October 19, 2000
LAKE MANASSAS, VIRGINIA
Q. Peter, it's got to be pretty discouraging to get blanked like that, especially when three of the matches went to the last. There were opportunities to salvage something, but all in all, it's fairly discouraging?
PETER THOMSON: You're putting words in my mouth. No, it was basically a shocker. And the only thing that's salvaging about it, is almost the identical thing happened in 1996. We ended up, we lost by a point. So don't write us off yet.
Q. Peter, was that pretty much the message to the players after today's play, not to lose heart and there's still plenty of time left?
PETER THOMSON: Yes, we had a little scrum, and that was the general feeling. They're all going to pull their socks up and play a bit better, with a lower score. And we'll see what happens then.
Q. In 1996, as you mentioned, the big lead was in the fourball matches. The International Squad has been pretty solid in the foursome matches. Is that a little discouraging?
PETER THOMSON: I don't know where this started, but we hate foursomes just as much as the U.S. team. I think it's a goofy game, frankly. I think that everybody would be happier playing fourball, both sides tomorrow and Saturday.
Q. Peter, just where it all went wrong, Norman and Elkington obviously got off to a horrible start. Did that set the tone or was there any themes; did the guys come back and said we weren't making putts, they were making putts, how did we dissect it at the end?
PETER THOMSON: Well, certainly Norman and Elkington were way off form. But that had no bearing on the subsequent games. Everybody out there were playing as well as they could. Well, most of my team, our Internationals made errors of judgment in their second shots and pulled shots off line and missed fairways, things like that. It wasn't a very high standard play today from our side, they know that and they're going to do something about it.
Q. In '98 the Americans often said that the International Team just kept making putt after putt and shot after shot. Did it seem like that to you in reverse today?
PETER THOMSON: It did seem so. But that's what's got to happen to win. You've got to hole those putts. If you didn't hole any putts you didn't play well.
Q. Peter, on the subject of Norman and Elkington, why did you decide to play them tomorrow morning?
PETER THOMSON: They need to play. They're not going to get better sitting on their bum. But if they play their own ball tomorrow morning, that might unlock their key.
Q. They were also mentioning on TV that Steve had some swollen hands that was affecting his games, is that true?
PETER THOMSON: I did not hear such a thing. He certainly didn't tell me that, no. It was Maruyama that had a flea bite or something. He had some treatment on his hand.
Q. Peter, Michael Campbell's haka on the fairway, was that part of the team strategy?
PETER THOMSON: Michael Campbell is Maori and he's very happy with his race. They do that at every sporting contest they ever take part in. It was at one time a war dance, and was designed to scare off the opposition. But I don't think it had that effect. I think we'll quit that, anyway.
Q. Peter, you've decided to wear the black ribbons as well today, what was your thinking on that?
PETER THOMSON: Well, I made it optional, but all the fellows wanted to do it. And I said to one on TV camera, that I thought after I read the morning paper that ship not only protects the United States citizens, it protects the rest of the world, as well.
Q. Peter, Robert and Stewart aren't going to play in the morning. There's some speculation that Greg and Elkington aren't going to play in the afternoon. Are you being harder on your own than you are on the others?
PETER THOMSON: On the Australians? No, not at all. I don't consider them Australians. They're one of the 12 and they're no different.
Q. Just to follow up, so Greg and Elkington are going to be the two to sit out in the afternoon?
PETER THOMSON: Maybe.
End of FastScripts....