one of us on the team, and I think that's been -- that's been fantastic. He's had a plan all along and he's known when to put players in, he's known when to take players out, and he's had that plan all along and I think that's been brilliant. I think he's done a really good job with that. It's definitely one of the reasons why we're in this position going into Sunday.

Q. What about the fact that Manchester United beat West Ham today and really got sent off have any effect on your place in the team, do you think?
RORY McILROY: I'm just happy that United got a win without a sending off. Yeah, it's a step in the right direction, I hope.

SARAH GWYNN: Thank you.
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