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September 27, 2016

Andy Sullivan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to the 41st Ryder Cup. Pleased to be joined by Mr. Andy Sullivan. Andy played quite well a couple weeks back at The Italian Open and seemed to get your game really back on track. How are feeling about your game as you see Hazeltine; is this the first time you've seen Hazeltine?

ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, this afternoon will be the first time I'll go out there and play. It was nice to go back out there and start playing again and not worrying about Ryder Cup qualifications. It was nice to have that weight off my shoulders and go back out and play golf again.

JOHN DEVER: You have some team golf experience, playing the EurAsia Cup and the Walker Cup, both I think winning efforts for you and your mates. Do you think that helps you this week or is The Ryder Cup a different breed of cat?

ANDY SULLIVAN: You know, obviously I think that will help you a little bit, but obviously The Ryder Cup is magnified tenfold. I think the pressure is obviously going to be much more, and you know, the atmosphere is going to be twice as much as it was probably as the other two events.

EurAsia Cup, there's a few guys on the team that have made it here, as well, so I think the team camaraderie and the bonding from there, it carries on into this, as well, so I think that will help.

Q. Despite this being your first Ryder Cup as a competitor, can you maybe shed some light on your favorite Ryder Cup moment as a fan or a spectator?
ANDY SULLIVAN: I think Medinah when Poults birdied them last three holes to get back to a halve, you could just see the momentum totally shifted there. Looking back, it was purely down to that match where Europe really come out the next day firing. I think that was one of the special moments for me watching.

Q. Obviously there's a hell of a lot of talk and hype around The Ryder Cup. Has it so far lived up to your expectations and what's been the favorite bit so far?
ANDY SULLIVAN: You know, the two weeks before, it was sort of -- obviously I know I'm on the team and it was exciting. I put on my travel gear Monday morning to get on the plane, and you just pinch yourself, it was actually real. Putting on attire in the morning, like I say, it was just a dream come true. I just can't wait to get going now. Like I say, sometimes I go to bed at night and just need to pinch myself that I'm here.

Q. Have you sought the counsel of the players that have been through a Ryder Cup before and asked them, what can I expect?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, I spoke to Rory a little bit and I spoke to a few of the vice captains and obviously Darren, as well, about it quite a lot. He said in America, obviously it's going to be an atmosphere and quite one-sided. I know what to expect in that sort of element of it.

It's okay, someone telling you what to expect, but obviously you'll take your own experiences out of it and realize what it's all about when you're there in the moment.

Q. I've been asking Rory about stepping on to that first tee at a Ryder Cup. Obviously you're yet to experience that, but many players describe it as one of the greatest stages in sports worldwide. What are your thoughts and what are your impressions on that?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Again, I've talked to quite a few of the guys about the first tee shot as well as other things and they said they are not sure which golf ball to hit most of the time. At the moment for me, it's massive excitement. But when Darren gives me the opportunity to play, I'm sure I'll be a little nervous but it's a Ryder Cup. I'm sure I wouldn't be human if I wasn't. Again, it's just amazing that I've got the opportunity to go and showcase myself on one of the biggest stages in the world.

Q. Apologies, but you probably answered this already. Wonder if you can give us a flavor of what it's like in the first 24 hours in The Ryder Cup team room and Ryder Cup environment?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, amazing, to mix with some of the best guys in the world and just have a chance to mingle with them all the time and pick their brains on what stuff you do and like how they approach it and stuff they do. It's just been incredible. It's really opened my eyes up to a few things in sort of preparation into tournaments and things like that. I think you learn from the best, and this is the stage where I want to be at in my golf game, and I want to learn from the best.

Q. Could you expand on that a little bit, what exactly you're picking up from them in terms of preparation?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, obviously just the timings of where you are going and things like that, just getting a familiarity with the place and things, and just handling, how you handle things just in general, like when you're walking onto the first tee and stuff, little things like that. Like remembering to breathe and stuff like that, Rory was saying.

You know, just little, only little things, nothing massively influential but again it might help me out in the long run of things.

Q. Paul McGinley had goldfish and European colors in the team room at Gleneagles. Can you talk us through the makeup of the team room here, anything unusual in there, any good images?
ANDY SULLIVAN: There's one absolutely fantastic image. I think it's a picture of a place where Darren lives near and it's rocks, basically, shoulder to shoulder. So that's his motto for the week. It's got a picture lined up of all the players, just shoulder to shoulder. It's quite motivating when you look at yourself on there and see the guys you're standing up next to. I think that's probably one of the best images there.

Generally, I think the best part of the team room is the darts board. I think that's where I'm going to find myself taking down a few of the boys in there.

Q. There's been talk in the ferocious buildup of maybe Tiger Woods being used as an intimidating figure for the rookies. With him being plonked on the sideline, is that something you would relish if he was watching you?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Anyone that came to watch me, I would be happy, but if Tiger come and stand next to me and watches me play golf, I don't think I'd get nervous. I'd want to impress him almost and just go out there and do my thing and give him a little smile and a handshake and congratulate him on what he's done for golf.

Q. When Rory was in earlier, he was talking about Davis Love's comment about this U.S. Team maybe being the greatest ever. Curious, what did you think when you first heard that and how much has that been spoken about in The European Team room?
ANDY SULLIVAN: You know, it hasn't been spoken about very much. But on paper, they are an unbelievable side and every one of them deserves the right to be there. You can see that.

But again, you look at it for most years, and I remember watching it on tele, and the buildups, Europeans generally go in as the underdogs. But as the recent years have shown, they have done pretty well out of it. So hopefully that's a common theme there and we get the job done this year, as well.

Q. Who is the heavyweight darts player so far, and is there a side competition or prize up for grabs?
ANDY SULLIVAN: I think Poults's caddie, Terry, is pretty good. I think he's going to properly take me down.

But at the moment, I'm top dog. I'm quite happy with that. I've only played two people, so I'm chirping a bit early, though.

Q. What is your first Ryder Cup experience, in person, on television -- not this week, but what were your impressions and memories?
ANDY SULLIVAN: I remember being very, very young. I remember watching it, because a friend of mine, Paul Broadhurst, played at Kiawah Island, and I remember it being quite hostile atmosphere back in that one.

But obviously Langer missing the putt to win, or to effectively lose it in the end. I think that's just what The Ryder Cup is about, isn't it, and things like that, and that's the things you remember. It can be on a knife edge at times. It might be a little bit of a hostile atmosphere, but I think that's the awesomeness and the pressure you play in and that's why it's so good to play in.

Q. However you want to define the word hostile environment, what's the closest you've come to playing in such a thing?
ANDY SULLIVAN: I haven't been close to playing in a hostile environment. It's just what I've asked people and that's what I've been told, that it's going to be a bit of a hostile atmosphere. I think hostile atmosphere is probably not the right word to use but it will be a one-sided crowd; it's in America and maybe not so many Europeans out here. That's that I meant.

JOHN DEVER: Thank you for your time and enjoy your week.

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