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October 1, 2016

Rafa Cabrera Bello

Chris Wood

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome back to Saturday afternoon at the 41st Ryder Cup. Pleased to be joined by Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Chris Wood.

Gentlemen, thanks for your time. I know you're busy so we're going to try to do this rapid fire and get them back to their teammates.

Rafa, maybe you could begin with your general thoughts on your match today, this morning.

RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Well, I mean, it was going to be always a tough match. I mean, Jordan and Patrick, they are great players. They have a really good Ryder Cup -- really good Ryder Cup record, them two playing together.

They got off today to a really good start. They were cruising, I mean, playing really good. We obviously lost lots of ground throughout the front nine, the first ten, 12 holes.

But I mean, we weren't -- we didn't feel we were playing bad at all. We were just sticking together, shoulder to shoulder, keep fighting, always believing that we would have our chance, and then our chance came. They made a couple mistakes; that we played solid and got a couple holes back.

Then we had a really strong finish. The match ended up all-square. It was great. It felt like we stole half a point from them.

JOHN DEVER: It was a remarkable match.

Chris, your thoughts on your point this morning.

CHRIS WOOD: Obviously my first appearance in The Ryder Cup. For me to be paired with someone like Justin this morning made my job an awful lot easier. To have somebody of that experience and that class next to me just gave me extra belief to go out and win the point today.

So yeah, it's a great start. We played very, very solid all day, and always felt like we had the upper hand. But huge to get off to a winning start this morning.

Q. Are things getting a little noisier and maybe a bit more intense in terms of the crowd noise out there? I noticed when Justin found the water, there was probably one of the loudest cheers of the day. Could you sense it cranking up a bit now?
CHRIS WOOD: I think so. I think we sort of expect those sort of reactions if our side -- if that happens.

But obviously I've watched many Ryder Cups over the years, and to actually go out and play, it's slightly different to what you expect. It's hard watching. Yesterday was hard watching. And then when you're out on the golf course, you're so into your own shots, your own match; that you can block that stuff out, and there is plenty of European support out there, and it makes a huge difference to us. It gives us the belief in every single shot that we're hitting.

You know, going out with somebody like Justin, we're in it together and we're fighting for everything together, and it's an unbelievable experience.

Q. You've waited all your life to play Ryder Cup, and then you have to spend a day hanging around. How did you spend your time? How did you mentally prepare yourself for that, and what was that experience like while all the action was going on well away from you?
CHRIS WOOD: It's part of being in a Ryder Cup Team where there's eight guys that are going to play and four are going to sit out.

We're here as a team, and whatever Clarkey asks from us, we're there to do. All the vice captains and Darren, they all drilled into us, myself and Matt yesterday, that -- get yourself ready for tomorrow, because when you're asked to play, we want that point from you.

And that's the attitude we've got. We're not there -- obviously we'd love to play every game. But there's six rookies in this team that are inexperienced and need the time to get used to The Ryder Cup experience. Being on the first tee was a great idea obviously yesterday, seeing everybody tee off. We knew what was coming today.

So it was a day yesterday of some light practice. I actually practiced harder than they all wanted me to, but I can't help it. So I did what I felt I needed to do to get myself ready for this morning, and I feel like I did a really good job.

Q. There seemed to be some back and forth on the short putts. I'm curious what your reaction was on the 11th hole when the U.S. required Sergio to hole out and did that serve as further motivation in your comeback?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: No, not really. We made them putt, the putts that we considered were not gimmies. And they made us put the ones they considered the ones that we needed to putt. So everything on that side was totally normal.

Sergio, I mean, we 3-putted on 11, which was a pity, but nothing -- I mean, nothing outside the normality.

Q. After such a finish, are you disappointed not to be going straight back out there with Sergio this afternoon?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: No, I'm not disappointed at all. I mean, we play here as a team. Whoever plays on my behalf is a fantastic and an extraordinary player. So I am sure that they are going to do as good as Sergio and I did this morning.

I mean, decisions are made when there's a time frame and at that time with the information at hand, the captain decided the best possible team for this afternoon.

I'm really happy to have had the opportunity to play these first two days and totally ready to play again tomorrow. And my colleagues and teammates are with the same attitude as I am.

Q. Have you ever seen anybody drive it into a marshal's pocket before?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: No, no. That was a first. That was a first, yeah. That's a really nice anecdote. Gladly, obviously, no one got hurt. The marshal was kind of enough and honest to let us -- to stay there and respect the game and that was something that we value and appreciate a lot.

Q. Playing with Sergio this morning, you can feel a lot of pressure from the American fans, and I think you were dealing with it with a good sense of humor. What would be your strategy coming in tomorrow for that?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Of course, we are -- the crowd is cheering for the Americans, which is natural. It's exactly the same, the opposite happens when The Ryder Cup is held in Europe. 99.9 percent of the crowd are fantastic. They support their team. Of course they root for themselves and they want to put a little bit of pressure, but everything with honest and -- with honesty and respect, respecting us and respecting the game, like in every other sporting event of masses and big crowds, there's always a 0.1 percent who don't really understand the values we are playing and competing here for and they got off-line, and the rest is great.

We just accept it. Like Chris said before, we are really focused on our task. We are not paying attention to what the crowd does, and of course we won't be distracted with what they say or not. We also feel a lot of support from Europeans. I think there's a fair number of European supporters in the crowd, so we do hear them when they shout for us, yeah.

Q. Which putt that you guys made, made you start thinking, this can really happen? I know you're shoulder to shoulder, but what really gave you the momentum, do you think?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: I think -- I mean, the shoulder to shoulder, it's a real belief we have. We constantly kept telling ourselves that we would have our chance; that chance would come.

When they hit a bad shot on 13, we made a good par there and we got it to 3. But 3-down, three is still a number that they do have control of the match.

I think after their mistake on 15, that kind of put us within reach of scaring them.

I think Sergio's putt on 16 was key to get us just to 1-down with two to play, and at that stage, anything can happen.

JOHN DEVER: Gentlemen, thank you for your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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