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September 29, 2016

Davis Love III

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome back to the 41st Ryder Cup where we can finally talk about things that are actually going to happen in less than 14 hours or so. We're joined by U.S. captain Davis Love III.

Davis, as you glance at these new pairings that we all just found out about five or ten minutes ago, what are your initial impressions?

DAVIS LOVE III: I'd like to sit and study them a little while. I hopped on a cart and raced back up here with Dustin Johnson on the back and he immediately said, "I love these pairings." That's what you want to hear from your players, that they are excited.

Darren said on the stage, we kind of knew what he was going to do with that first group, and guessed a little bit on the rest of them. But we just picked four of our best alternate-shot pairings, foursomes pairings, and lined them up in the best order we thought for getting started. So we're excited about our four.

We knew Europe is going to putt out great teams no matter what we did, so we put out great teams, as well.

Q. After almost two years of preparation now, and you finally get that speech out of the way, how excited are you for 7:35 tomorrow morning?
DAVIS LOVE III: I know there's 18 guys that were sitting in dark suits on the right that were excited it was over with, especially me. Those guys were sweating because it was hot and I was sweating because there was so many people that I had to speak in front of.

But you know, there's been a lot going on for the last two or three weeks from our side. We had two big days of captain's selections that guys had to go through. We've had a lot of planning. Obviously a lot of excitement and buildup and that's the way it always is, the buildup to The Ryder Cup, and our guys are really, really excited to play golf. You can see it in their practice today, their enthusiasm last night when they got back to the team room. They are ready to go.

And I'm sure just watching Darren's guys walk around, play, Darren's attitude, they are excited to get it going, too. The time has finally come.

Q. The first match has the potential to be really, really interesting. Just wondering how much you think that sets the tenor for one team or the other, depending on the outcome, and how that unfolds?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it's an incredible session really overall. I kept looking at this lineup and every time -- now instead of us writing it down on a yellow legal pad like my dad did, which Jim Furyk had a pile of those, it's on cell phones, it's on pictures, it's on notes. And we kept looking at it on the phone; I need to destroy a lot of stuff, actually. I need to go back and delete, delete, delete.

Every time I looked at this lineup, I just got more and more excited about all four matches. Obviously not knowing who they were going to put out, but guessing a little bit. Again, that first match is going to be exciting.

It just happened that Patrick Reed's name is at the top of the list, but our most fired-up guy is going to be in front of the most fired-up crowd maybe in the history of golf. So that's a good start. And then you have a guy that can handle that crowd and handle the pressure playing with him; two of their best players obviously. So I think I might watch that match right off the bat.

We've got -- obviously both teams have a lot of captains, so gives me and Darren a lot of freedom to pick and choose who we go watch. I might watch that one a few holes starting off.

Q. I had ten bucks on Phil and Rickie to go out first. Can you tell me why I've lost my money? Is that possible?
DAVIS LOVE III: It was hard to decide who went where. Phil always has a plan; that's where he likes. Everybody kind of weighed in where they felt they would be most comfortable and where they would like to play.

But again, Patrick Reed for the last six months, I mean, he's just been talking so excited. He's ready to go and fired up. We just felt like that first tee atmosphere just fit him and Jordan to get it kicked off.

We went a bunch of different directions, but I think all four of our teams are great, and we could have just thrown the cards up or let Julius put them out there. But we liked Patrick getting out there first and getting started.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about why you put different players with the players that they are playing with? Jordan and Patrick is kind of obvious because they seem to enjoy playing together before, but could you speak to the other pairings?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, we put one really good player with another really good player (laughs).

They matched up well. Those are guys that have played a lot of golf together over the years; that have played a lot of practice rounds together. I keep telling them, this team of 12 has no record. They have never played together before. But they have played a lot of golf together before and they know who they want to play with and who they are comfortable with.

I think the biggest thing for us is this feeling of preparation and trust, and those pairings trust each other in a pressure situation. They are actually very easy.

The hardest thing for me, obviously in 2012, I've been through this, an assistant captain, watching other captains do it; the hardest thing is sitting out. And Darren had the same struggle. We talked about it last night. It's not who you put out there; it's who you sit out is the hardest thing. To go to those other four guys that I have sitting out in the morning and tell them they are not playing, be ready for your next chance, it's hard to do.

But we love this lineup, and then we'll throw another lineup out there in the afternoon that we're just as proud of.

Q. The record of this group is 8-15-10 in foursomes. What leads you to believe that it's going to be so much different this time?
DAVIS LOVE III: Because they have never -- this team's never played together before. This is a new 12. As Phil said, it's a fresh start. We're not looking at past records. We're looking at tomorrow morning.

Q. Apologies, I know you don't want to look back, but you've talked about the things that you've learned from Medinah. Was there anything that you learned from the first day at Medinah that you've instituted going into tomorrow?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, we made our pairings based on how guys are playing and guys that like to play together. You know, guys that felt comfortable with each other. But we've been watching these guys, well, for a year. You know, we've had a points list running for a long time. We've been watching them play THE TOUR Championship, been watching them play here.

We really like the way these guys are playing, and again, our other four are playing very, very well. I mean, we've got some power sitting on the bench right now waiting to come in.

We could mix those other four in, it isn't going to change our past record in foursomes. So we love our players, we love our teams, and like I said, tomorrow morning, both these teams of 12 are starting a new golf tournament. We're not playing -- we're not playing last time or 2008 or 2006. We're playing 2016.

Q. Was there a European pairing that surprised you?
DAVIS LOVE III: Again, I haven't really studied it. But no, not any big surprises.

You know, we're not really trying to -- at least in our front office, we're not really trying to guess what they are doing. I know a lot of our players are figuring it out and thinking ahead, but we're putting out our guys in good groups, letting them play kind of where they feel comfortable and then trusting them to go do the job.

Q. If one person gets really hot, is there a shot that he could go five?
DAVIS LOVE III: I'm not going to say.

Q. Do you have a potential -- do you have a reasonably set lineup for the fourballs already, or does it depend on what happens in the morning?
DAVIS LOVE III: I would -- same answer. I would not say.

JOHN DEVER: All right. Davis, that will do it. Thank you for your insight and good luck tomorrow.

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