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September 29, 2017

Nick Price

Steve Stricker

Jersey City, New Jersey

CHRIS REIMER: As we look toward to wrap up day two and look forward to day three, we look forward to opening comes from Captain Price, just the feeling and conversation in the team room before coming here.

NICK PRICE: You know, tough day for us. Again, another one. I think we saw the strength of the U.S. Team come out today, but in all fairness to my guys, I don't think they played as well as they were capable of.

It was just a tough day. You know, the guys are trying. That's all I can say. They are trying their tails off. Just -- they are just not making enough putts. Maybe not enough birdies.

But you know, the one thing that I say, we're only ten points through 30. There's 20 points left. There's a long way to go. And I know the U.S. Team knows that. And an 8-2 lead is a very strong lead for them to have, but like I said, we only had ten points out of 30, so there's a lot of golf left.

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it was a good day for us. At one point early on today, I wouldn't have said that it would end up the way it did. But our guys fought hard all the way through. Didn't get off to the greatest of starts. A couple matches did, but at one point I think we were down in three of the matches.

They have just got a lot of fight in them. They hit some great shots. Made some key putts when they had to. You know, when that momentum gets on your side, you can feel it as a team, and I think that's what we saw today. You just finished it off in those other matches to get four and a half points, which was a really special day for us.

Q. Can you speak a little to what happened with the practice bunker shot with Anirban, and did you have a conversation with him after the fact, and how much did it affect his play the rest of the day?
NICK PRICE: I didn't actually get to see any of it. But you know, he was disqualified for the next hole, as I understand it. But I think it was just an oversight on his part. You know, I don't think there was any -- you know, he's really -- he's obviously trying to prove to all of us that his pick was worth it, and it's put a lot of pressure on him.

I think today he showed that; he was very tight out there. Just trying to get him to loosen up and play golf and not be so worried about the fact that he's got to prove something to us. You know, he doesn't have to do that. We chose him. The captains and I and a lot of the team members chose him.

But it's hard. It's hard. He really wants to do well, and you can see it in his attitude and the strain in his face. He's having a tough time at the moment. But we'll be better over the next two days, I can assure you.

Q. Outside of the result of the matches, is there any strategic or pairings decision that you made that you might like to have over the first two days?
NICK PRICE: No. I think if we had to do Thursday, yesterday over again -- you know, the wind blew so hard yesterday that sometimes the ball, the ball that the guys are using, that may have been a little bit of an oversight on my part. Two of the teams struggled with the ball that they were using, and that just got them on the back foot. Just got them a little bit cautious early on and a little bit apprehensive. I think that's why we lost two of those games quite convincingly yesterday.

But other than that, no. You know, the guys, as Steve said, if you have a look at what's happened the last two days, we could have been 3-2 up yesterday, and today, we were up in three, or up in two of the matches and down in one, and even in one. So it could be quite feasible for the whole match to be even, dead even now, at five points each.

But they finished off better than we have, so that's what we've got to do over the next two days is finish off better than we have been doing and close it out a little earlier.

You know, this is a tough American Team. We all know how tough this team is. It's a very, very strong team, and we can't make a lot of mistakes. I think the guys understand that they have been penalized for the mistakes they have been making. Like I say, we have another 30 points left. We're not laying down. These guys are going to come out fighting over the next two days, and especially tomorrow.

I think we've learnt a lot over the last two days, so I'm looking forward to a really good weekend.

Q. You talked yesterday about Hideki, maybe a little bit fatigued. Is there anything else injury-wise factoring into his poor play this week?
NICK PRICE: You know, I spoke to him this evening, and he just said, "My timing's off." That's all he said to me, "My timing's off." He really enjoyed playing with Adam Hadwin today. Those two made a good team and a good pair, and it would have been a good upset if they had pulled that one off against what potentially is the No. 1 U.S. Team.

They were a good team. He's just not playing well, and you know, he's the first one to admit it. His driving's a little off. But he's such a competitor. He still makes birdies and makes putts when he needs to and hits really good shots, but he's just not playing his normal game, and that's why we chose to sit him tomorrow.

Q. Just to follow up. On Hideki, when did you decide not to play him tomorrow morning? Was that a late decision or did you decide early?
NICK PRICE: No, I went to him earlier, when we had finished today. You know, communication is everything with the players, obviously. And I just said to him, I said, "How do you feel? Who would you like to play with tomorrow?" Because there was an option for him to play with Si-Woo or perhaps Adam Hadwin again.

He said, "You know, Adam played great today, and I kind of felt like I let him down a little bit because I hit a lot of loose shots and left him on his own a lot." And he said, "I'm just not playing well."

And when a player tells you that, he's basically telling you: "Sit me out tomorrow." That's what we decided to do. And I think we've got some really good pairings tomorrow. You know, Adam Scott and Adam Hadwin are both playing really well. It's going to be interesting to see how Jhonny Vegas and Emiliano play together as the South American connection.

I think we've got some strong teams out there tomorrow. So hopefully we can turn it around.

Q. How do you coach your guys to close?
NICK PRICE: In what?

Q. Close. You said they need to close at the end of the day.
NICK PRICE: They need to close. Oh, just make them aware of it. Just say -- they are all trying so hard. You can't tell them to try harder.

But a lot of times, the last couple of days, well, especially today, they had two balls -- the American guys had two balls in the fairway and we had one ball in the fairway, so we really only had one ball against two, and that's the difference in the closing.

You have both got to put balls in the fairway so they can have a shot and have two putts at birdie, and a lot of times it was two against one today. That's one thing, you know, I'll encourage them to try and be more aware of tomorrow.

But the foursomes tomorrow is going to be -- tomorrow is a tough day. It's going to be cold tomorrow. It's going to be windy again. Hopefully these pairings will work.

Q. What do you mean by you got it wrong over the ball? Could you just explain that?
NICK PRICE: So Tuesday, Wednesday, we did the pairings, and always we get the guys to swap so they will both tee off and they will hit each other's tee shots and play all the way around like that. So they will play alternate-shot with two balls in play.

Because there was so little wind on Tuesday and Wednesday, we really didn't pay attention to, you know, how the balls were. They seemed to be fine. But when the wind really blew, that's when the spin rate on the ball changes. It's either accentuated or reduced, whichever way, depending if you use a low-spin or a high-spin ball. The guys who normally use a generally low-spin ball, don't like a ball that spins too much into the wind. So that's what happened. There were two guys who -- four guys on the team who used each other's golf ball in the wind and it kind of -- it didn't work.

But you would only know that if you had a practice round in a 15- or 20-mile-an-hour wind. It's not something that you can predict. Obviously with Ernie and Geoff Ogilvy and Mike Weir and Tony Johnstone and myself, there's five pretty good brains there and it kind of -- it went past all of us. And only in the middle of the front nine yesterday did, you know, Charl came up to us and said, "This ball spins too much for me."

We sort of said, "Well, that's because the wind didn't blow as hard the last two days." So that was maybe an oversight on our behalf.

Q. Can you talk about, Phil was just in here and said this team, compared to the other teams that he's been a part of, is just truly special from a talent point of view, from a closeness point of view. Do you agree with that? You've been on a lot of times, why is that so?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I would have to agree with him on the teams, from the teams I've been on. I've been on some pretty special teams.

This reminds me a lot of 2008 Ryder Cup Team there when we finally were able to win at Valhalla. A lot of close-knit guys there on that team.

But this team is even I think better than that. They are young, they are explosive, they have a lot of fun with one another. I just keep saying the same things over every day, it seems like. They truly do like being with one another and spur each other on and give each other crap, you know, throughout the day, and they laugh at each other. It is, it's a very special team, and we're getting along great in the team room and they are playing great golf. You know, they are having a lot of fun doing it.

So I agree with him. It is a special team. But again, to Nick's point, we've got 20 points left. We've got a ways to go yet, and we'll keep telling them that. The same motto is always that we try to win every session.

Q. You've been around a lot of these team matches, and you can put buddies together and it always doesn't work out, and obviously you have good personalities with Justin and Rickie, but from a game perspective why, have those two meshed so well, and what did you see particularly in Justin today?
STEVE STRICKER: You know, he may be the best player in the world. You know, the season he had, was probably the best in the world. He continues to impress every one of us in his demeanor, the way he conducts himself on the golf course, and his remarkable ability that he has.

And Rickie, you know, you could pair Rickie with just about anybody, but these guys are friends. They have won two matches already. They feel really good about playing with one another, and they -- it's hard to break these guys up. I mean, there's guys that want to play with other guys, but we, as captains and assistant captains, we can't do it. It's just they are playing so well with each other.

I know Jordan wants to play with a couple other guys, but you know, along with Patrick, but how do you break that team up, you know? So it's really not a difficult decision on our part just to keep these guys together, and that includes J.T. and Rickie.

Q. Is there anything that Phil does anymore that surprises you?
STEVE STRICKER: Say that again?

Q. Is there anything that Phil does anymore that surprises you?
STEVE STRICKER: No. Yeah, I don't know about that little dance on the last hole (laughter).

NICK PRICE: I wondered if that was going to come up (laughing).

STEVE STRICKER: I saw him practicing it at one point. You know, I said, "I don't know if that's such a good idea."

But Phil is Phil, and he's got a partner with him in Kisner that they like to do that kind of stuff. You've just got to let them go, I guess. They are having fun. That's what we've been stressing, too. Let's have fun. Put a smile on your face and try to play well.

You know, Phil, that putt that he missed yesterday, I know he probably lost a little sleep over that, you know, last night, and he brought it up to me again this morning. So it was eating at him. He just can't believe that he missed that putt yesterday. It's nice to see that he got a little, you know, redemption on that last green and made that putt.

CHRIS REIMER: Thank you, gentlemen. Good luck tomorrow.

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