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September 28, 2016

Jimmy Walker

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

JOHN DEVER: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the 41st Ryder Cup. Pleased to be joined by PGA Champion Jimmy Walker.

Jimmy, thank you for your time, sir, and welcome back to your second Ryder Cup. Did you prepare physically and mentally any different than you did leading up to Gleneagles in 2014?

JIMMY WALKER: I had a week off at home and my friends prepped me at home. We played games. They made signs with a lot of European players on them. You know, poking fun at me and the team. It was very lighthearted and fun, but that's how I prepped. It was fun.

Didn't get to do that this year because there was no break.

JOHN DEVER: You played really, really well in September. So is the state of your game in good shape right now?

JIMMY WALKER: Yeah, I feel good. It's been great. The last couple months have been awesome, and I think this is just kind of icing on the cake for all of us.

Q. What's been the biggest difference in these last three days compared with last year?
JIMMY WALKER: You know, it's more -- it's a lot more talk going on; what do you think; who do you want to play with; what do you want to do; give me your input. That's what I think it's kind of boiled down to. So I think that's really been the main difference.

Davis has been great. All the stuff that's happened every day, every night, the functions, the meetings, I think everybody's in a great mood. Everybody's excited. I'm not going to say that's really the difference. It was my first one last year, or last time, and I was super excited and pumped. But that's kind of what I'm seeing a little -- that's what I'm seeing right now is that everybody is in a really good mood.

JOHN DEVER: What have your experiences been with the crowds out there for the last couple days, for those of us who were not allowed outdoors too often, how were the fans? Are they engaged already?

JIMMY WALKER: There's a lot of media stuff going on out there. You guys need to go out and check it out. It's five to ten deep all over the place. There's not many groups playing golf, and the crowd just kind of sits there or follows.

They've been great. Nobody's been crazy. Everybody's been very courteous and nice. I mean, obviously I'm not playing with any of The European Tour guys, or the Euros, I can't speak that they are not getting yelled at or anything like that.

But everything for us has been very positive, go win, lots of hats, lots of red, white and blue. Lots of very positive -- none of that you need to win. Everybody is like, we're going to do this. Everybody seems to have a very positive attitude.

Q. Can you please talk about the course conditions? They have had a lot of rain here since August, about 16 inches. Can you just talk about how it seems to be playing, the conditions, what you think of the course?
JIMMY WALKER: It's still a little soft. It was soft compared to when we played it a week and a half ago, two weeks ago. I know we got a foot of rain here last week. But it's soft. It's bent, so you're taking big divots, so you've kind of got to look at that a little bit.

Greens have some speed to them. They sped quite a bit -- they sped up quite a bit from yesterday to today, I thought, and bunkers are in fantastic shape. Not a ton of rough, just a little around the greens.

Hopefully it will keep drawing out. It will be fun to get it playing a little faster, I think. It's been tough the last two days. It's been really windy, so it's probably not like what we are going to see, if you look at the forecast. So it will be a lot different starting Friday through the weekend.

Q. What role are the assistant captains playing this time so far compared to last time around?
JIMMY WALKER: I think they are being utilized maybe a little more: What do you see; how are the guys looking; who is matching up good; who has got good rapport. That's kind of what I'm seeing, just a lot more talk and a lot more information being given.

Q. Can you explain from your perspective the difference between being invested more and how that affects, to use the phrase, that you're having more input, you're having more interchange with the captain; does that affect in your mind how you're going to perform?
JIMMY WALKER: Being invested -- it's my second one. I haven't done this that often. I've only had one experience, so it's hard for me to speak on that.

That being said, I think that everything that's -- I kind of got in late in the game on The Ryder Cup. Kind of finished strong at the end of the year and jumped in on the team. So right after that started, I mean, I did start talking. I did start getting phone calls. It was preparation and planning. Makes you feel a part of it. I think that's big.

Q. I'm trying to find somebody who has been asking Tiger, as an assistant captain, to get him a turkey sandwich or do something the vice captains are supposed to do, the menial stuff. Is that where Tiger sits with everybody? Is that the relationship you've got or is he really the icon that you go to for the big tip and the big preparation advice?
JIMMY WALKER: I hope guys are asking him to run and go get stuff for them, even if they don't want it. I think that's just great (laughter).

I haven't been a part of his group this week. But we've hung out, we talked walking up the 18th the other day. We talked just golf. He was into the equipment and what's going on and things I was hitting and the shots I was hitting. We just kind of were just all kind of golf nerds. We just kept talking about golf the whole time.

I think he's enjoying it, I really do. He looks like he's having a great time. He's been having a great time at night. I think he's happy to be here and happy to be a part of it. I know he's had a lot of say in what's going on and a lot of input. I think that's great that he's here and he wants to be here, and all the guys.

Look at Bubba, he didn't get the pick, but he said all week last week, "If I don't get picked, I want to go." And look at him, he's here. It's funny, we were all a part of that decision and we were all 100 percent behind it.

Q. Not to go to heavy on this, but what kind of gifts have you gotten this week? And what's been the ones that have been meaningful?
JIMMY WALKER: Well, I actually had a hand, Erin and I had a hand in helping Davis with his gift for the team, and they are basically like a mint julep cup, kind of like from the Derby. We have some friends that are silversmiths, Clinton and Roxie Arms, and they do amazing work.

I've always done ball markers for the guys every Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup that I've played in. They are very cool, solid silver, hand-done and hand-carved. The work that they do is incredible.

Davis saw the ball marker right after we played Presidents Cup together, and we started talking about it. Then it was, I want to talk to this guy, do you think he could do what I -- here is my idea, do you think he can do it? Anything this guy can do.

Those got presented last night and they are made to be used. A lot of us got them out and used them last night. They are very pretty. They turned out amazing. So that's very special, special for Davis, it was something that he really wanted to give. And to be able to help him put that together was very special for Erin and I.

Q. Davis said Phil gave out a gift last night. What was that?
JIMMY WALKER: He gave out some dog tags and they were, just had our names on them and The Ryder Cup. So that was cool. There was a little more meaning behind it, but we don't need to go too heavy into that, like you said. That was the gift.

Q. With the music being played on the range, is that a first for you, did you have any input, and why is there no George Strait being played?
JIMMY WALKER: I actually liked it. I think it sounds awesome, and if George was playing I think it would be even better. It would be sure fun to have that music, stuff that you like, stuff that you have grown up with and gotten to know.

I liked it. I thought it was great. The kids on the matches today had walk-up music. I thought it was awesome. I know we did that in Hawai'i a couple times and I think it's great. It's kind of like you're going up to bat. Need some walk-up music. Yeah, keep cranking it guys, I like it.

JOHN DEVER: We'll work on that. Does George play golf?


JOHN DEVER: Celebrity Match 2020, we have our first participant. Jimmy Walker, thank you very much and we'll see you Sunday.

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