September 14, 1996
LAKE MANASSAS, VIRGINIA
WES SEELEY: Give us your impressions on what has transpired since last we talked.
PETER THOMSON: Well, I'm part of a very happy team, as a result of today's play, both this morning and this afternoon. I think everybody must admit that the event has suddenly come alive. It can be seen to be a real contest between two teams which are pretty equal. It's part of the fact that we had the best of it today, that doesn't really mean that tomorrow will be the same.
Q. Peter, was the win by Vijay and Jumbo this morning over Couples and Love, was that a big turning point, do you think?
PETER THOMSON: Well, it was one of three games that were pretty important. But as I said, I think around midday that our fellows were shocked the first day at, what do you call, the pace of play was pretty fast, a lot of birdies and really hot stuff. And I think that rocked our people. They perhaps thought it was going to be a bit slower than that. But when they faced up to that on Friday night they came out with a better attitude and a few changes of implements and they were a much more effective side today.
Q. The other two matches you thought were significant?
PETER THOMSON: My head is in a whirl. But Price and McNulty.
WES SEELEY: This morning was Price?Elkington and then Norman/Allenby.
PETER THOMSON: Yes, those -- what do you call -- the big names.
WES SEELEY: Arnold, could we get your impressions on what transpired today just in general?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I was naturally a little disappointed that we didn't have a better day than we did today. On the other hand, I don't think anyone from the beginning of these matches would have thought that there wouldn't be anything but a very close situation. The talent on both sides is tremendous. And it would have been very, very unusual if either team had run away with this. I'm a little saddened that we aren't a few more points ahead but I expected a good match and we're getting that. And I think my guys played good. They showed a lot of guts and I think it will make for great match tomorrow.
Q. For Arnold, just talk about the significance of O'Meara's chip at 18 and salvaging a point.
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, that is very significant. If you just think about it, if we lose the hole the matches are dead even going into tomorrow and that means that we or the other team can have no slippage. You've got to win 7 matches to take the trophy. Now if tomorrow should be a split, well, we would be in pretty good shape with that shot and that's significant, I think, very significant.
Q. Spares you an envelope pick, too.
ARNOLD PALMER: No. It does not.
Q. It does not?
ARNOLD PALMER: I still have to make the envelope choice tomorrow morning.
Q. I thought all the matches, singles are played to conclusion.
WES SEELEY: Yes, so it cannot be --
ARNOLD PALMER: That doesn't matter, they can still tie. What you're saying is that there can't be a tie and there can be. There's six matches and anybody --
WES SEELEY: No, actually we have to have whole numbers tomorrow. The only tie we could have would be 16-16 and we can't get to 16-16 because all of these singles matches will be played to conclusion.
Q. How about if it's an injury and a half a point each?
ARNOLD PALMER: That could be.
WES SEELEY: That could be the only situation.
ARNOLD PALMER: You're right. We can't have --
WES SEELEY: That's correct. We can only have whole numbers, full points will be earned tomorrow. So we can't get off the half, unless we have an injury.
Q. Do either one of you have an injury?
PETER THOMSON: No.
ARNOLD PALMER: And to me it's no.
Q. Peter, the greens, was there more to it this afternoon --
PETER THOMSON: These greens are difficult, and they'll never get easy, ever. If you follow the games you'll see that, well, everybody misses putts here that perhaps you think they should hole because of the slopes. Both sides missed enough opportunities today. It was even putting, I thought, today.
Q. This is for Peter; did you specifically put the two freshest guys on your team to lead off this afternoon? Was that to ensure that point?
PETER THOMSON: Yes. They were ready to go and it was logical.
Q. Was there a thought that you might split fresh guys up with some playing guys or did you specifically want to win that point, considering who they were playing?
PETER THOMSON: Well, I wanted to win the point but how could I be sure I would win the point?
Q. That's what I'm saying, did you put the two freshest guys there to ensure that you could possibly come in with the winning point?
PETER THOMSON: I'd like to say yes, but I can't say for sure.
Q. Because the two guys you had weren't on best form, do you consider that a pivotal match to get the afternoon off?
PETER THOMSON: It was an unknown. It was one of those question marks. But it worked out just as we hoped. I had a nice sleep in this morning, breakfast in bed, all that sort of thing, came out fighting.
Q. Did either one of you have a strategy as far as your lineup tomorrow, what order you wanted and how do you feel about the lineup now?
PETER THOMSON: Well, it's simple strategy that somehow you leave your -- some strength at the end because if it gets tense and tight you want fellows at the end that can handle it. Not that they all can't do it, but we want the tried and proven players there to carry the real responsibility.
Q. Just talk about Norman a little bit. He goes 0 and 2 yesterday, today comes back strong. Did you get a chance to talk with him one-on-one, what was his mood?
PETER THOMSON: Well, I don't think he was that weak on Friday. He suffered defeat but he wasn't that weak about it. The answer is no, we didn't discuss it.
Q. Arnold, was your strategy for tomorrow the same, put your strongest players towards the pins?
ARNOLD PALMER: I kind of followed Peter's lead there a little bit and that was kind of the way it worked out. There were only a couple that probably went away from what I really thought I would like to do and so that's -- that's pretty much it. I don't think you could have gone much another way.
Q. Would you talk about Duval, you've got him going off early, he's 3 and 0.
ARNOLD PALMER: Yeah, he is earlier than maybe I originally had anticipated, but he's playing good and that's the way it is. I couldn't really -- I had a little strategy that I worked out in my mind and that just came out that way.
Q. For each Captain, please, your plans for your team this evening and what kind of messages will you be delivering, if any?
PETER THOMSON: Well, as it happens we have a very friendly barbecue tonight.
ARNOLD PALMER: Together.
PETER THOMSON: The players mix. So unless they come to blows it will be a very nice evening. (Laughter).
Q. As you watched Scott and Mark work their way up the last hole struggling, was there any point where you were resigned that you were going to lose that half point there?
ARNOLD PALMER: Hey, with the ball where it was, I had to recognize the fact that there was a pretty good chance we'd lose the hole, but never gave the point away, if that's what you're asking me. I've seen a lot of things happen and that wasn't the highlight, that wasn't one of the highlights. I think that was one of great shots I've seen, though, in that situation.
ARNOLD PALMER: And I wanted that shot.
WES SEELEY: Tomorrow's first match is at 12:20. And the matches will proceed at ten minute intervals thereafter. Brooks and Parry will be at 12:20. Anything else?
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