September 14, 1996
LAKE MANASSAS, VIRGINIA
WES SEELEY: We are joined again by Peter Thomson and Arnold Palmer. Having won three of the five matches, you may comment first on how the day has gone.
PETER THOMSON: Well, naturally I'm very pleased with the results this morning. Our fellows seem to have got the pace of play now. Yesterday we were sort of hopelessly behind, running to catch up and we got a real shock with really the quality of the play of the U.S. Team. But they've faced up to it now and they're beginning good matches now. I think from here to the end it will be pretty close.
WES SEELEY: Mr. Palmer, your assessment of the morning?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I can't disagree with Peter in that certainly the train changed a little bit this morning. I think from the beginning we knew that the International Team was strong and, of course, this morning they kind of showed that. On the other side of the coin, I think my guys are very aware of the fact that they've got their hands full and that they're going to have a tough battle for the next two days. But I also feel that they're pretty confident that they can meet that challenge.
Q. Peter, what was your words to the team last night?
PETER THOMSON: Well, it was a general discussion about things. I didn't need to tell them what's wrong, if anything. They had a day to think about some things. Some of them changed their putters, which I was glad to see. The results were much better this morning, just things like that. But they did all go to bed early, I noticed, straight from the course into the room and they had an early meal and they went to sleep pretty early, I think.
Q. Was the Ozaki and Singh beating Couples and Love a special psychological boost to the team?
PETER THOMSON: Yes, just winning the morning contest has been a boost. And I think the fact that, well, two big pairs, two big U.S. pairs were beaten, that gives us a great boost. I mean, they're all big pairs, but the big names, I suppose, were the ones that were vanquished.
Q. Arnold, could you talk to us a little bit about Mickelson not playing this morning, your thoughts on that and also Fred not playing this afternoon? Is that the back again?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I think, of course, I have to have two guys sit out, whatever. And I like to give all the guys as much shot at it as I can. I might have needed Phil this morning somewhere in there, but the other guys didn't play that poorly. They did their job pretty well. As far as Fred this afternoon is concerned, I think Freddie needs a rest. I think he has not played this time very much lately. And 36 yesterday, 18 early this morning, and I just think he needed a little rest, frankly. I think his day was suffering a little bit and if I see him out hitting balls, I'm going to take him back in the locker room this afternoon.
Q. Arnold, the Ryder Cup was such a great patriotic fervor in the crowd, the people waved the red, white and blue flags. Are you disappointed it's not the same patriotic fervor from the crowd as there was there?
ARNOLD PALMER: I'm not so sure there isn't that spirit. I think there's certainly a lot of it out there and I think as the match goes on, we will see more of it. I think this tournament has every opportunity and is taking on the responsibility of a good competition and things you're talking about. If we're lacking in any of them at the moment, I think that will pick up very quickly.
Q. Mr. Palmer, the O'Meara and Duval team is 3 and 0. What makes them a great team, first of all? And second of all, why did you decide to break them up?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I think maybe Duval, although he's very young and has played quite well, I just felt like maybe it was a good idea to give him a rest. I was really tempted to have that team go again this afternoon and I had really no good reason for not letting them go, except that I thought maybe alternating him a little and giving him a rest would help for tomorrow.
Q. What makes them such a nice team together? What makes their team work well?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I think Mark O'Meara is a very solid, conservative player and very accurate and consistent. And I think David is a hard hitter, more impulsive. And I think the combination of Mark kind of slowing him down and keeping him in stride helped him a lot.
Q. Peter, you talked about some of the players changing putters this morning. Overall, did they adjust to the pace and slopes of the greens better than yesterday?
PETER THOMSON: Yes. Yes, they did. But they still find these greens very, very difficult. They're unusual in the slopes that they have and they find them a bit of a torment, I think is the word.
Q. Who did change putters? I know Nick did.
PETER THOMSON: Nick did and I think Nobilo, I think.
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