|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
September 30, 2017
Jersey City, New Jersey
AMANDA HERRINGTON: We'd like to welcome Dustin Johnson, Kevin Kisner, Jordan Spieth and Daniel Berger. We'll go ahead and open up to questions.
Q. In the past, you guys have had some trouble closing out matches, especially on the back -- obviously the back nine. Can you just talk about why this Presidents Cup you've been so good at finishing off matches?
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm not sure exactly. I'm not sure why this one's different.
There's a lot of trust on this team. We've had a lot of laughs. We've gotten to really know each other a lot more than I think is usual. We've had a lot of new guys on this team but a younger team; guys that have maybe grown up together, spent more time together, and maybe this camaraderie is a bit different off the course. I think that kind of level of trust in each other has got an added confidence to it in the team format.
As a team, we've played 12 to 18 extremely well this week, something that we've struggled to do, especially in The Ryder Cup. I think we've had a lot of matches flip at that point in time historically.
This has been a phenomenal confidence booster for us to be able to close matches and flip matches in those late holes where we can really ride this momentum with the crowd. I think it just has to do with knowing each other a bit better and being able to trust each other a bit more.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I'm of the same mind as what Jordan was saying. We're all close and we're all good friends and we're all really good players, so we do have a lot of trust in each other. Honestly, we're all playing really good golf right now.
Q. Obviously you guys as a team came in in good form, and a bunch of you have had good years, really all of you. But could you have imagined this lopsided nature? When you look at the scoreboard, what goes through your mind?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's kind of -- I don't think any of us have really focused much on the scoreboard until this afternoon when we actually had a chance to finish it off. And then we were anxious to see if we could possibly win at this point in time so we could all be there.
I think for the most part, we've been very focused on our own matches and our own score. You know, I know Daniel has been upset about having to sit a couple times; I mean, you could speak to it more than me. But it kind of lit a little fire in him for the emotion he showed today when I saw the replays.
I think we've been focused on our own matches trying to win and we're just trying to play better golf. If this were a regular tournament, a 24-man field, this would be -- you would have, you know, 12 of the top 15 guys, probably, from the United States. We've just made more putts. We've just played better golf. That's as simple as it is.
Through 11 holes, if you look back, it's been pretty tight, and we've just been able to have that extra gear at the end that could have gone the other way just as easily, I guess. A little home-field advantage helps, and playing well at the right times; all of us have been playing well through the especially of the year.
DANIEL BERGER: I would say our goal coming in was to try to win every session that we faced, and we've done that up till now.
Tomorrow, we're going to go out and try to do the exact same thing. But our team is just so deep when you look at it. There's not really anyone that you wouldn't want to play with or that you wouldn't trust to have a putt to win The Presidents Cup.
In terms of that, I think it takes a lot of the pressure off some of the other guys because we have such a deep team.
Q. Jordan or Dustin, if you were a European Tour player watching this, would you be nervous?
JORDAN SPIETH: DJ?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, I don't know, we're going to, I guess Ryder Cup next year is in France. It's going to be tough. We're going to have to do the same thing. If we want to win over there, we're going to have to go over there and play really good golf. It's pretty simple. Just like this week, we've played better than they have. It's really simple. That's how it always works out is whichever team plays better, wins.
JORDAN SPIETH: I personally think P-Reed is a little upset he's not playing Rory tomorrow (laughter).
I don't know if they are watching. What's really cool for us is, it's not the dominance of this week. It's the way this team has really come together, and we recognize that this is a very similar team to what we can see for the next, you know, five to 20 years, potentially. I mean, a lot of similar faces. We've got a lot of really young guys on the team that are doing the right things to make their career last a long time and to be at the top level of the game.
We feel like we can be around each other and rooting for each other in these team events for a lot of years to come. It's more confidence for us than I think anything that they would be worried about.
Q. Daniel, just wanted you to talk about that birdie on 1 and how much that freed you up the rest of the day. And then for Daniel and Kevin, just how fun has this been? You always say -- you always think you want to play on these teams, but then there's knowing and then there's knowing.
DANIEL BERGER: I would say the birdie on 1 was definitely nice considering J.T. hit a quack-hook in the water. Matsuyama was three feet for birdie. So it was nice to not be 1-down through one.
But it definitely was nice. We followed that up with three straight losses. That wasn't very nice. But we played really well. J.T. carried me when I wasn't playing well, and I carried him when he wasn't playing well, and that's kind of the thing that you need to do when you're in these team matches.
First Presidents Cup has been amazing. I love hanging out with these guys at tournaments. I love hanging out with them when we are not at tournaments. To be able to be together as a team and to compete as a team and to root each other on when we are not trying to kick each other's asses like on a normal golf event, is pretty fun.
KEVIN KISNER: There he goes cussing again.
DANIEL BERGER: Ass is not a cuss word.
KEVIN KISNER: I've had a ball, hanging out, playing with these guys. It's been a fun week, a lot of fun. We all have a great time, every tournament, but when we come together and make a team, I think you guys are starting to see what we're capable of. I look forward to many more of these together.
JORDAN SPIETH: You're kind of old. I don't know how many more you got.
KEVIN KISNER: I got about four left maybe.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, right (laughing).
Q. You just need one point to win and everyone wants to go out and win their match tomorrow. How important is it for you to get off that, your singles record in these team events --
KEVIN KISNER: Do you lose in singles?
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm 0-4.
KEVIN KISNER: Really?
DANIEL BERGER: Terrible.
KEVIN KISNER: You're such a chop.
JORDAN SPIETH: I get worn out. I get thrown into four matches in three days and I've got nothing left in the tank.
DANIEL BERGER: You're 24, Bro, you can't get worn out.
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm probably going to lose tomorrow --
KEVIN KISNER: I think you should drink more the night before.
JORDAN SPIETH: Our goal is still to stay focused and Strick is pushing this. Strick, being as intense as he can be, which is channeling a little bit of Tiger, into what is a very nice, kind, like not-as-intense human being; Tiger being very intense. You know, just Strick has been very, very adamant about: I want to win every single session this week. And I think that's a really good goal for our team tomorrow, is to try and win the session.
It's easy to get complacent with the way things are right now, and it's easy to come out tomorrow lazy. If we set a goal to win each session; if that's our goal, then each individual is going to be very focused on their own match and trying to be one of the people that does help win that session for us.
And if it gets closed out early, it gets closed out early and maybe that's not so good for the tournament, but it is what it is. But the point is, we will all still have that goal to win the session and I think that's most important for us.
And I would certainly like to get a win column in this, these singles matches.
I've got Leish, and I think Leish is one of the most underrated players in all of golf, and he played really well two years ago.
I ran into Graeme McDowell with some heroics and I had Graham DeLaet hole a bunker shot in 2013. And Henrik last year was playing the best golf at the end of the year as anybody in the world.
I've not had a fair share of luck in those but I haven't deserved a win in any of those matches, either. I'm looking forward to going out tomorrow and trying to put a win in the win column and up the pretty historic run that our team has gone on this week.
KEVIN KISNER: Does he talk this much every time?
DANIEL BERGER: I know. I'm like shocked. That's ridiculous.
JORDAN SPIETH: They shake their heads -- my agent says "less is more," and I come in with that and that never works.
DANIEL BERGER: Trying to keep this under ten minutes here.
KEVIN KISNER: There's a boat out there.
AMANDA HERRINGTON: There is a boat out there. We have time for two more questions.
Q. Obviously being sat out the last couple days, could you just describe the emotions of getting back in, whether or not that feels like a big weight off your shoulders, getting that point today? And also whether there's disappointment, obviously associated with sitting out, but were you angry about it? Did you agree with it; understanding?
DANIEL BERGER: Yeah, I totally understood it. Everyone was playing so well and someone has to sit out, and it's a team and I have no problem sitting out.
But I want to play so bad. You know, I think everyone up here wants to play so bad. It doesn't matter what scenario it is. But it was really nice to get that point for myself and for the team, and really feel like I could contribute (emphasis on first syllable) to Team USA's point total -- shut up, Kiz.
KEVIN KISNER: I heard it on the TV -- did he just make contribute three syllables? Con-tri-bute, three syllables.
JORDAN SPIETH: Contribute is still three syllables. Just so you know (laughter).
DANIEL BERGER: Okay.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: This is what we have to deal with every night in the team room.
DANIEL BERGER: But yeah, it's been awesome. Sitting out is fun because you get to root on your teammates but at the same time it sucks because you want to be out there hitting those shots. But it's been a lot of fun, and I wouldn't change it. I love what Captain Strick and the assistants have done and how they have played it out.
That's probably been a huge -- they have been underestimated in how they have placed the guys in what order and who is playing who. They have done a great job of that and that's part of the reason why we're so far ahead right now.
Q. Jordan, you said if you guys close it out early tomorrow, it may not be good for the event. That feels like the elephant in the room; that you guys are so young and deep, that it's hard to see that you won't be this dominant for a while. Is this event irrevocably broken?
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't think so. I don't think so. They are, too. They are very young, too.
You guys maybe have done the research or could better than we can, but I really feel like these are two of the younger average-age teams that have probably been -- take out Phil, and they are probably two of the younger average-age teams (laughter) that have played against each other in I don't know how many years.
The game is better, younger, and there's more depth. I doubt it. I think home soil's played a big role this week. The pick-me-ups, the turnaround matches, the flipping, has had a lot to do with feeding off the crowds. When you go to away crowds, it's that much harder to do it.
You know, where are we, Royal Melbourne in two years? As we know, the Aussies show up here in men's clothes, women's clothes and everything in between; they are going to be nuts there and they are going to really try and make a difference in that event.
No, this is a fantastic event. It really is. I think if you ask the Internationals, they will say the same thing. And going forward, matches can flip either way, the same way they did this week.
Q. Probably not too many U.S. sports fans watching today had ever heard of Anir -- Anir -- the Indian, I can't pronounce his name -- Anirban --
JORDAN SPIETH: Apparently you haven't either. I gotcha.
Q. If not for him, the putt on 17 and closing out on 18, you guys might be drinking champagne right now. What did he mean to the Internationals and just showing resiliency there in the final two holes?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's pretty amazing. He represents, what 3.5 billion people? Am I somewhat right in the right ballpark in that? Pretty amazing. The kind of pressure that, he shouldn't feel, but if feels like he's representing his country as kind of the sole guy that's been pretty standout in the last decade, and has shown that kind of promise, it's really some kind of weight on his shoulders.
And what he did, Si-Woo made a phenomenal birdie and he birdied 16 and 17. The putt he made after Charley chips in, nobody makes that putt. That was ridiculous with that celebration, everything going our way, putts going in, putts lipping out for them. It really has been just a perfect storm where we have gotten the breaks and they haven't.
And Ban came through and pulled off some really impressive shots and putts. To make that putt at that time was really incredible. He deserves a lot of credit for that --
DANIEL BERGER: All right. You're done (pushing Jordan's microphone away).
JORDAN SPIETH: I think it's -- I think it's massive for him. He should be very proud.
DANIEL BERGER: I was going to say the same. I know Ban personally.
KEVIN KISNER: Did anybody ask you?
DANIEL BERGER: I don't know, did they?
KEVIN KISNER: I don't think they asked you.
DANIEL BERGER: All right. I'm done.
AMANDA HERRINGTON: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports