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September 26, 2016
JULIUS MASON: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you very much for joining us as we welcome the European Ryder Cup Captain, Darren Clarke, and United States Ryder Cup Captain, Davis Love III.
We are just four days away from the start of the matches, and before we hear from the captains, I would like to ask PGA of America President Derek Sprague to say a few words, if you don't mind, sir.
DEREK SPRAGUE: Thank you, Julius. Today as we gather here at Hazeltine National for the 41st Ryder Cup, all of us at The PGA of America join millions around the world in remembering the great Arnold Palmer.
Our PGA members have always had a special kinship with Mr. Palmer, who is a 56-year member of The PGA of America and the son of a PGA professional.
We also know he loved The Ryder Cup, once saying he cherished his relationship with the event. To quote him, "The game brings out the best in us, and the best will always bring out their games at The Ryder Cup."
He certainly did. No one in U.S. Ryder Cup history has won more than his 22 matches, and he was a perfect 2-0 as a Ryder Cup Captain.
It is sportsmanship that is the core value of The Ryder Cup, and the game has never known a more enthusiastic sportsman than Arnold Palmer. So it is fitting that we pay tribute to Mr. Palmer during the 41st Ryder Cup, to celebrate it in a very special way, the life of an unforgettable champion and gracious ambassador of the game. This celebration will include a video tribute and a moment of silence during the Opening Ceremony.
During the matches, the players will pay tribute to Mr. Palmer's life, and on the first tee, we will pay tribute to his great Ryder Cup legacy.
JULIUS MASON: Derek, thank you very much.
Darren, welcome to Hazeltine National.
DARREN CLARKE: Thank you.
JULIUS MASON: Again, very, very good to see you. If you wouldn't mind, can you let us know where you were when you heard the news, and maybe share some memories of Mr. Palmer.
DARREN CLARKE: Yes, it was last night, we had some of the guys that all gathered together at the Hilton hotel in Terminal 5 at Heathrow. We were watching the finish of THE TOUR Championship, and after going to bed, I saw a got a few messages come through about the sad passing of Mr. Palmer.
You know, it sort of puts into perspective a lot of things, but our sport wouldn't be where it is without Mr. Palmer. You know, he was obviously a very proud American, very patriotic towards The Ryder Cup. But more than that, he was a global superstar, and he inspired people all over the world to take up our great sport, and I don't really think that without his foresight, and indeed coming over -- he was one of the first guys to come over and start playing in The Open Championship, and he persuaded all the other top guys in the world to come and play it.
Mr. Palmer did an awful lot for the golf, our golf as we know it these days.
JULIUS MASON: Darren, thank you.
Davis, I caught a little bit of your interview this morning on Golf Channel, and you clearly were emotional. If you wouldn't mind just sharing some of your thoughts with us, please.
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, it was tough waking up this morning and starting over -- it was a shock last night, but starting over.
Doing interviews with Matt Adams and with Gary this morning really brought it home, trying to tell stories about really my whole life knowing Arnold Palmer. I was the son of a PGA professional like he was, and my dad always held Arnold Palmer in high regard. And I was the little kid at one time that Arnold would rub my head and say hello and ask, How are you doing, son? I've seen him do that a million times with kids since then.
He just meant an awful lot to our family. He was my inspiration as a golfer, a role model as how to act as a professional. I tried to sign autographs as well as him, as patiently as him, but I never lived up to that for sure.
But he was always more to me than just a golfer; he was a great friend and a great captain, a great leader. I know everybody on our team was just kind of crushed last night. I got the message while I was actually doing some recording for NBC. My son texted me. I immediately called Tom Lehman and it's just been emotional time ever since then for our team.
Just want to continue saying our prayers go to the Palmer family and to the golf world. This is a big blow for golf, but we knew it was coming, unfortunately, since maybe even before the Bay Hill tournament this year when we saw him. His legacy will live on forever, especially through The Ryder Cup.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you, gentlemen. Really appreciate that.
Captain Clarke, you landed a couple of hours ago at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. How was the trip over and how many people were on the plane with you?
DARREN CLARKE: There was 209 people on the plane. There was room for a few more, but we got 209 on there. I've come off the plane with a really bad case of hayfever. My nose is dribbling and running. It was a good trip. I managed to get six hours sleep, which is probably the most I've had in two months, so from that point of view it was good.
We are obviously all here now. The team will get together. The guys that reside over here in the States are all flying in probably as we speak. It will be nice to get everybody together back in the hotel this evening.
JULIUS MASON: Davis, you've been in town for a little white, you finalized your team last night. If you can maybe talk about that a little bit.
DAVIS LOVE III: I've been saying, I'm not sure if the last month, I've been based in Minnesota or Georgia. But I'm glad to finally have the team all here. Everybody's excited. We had a few guys in, in the afternoon yesterday, a few guys late last night. Guys have been arriving while I've been out here at the golf course today.
You can hear the roof of the tent blowing. We didn't have a whole lot of guys get out on the golf course. We had quite a few guys come out and get organized and get practice.
But we're excited and we're ready to go and we're ready to get the matches started.
JULIUS MASON: And before we go to Q&A, if you could, maybe just talk a little bit about your final selection in Ryan Moore, and if you have any other news to share with us today.
DAVIS LOVE III: Well it was a very exciting last few days, obviously the end of THE TOUR Championship, naming Ryan Moore. Unfortunately for Ryan last night, obviously the news of The Ryder Cup took a back seat. But it was exciting moments for us to watch Ryan finish, play so well. To name him to the team to start the ball rolling, for the logistics of actually getting him here, he was hopping on a plane to go to Las Vegas with his family last night. He was obviously very excited.
Great addition to our team. Obviously playing great. Had a great run with Rory yesterday and what an exciting finish to that tournament.
In the wake of that, we had some other exciting news. Bubba Watson obviously disappointed not to be on the team. But as our team has really bonded together over the last couple months, Bubba has offered a couple times to come and be one of our assistant captains, and I told him we had an extra red cart and we'd love to have him. So he's back at the hotel trying to get his clothes fit and get ready for assistant captain duties, much like Jim Furyk.
Jim didn't really know until maybe a week ago that he was officially an assistant captain and not a player. Our team has rounded out both on the captains' side and the players' side, and we're ready to go and excited to get to playing.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Q. For Davis, obviously Bubba's record, world record, World Ranking-wise and just missing out on the top 8 was pretty close. Can you go into what your decision making was on that, on where it didn't fit and whatnot, please?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, we had a lot of guys that were really close. I've been talking about Jay Haas's 3 X 5 card system. I had 11 guys and then I had probably another 11 that were possible picks for a long time.
And it was a tough decision. You know, we waited until the last minute to catch a hot player. Ryan obviously week after week after week after week was the hottest player since the PGA Championship, and even before, he's been the most consistent; in all of the statistics, in the Top-10 finishes, obviously a win. He's just been right there at the forefront for us.
It was obviously a very, very difficult decision between like the last four guys we watched, and frankly, I didn't think it was going to come down to the last day of THE TOUR Championship.
Julius will tell you, I told him weeks ago, oh, we'll have this figured out way before the TOUR Championship starts. And I was, of course, completely wrong, just because we had so many guys playing well.
Darren and I talked earlier; it was a tough situation for us to wait, to watch, and then to have a playoff to drag it out even longer. It was tough on our players, but you know, in the end, we got the hottest player and that's what the whole system was set up for.
Q. We haven't seen Tiger Woods in this kind of role before. Can you just specify, explain, what exactly he's up to and how he's going to contribute this week?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, now with the addition of Bubba, we've got quite an interesting group of assistant captains. I think when we started talking about this year's Ryder Cup, we felt like we needed experience with our assistant captains. We needed some former captain experience and some possible future captain experience.
Obviously Bubba rounds that out; major championship experience, Ryder Cup experience, on our side. We've got a great mix of guys that think differently, obviously. I said it last week: You couldn't put five guys together that were really that different of personalities that get along very well. And now we have Bubba, so we have six red carts out there and everybody is looking at it a little bit differently. Everybody has their own role.
I think it really adds a lot to have Tiger, his analysis of how to break down a golf course, how to prepare for a major championship. His analysis and his determination and his focus have really been helpful over the last couple months.
Q. You mentioned that most of your players were very distraught last night over the news of Mr. Palmer's death. Would you expect that to maybe give the team a little bit more inspiration going into this week, even more than they had originally?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, for all of us, obviously, we're not even 24 hours in, and the whole golf world -- that's what was so emotional about the Matt Adams call-in show, listening to the fans and the guys like Tom Kite calling in and talking about it. Being on the Golf Channel, watching a lot of the Golf Channel all day today; it's almost like we are all dealing with the loss of a family member, and how is that going to affect both teams over the next few days.
You know, these guys from The European Team, they respected and loved and played in his golf tournament and lived in Orlando and, you know, were under the same influence of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, just like they were the great players from the other side of the pond.
So it's got to settle in a little bit. There's a lot of times, I'm just sitting alone by myself and tear up. So who knows how it's going to play out for an inspiration, but I think we're just going to have to deal with it the next couple days.
Obviously Darren and I have changed speeches and changed a lot of things that are going to happen. And what a great gesture by the Palmer family to say we are going to have the services after The Ryder Cup, because that's what Arnold wanted. Arnold is going to want us to put this behind us and go play, and it's going to be tough to do, but we are definitely going to draw inspiration from his spirits. We already had pictures of him in our locker room and team room, and we'll add a few more. He'll be with us forever.
For a lot of us, he was our captain, as well, and will always be the King for us. It's going to be a different week for both sides, I think.
Q. You mentioned that the players would be paying tribute. How so?
DEREK SPRAGUE: We haven't worked out all the details yet. Obviously it will be done tastefully, and that's something that Davis and Darren are working out this week. But, you know, we want it to be very special on Friday when we open up the matches.
Q. Davis just touched on this, but the passing of Arnold Palmer, how does it affect your actual team room preparations, the motivational speakers you had lined up and what you were going to say to the players?
DARREN CLARKE: Well, what I was going to say to the players I'm still going to say to the players. But obviously with this passing of the King, it's a slightly different perspective on the whole thing now. He will be missed. He was a lot of those guys's heros, as well.
As Davis just said, a lot of the guys live in Orlando. They play Bay Hill. It will be a very strange thing to go into the locker room after you play the tournament and he's not sitting there. He was always very welcoming and his tournament was very special, amongst other ways that he was special.
It's just the same as Davis; he will be sadly missed, and I think the respect that we are all going to pay him this week is something that the man commands and deserves. He was a global superstar, in not just our sport. He transcended our sport. Arnie's Army was known worldwide, and we are as shocked and saddened over Arnold's passing as everybody else in here, I'm sure, is.
Q. Europe have obviously won the last three Ryder Cups. How significant is that, do you think, in terms of giving you a psychological advantage, or is that, frankly, irrelevant going into a new tournament?
DARREN CLARKE: I think it's irrelevant going into this week. Each Ryder Cup is individual in its own rights. We have had different scenarios going on in past Ryder Cups and this is a totally different one where we're currently under the shadow of Mr. Palmer's passing away. And you know, as Derek has just said, we will pay our respects, but come Friday we will be out there battling like the two great teams that we are.
It's something that whatever happens this week, it will be another great chapter in the history of The Ryder Cup, and certainly one that goes along with honoring Mr. Palmer, as well.
Q. We have been getting drone shots and aerials of the course for the past few months, so we were wondering with the players's preparation, if that helps and if any of them study that footage to get the makeup of the course.
DAVIS LOVE III: Not that I know of, but I got a cool shot out of the airplane that was unbelievable. I've been seeing those, as the course got constructed, all the grandstands and the tents, it's been amazing to see how big a project this was and incredible.
Our guys are studying a bunch of yardage books and greens books right now, and over the last couple weeks, been looking at the golf course. Our caddies have been out, both with us and without us. We've done a lot of studying. I haven't thought of looking at it from a drone yet or a blimp.
DARREN CLARKE: We had drone footage last Christmas, I believe, that some of the guys used. SKY Sports over in the U.K., I think they organized for the drone footage to be done. So the guys have seen it and they have obviously looked at it. Obviously with the majority of our guys playing over in Europe, as well, it has not been quite as accessible as what Davis's team members had to do. So they have looked at the drone footage quite closely.
You know, anything that can help guys prepare more, prepare a little bit better at an event, at a course that they may not be that familiar with, are certainly some aspects that they will be looking at.
Q. Have the recent storms altered the golf course very much?
DARREN CLARKE: I think Davis is in a better position -- he's been here more than me, so he'll be able to answer that one.
DAVIS LOVE III: Every time they dry it out, it gets wet again. It's been unfortunate. I think like Kerry Haigh today said, let's keep the carts outside the ropes and let's don't get inside the ropes. It's still a little damp. It's created -- Chris and his greens staff, from getting out and mowing as much as they wanted. It's created a lot more work for them.
But the bunkers have held up incredibly well. They had a huge bunker project last winter and obviously that has paid off, they haven't had to do too much work on the bunkers.
It's just wet. The fairways were -- I played a few holes a couple days ago, and you know, the fairways were not running but they were very, very playable. The course is in great shape, so it hasn't hurt anything except all the volunteers and the workers having to put in some extra work. But if we keep getting wind like this, it's going to dry up pretty quickly and be in great shape by Friday.
Q. When was the last time you talked to your assistant captains before making the last pick, and actually when you did make the last pick, at what point during Sunday did you say to yourself, "It's Ryan Moore?"
DAVIS LOVE III: Walking into the golf club last night at about -- what time did I arrive, Julius? 6:30?
I was watching with Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson back at the hotel. I was supposed to be out here all afternoon and we couldn't get away from the TV.
I had the other assistant captains on the phone back and forth, talking, texting. It was a painful process for us because every shot, every putt, seemed to change the order of who was going to win the FedExCup, who was going to win the golf tournament.
Then I hopped in the car, actually before Rory even hit his putt, I hopped in the car to head over here to do some taping for NBC. We knew we were close, but we just all had to make the call. Once I talked to all the assistant captains and we all were decisive, then we made the call. And then I showed up here and started talking to Julius about it.
But it was literally, we had to wait until the last putt was holed and make the final decision after that.
Q. Quick question on how impressed were you by Rory McIlroy's terrific last two rounds there at East Lake, in particular, and just quantify what he means to your team, please.
DARREN CLARKE: Obviously Rory is a very, very talented young man. He has played very well all year. Obviously he wasn't knocking the putts in, but he has done a little bit these past few weeks.
To have him go out and do that, and to shoot what he did on the back nine yesterday with trying to finish the FedExCup, I think that was very, very impressive. You know, Ryan Moore was very strong yesterday. Rory hung in there, gave himself some opportunities, didn't quite make it, and then made birdie on the last playoff hole.
Rory, he's a wonderful young man and an unbelievable golfer, so he's a hugely inspirational figure for our team, and I feel very lucky that he's on our European side.
Q. When did you actually reach Ryan? Where was he and at what point in the evening was it? And second thing unrelated, is there a captain's agreement about giving advice this week? Are you both allowed to; are the assistants allowed to during the competition?
DAVIS LOVE III: Darren and I are the only ones that are allowed to give advice.
I think I arrived here, like I said, around 6:30 last night and called all the guys that I had to call from here. And Ryan was about to take off for Vegas with his whole family, a big -- a full plane load. I said, "Where are you?"
He said, "I'm getting on the plane heading to Vegas.
I said, "You want to stop in Minnesota?"
After we talked for a little while, he said, "Should I really stop there or can I take my family home?"
So he ended up flying all the way home and dropping all them off and turning around and coming back up here this morning. I haven't even seen him yet. I've been out at the golf course, but he arrived at, I think, 2:00 or 2:15.
It was, you know, emotional. He and I had a couple emotional, frank conversations over the last few weeks, you know, as I had with several other players. So it was exciting to get him -- to get to give him that news because I know he's been on the bad end of that a few times.
And then obviously it's always difficult making those other calls, as Darren has found out.
DARREN CLARKE: (Nodding.)
DAVIS LOVE III: It's no fun. It could not have gone wrong with four or five other guys; obviously great players, great friends, and great young men that I've watched grow up.
It's always difficult to make those calls, but with all those, you get to make one good one, and that was a lot of fun.
Q. I wonder if you can tell us what you said to Bubba when he made a couple of suggestive remarks about if he wasn't in the team, he would like to be assistant captain and so on. And secondly, would you mind saying what he specifically brings to the team. You talked about what Tiger brings and the other assistant captains, but you didn't actually mention him.
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I'm a little too open sometimes, so a lot of our conversations I should keep in the team room.
You know, Jim Furyk did something incredibly honorable last year. When he was hurt, he offered to Jay Haas, I'll come to be assistant captain, even though I can't play. He and Tabitha came over to Korea and were a big part of our team. I thought that was just one of the greatest things I'd ever seen, a guy who doesn't get to play in a tournament but is still willing to pitch in.
But the first time I told Bubba, we've overlooked you with these first three, but hang in there, we have another pick coming. And then he offers, if you don't pick me, I would like to be assistant captain, before he even played THE TOUR Championship. And then he went out and played a great week of golf, 7-under par, I think.
And then I called him and told him that I was going a different direction again, and he immediately said, "I still want to be a part of this team, if you'll have me."
Incredible gesture. When I told the team members and assistant captains that were there last night, we're still in disbelief. I mean, Bubba's back there changing from player clothes to assistant captain clothes right now. We have a bag with his name on it already made. We don't have gifts for him as assistant captain, but it was just an incredible gesture, and I think that shows where our team is. We have this "12 Strong" and we have this "We Are 13" slogans, but we've got an extra guy now.
We have a lot of emotion over Arnold Palmer, a lot of emotion over a last-minute pick, but what Bubba did really shows how together the U.S. Team really is. We're excited to have him.
And what does he add? He adds a guy to drive our sixth red golf cart and be supportive. He and I have already talked about what he and I can do while the other four captains are watching a match, the strategies that we can do. He adds a lot of fun. He adds a different personality. But he brings a great heart.
I think people that don't know Bubba, he has a great, strong Christian heart. We saw that in Korea last year, and we're just thrilled to have him on the team.
He might could cry a little bit more than me, but I'll probably out-do him this week. But Bubba and I are always in a contest for who gets teared up the most or first. But we're just thrilled to have him. It's going to be a lot of fun.
Q. A lot's been made of the task force and whatnot over the last couple years since you formed it. Can you speak specifically to what some of the primary goals of that have been and how you hope it manifests itself this week?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, task force gets thrown around. The task force was a two-meeting, two-month process that formed The Ryder Cup Committee, very similar to what Europe has had for a long time. So now we have The Ryder Cup Committee, and that committee is the front office of Team USA Ryder Cup Golf.
I think the system has worked because we've been more organized and more structured and had more input. We have a bigger, wider scope of leadership. You know, we're now focused for the future. Obviously we had to build this team, but we're also building for the future at the same time.
Is our system perfect? I think no. Europe and the U.S. have changed our qualification systems quite a few times over the years. We've changed how many captain's picks we've had. You know I'm a big NASCAR fan; they changed the Chase every couple years trying to perfect it, or the FedExCup, trying to make the points work out the way they want.
Will we make some tweaks? Will Europe change their system again? We might. But really worked well. It was awkward on Jim Furyk; it was awkward on some of our guys playing last week. It was a new system for us.
I made some mistakes. We didn't know how to handle the phone calls after the three picks; who do you call, who do you not call. What do I do with Justin Thomas or Daniel Berger, what do I say to them before they go play THE TOUR Championship. Those things were very awkward.
We learned a lot this time. But we are very, very happy with the outcome. The 11 guys have been together for two-plus weeks working on who the last pick was going to be. Our team has really come together. Everybody's been really, really focused on it, and I think now that we have 12 plus Bubba, we've got the perfect team and we're just thrilled with the way the whole thing shook out, even though it was hard on the captain and I might have slept less than Darren (smiling).
Q. Just wondering what the atmosphere was like watching Rory McIlroy win that TOUR Championship last night with your team? Did it feel like he was almost putting a point on the board for Europe early with that win? And secondly, what does it feel like to be going up maybe against maybe the best team ever assembled, as has been mentioned?
DARREN CLARKE: With Rory doing what he was doing, he was the only European in there that's playing this week. To see Rory showing that fighting spirit and battling the way in which he did was wonderful.
With the guys that were traveling today on plane, we were all there last night with all our caddies down in the bar in the hotel watching it on the big screen. Obviously everybody was delighted and excited. Any time we see one of our members, as Davis would be the same for their guys, play well and win a tournament, it's obviously very, very good.
In terms of what you asked about going up against the best team in the world, that one you should ask Davis. I'll speak to you about our team, and I'm very, very pleased with our team. You know, it's great. We've got a wonderful mix of experience in there, and with all the rookies, as well, in there. I'm just excited. Our team is getting ready.
But certainly from a European perspective, it's always good to have one of our members win the week before The Ryder Cup. That was, obviously, a very enjoyable thing for all of us to watch.
Q. Compared to the American task force, who have you most consulted with over the last two years?
DARREN CLARKE: I've been doing it the same way as The European Tour keep on doing it. Obviously our system has been reasonably successful of late, so consequently that would be very foolish of me to try to make any changes to that system. The Tour run a very tight ship. They know exactly what happens.
So with having my vice captains again, those guys are very experienced guys. I have those; we've talked frequently and lots about different prospective pairings and team members. As opposed to Davis, we finalized our team quite sometime ago, so we didn't have everything that was going on with Davis last night with who was making a putt and who wasn't making a putt, and prospective team members, we have been very settled now this past while.
I've spoken to all the guys at length. They all know what sort of role that they are going to have within the team. And consequently, we all are here with the same goal. They all want to get here. They all are keen to get out there and play well.
You know, we didn't have a task force as such. We just keep doing the way that we've been doing it in Europe. We've been very fortunate that it's been a formula that seems to be very successful.
Q. You mentioned the slogans "12 Strong" and "We Are 13" earlier. When it comes to possible inspiration from Palmer, just wondered if you have anything visual planned for the players, a logo, perhaps, or something?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, there is -- and we're still working on the details. The PGA TOUR and the Palmer family created a logo and an Arnie's Army mention, and I think there's going to be buttons for the fans and pins for the players. As soon as we get those, Darren and I have agreed, whatever we do, we are going to do together. Both teams are going to do the same thing and honor the Palmer family wishes for whatever they would like to see us wearing.
Darren and I had a little chat right when he arrived, and you know, as everything we've done over the last year and a half, we've agreed that we're going to do the right thing for the game, and certainly this one for the Palmer family. But both of our teams want to honor the Palmer legacy in the same way. I think you'll see us all honoring him all week, I think is the best way to put it.
Q. What is your level of concern with six rookies on the team and your approach to get them ready for Friday?
DARREN CLARKE: Well, the guys, as you say, we have six first-timers on the team this year, but those guys, one of them is a Masters Champion. Those guys play a lot of their golf over here now anyway.
And I know The Ryder Cup is a totally different animal altogether, but those guys are ready and they are prepared. They have spoken a lot to the vice captains and myself over this buildup into the tournament. They know what to expect. The home support is going to be loud. It's going to be vociferous and rightly so; that's the way it should be. That's what makes The Ryder Cup so special.
You know, they are all so keen to get out there and play. They can't wait to get out and savor the whole atmosphere of The Ryder Cup. There's a wonderful mixture of youth in there, as well. And from a European point of view, they are really looking forward to it. They are excited.
Q. Are you glad that you didn't make the decision to choose your last player on the Sunday before the tournament this week? And secondly, in terms of team bonding, do you miss those times when Europe used to come over on the same plane and start the bonding process early; do you have memories of that?
DARREN CLARKE: To your first one, was I glad I didn't have to make a pick late last night like Davis, probably yes, because I can imagine watching it from my point of view with all the different scenarios, with so many of those guys playing well. It was always going to be a very difficult decision.
As Davis touched on, it's been very hard to call those guys and tell them they are not on the team. The good phone calls to say yes, you're part of the team are great. The hard ones are not so great. It was challenging, I imagine, for Davis watching what was going on last night. So thankfully our team has been settled for quite sometime.
In terms of all the guys coming over on the one plane, the sport we play now, it's a global sport. We play all over the world. Could have asked the guys to fly over to Europe to fly back here again, that would have been very foolish of me.
While the whole team wasn't together flying over, there was a lot of us on my plane. And that European bonding thing doesn't just happen when we get on the plane. That's been going on for quite some time.
Do I miss it, in some ways? Not really, we're all good friends anyway and we're all going to get together tonight.
Q. Every team has one or two leaders in its locker room. Who might emerge to fill that role for your team?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think that's a good question. We have a lot of really long drivers and we can't tell who is the longest; and we have a lot of great leaders and we can't tell who is really going to step up.
But what I've seen is the assistant captains over the last two or three months have all kind of helped me in different ways. They will continue to do that. But we have leaders that are -- of our 12 players, we have leaders that have already stepped up in past years, like Phil Mickelson. But we have several leaders, Zach Johnson, Jordan Spieth has stepped up to be a great player but also a leader in the locker room.
We are heavy on leadership and heavy on passion. We've just got to get out and play our game, I think is the only thing we have to do.
But we're excited about the 12 players, the six captains, the support team we have, and I don't think we've ever been as pumped up and as organized and as together as a family as this group.
Q. I understand you have an iconic sports figure, as you've described it, to speak to the team. Can you tell us now who that is?
DARREN CLARKE: No (laughs).
Q. And when are you planning for that to take place? Is that Tuesday or Wednesday evening?
DARREN CLARKE: Probably Tuesday. You know, much has been said about guys coming in and speaking to the teams and inspiring them and charging them up.
Davis's team is probably the same as our team; they don't really need fired up. The Ryder Cup itself is such a special event, even more so with the respect that we are going to pay to Mr. Palmer.
This is a sporting event between two great teams, and you know, we've had some very sad news last night, and we will play the tournament this week with the respect that it commands and deserves.
JULIUS MASON: Captain Clarke, Captain Love, thank you very much for joining us.
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