October 20, 2000
LAKE MANASSAS, VIRGINIA
Q. What was the difference for you fellows between the morning and the afternoon? The format, the way you played, the opponents, what?
NOTAH BEGAY III: I just think we got into a little bit of a funk this morning, right off the bat. And we never really got in our rhythm, and I think we just might have put a little extra -- just essentially got into a bad rhythm. And I wasn't hitting very good tee shots. And I was leading off. And I wasn't putting the ball in the fairway, and it puts a little added pressure on him to get his ball in play. He missed a couple of tee shots. And we just fed off each other, and we just never got things rolling like we did this afternoon.
Q. How did you get it rolling this afternoon?
NOTAH BEGAY III: We just went out there and we knew we were going to have to play well to compete with those guys and birdied the first hole. And that kind of set the stage and birdied the second hole and just got it going.
Q. Tiger, it seems like all three matches that the sessions have been dominated by one team. Teams are jumping up to the big lesion. The momentum seems to be playing a huge roll this week, can you talk about that?
TIGER WOODS: I think anytime that in a team format, the guys who start off are playing well, it tends to trickle down to the guys who are bringing up the rear. And especially in this type of format where I think you have one more team playing than you do in the Ryder Cup, which means that you have that many more matches per day, which means that you can really get it going. The guys that led off yesterday, Phil and Tom, played just absolutely wonderful golf in the morning, and just led us off and we kind of just followed right behind them. And this afternoon it was very similar to that.
Q. Two parts, if I may. Tiger, first of all, can you tell us a little bit about the saga of your driver and you damaged it. And the second part for anybody, but maybe one of you two guys, the Americans have now won 9 of 10 on the foursomes. Is there any common denominator or reason for that?
TIGER WOODS: My driver, something broke on the inside part of my driver, it's just the way it goes.
Q. When you get a replacement?
TIGER WOODS: I had a backup, which was safely in my room back at the hotel, instead of at the locker. And we had somebody go get it. The funny thing is they had it on the second hole but they kept it in the cart. And the person driving didn't know to come give it to me. So Stevie says where is his driver? And they said right there in the cart. Oh, great. I pull hooked a 3-wood in the trees.
Q. When did you get it?
TIGER WOODS: I got it on the third hole and let Stevie go to town on it, work on the grip, and from there on I drove it pretty good.
Q. The foursomes?
STEWART CINK: It was hard to explain why the foursomes have been dominated by our team so far, mainly because I've never played in foursomes before, especially in The Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup, not this level. All I know is that our team is great at foursomes. We just have played some great golf. I think everybody has kind of listened to what Tom Lehman said earlier in the press conference, about two plus two equal five. I think that's exactly what's going on. Our team has gelled and our gaps that we have in our games have been filled in by the other players who we're playing with and it's really worked well so far.
KIRK TRIPLETT: I was going to add that I think you've got to give some credit to Captain Venturi, he made the picks, he put the teams together. The players had very little input. He had his script and he's kind of stuck with it, that part has especially worked out very well. And I think also you guys have been busting these guys' chops with how many Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups in a row we can't play Four-Ball -- foursomes -- foursomes, Four-Ball, alternate shots, where one guy hits and the next guy hits.
Q. Speaking of the pairings, can you talk about the philosophy or strategy of keeping you two together consistently throughout the two days?
TIGER WOODS: I think because we've known each other for such a long time, I've known him since I was 11. And for 13 years we've known each other, played against each other, roomed with each other, and basically kind of grew up with each other. And going out there and playing, there's no better person I want to go out and play with than a good friend.
Q. Did you all have any input into that or is that something that the coach --
TIGER WOODS: We were lobbying before the tournament started.
NOTAH BEGAY III: We were kind of indirectly putting our two cents in.
Q. You weren't threatening a boycott?
TIGER WOODS: No, we didn't go that far. But what Robin and Stuey did, they've known each other since grade school. And they were paired together.
Q. This is for the veteran, Tiger, and also for let's say the rookie, Stewart. First of all, how do you like your position right now after the way it looked in the morning, Tiger?
TIGER WOODS: I think each time it seemed like going into the -- whatever session of matches, the three different groupings, whatever team was -- kind of had the onus on them. We felt like the onus was on us the opening day and we played well. They felt like the onus was on them, they played well. And then we felt it was back on us and we played well again. Hopefully we can keep it on our side this time.
Q. Stewart, as a rookie, a little pressure off the shoulders with a little lead?
STEWART CINK: You don't ever really know what's going to happen when you come into this event for the first time. You expect to play well and you know you have capabilities in the game, but you never know how you're going to stack up against the opponents in this type of competition. Two wins in two tries give me a ton of confidence going the rest of the way, and future Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups I might make the team on. The doubts are totally erased. I feel like it's a green light the rest of the way.
Q. Tiger, what did you guys do during the lunch break? Did you go on the range and work on a couple of things, and what were they, if so?
TIGER WOODS: I had a quick bite to eat and went straight out to hit balls. And I probably hit a lot of balls, a lot more than I normally would during matches, just trying to find something. If you watched this morning I didn't play very well at all. I just wanted to find some kind of thought that I could take out to the afternoon that would work, and I did. And there were a couple of feelings in the golf swing I just wanted to get to. The hard part is going out and trusting it. It's easy to hit the ball on the range, be Ranger Rick, but it's hard to go out and play well. And I went out on the first hole and had the little wedge shot, and it's something I've been struggling with the entire week, and I got the front down in front of me and hit the right number, and from there on out I hit pretty well.
NOTAH BEGAY III: I was trying to get some sort of a better outlook on my driving. I drove the ball terribly in the morning. And like I said, I think that had an influence on the way we played starting out. I hit it a little bit better in the afternoon, but I putted great this afternoon, and I think that was the difference.
Q. This one is for Stewart and Kirk. Since we know how well these other two guys communicate now, what is it that's made you all gel together so well?
STEWART CINK: Since we've had a couple of two-part questions, I'll give a two-part answer, I think, number one, I mentioned before, our games have gelled very well. Kirk has been driving the ball very straight. And he's been putting well this week. He told me he putted a little bit poorly recently, but I don't believe that. I believe he's been putting well for a long time. And I've been hitting my iron shots very well. So we picked the holes out we want to play on, so that I would hit a lot of iron shots and Kirk would putt a lot. And he would hit a lot of drives. It seems like it's worked -- it's worked out perfectly so far. And the second part of my answer is that communication has been 100 percent fluid between us I think over the last two rounds. We've talked our way through all the putts, we've talked our way through all the shots, all the tee shots, the clubs off the tees, the wind direction. We've been together on every shot. It's been a lot of fun to be able to work with each other. When he's hitting I'm caddying for me him, and when I'm hitting, he's caddying for me.
STEWART CINK: We played the practice round with these two guys, and the first time I ever played alternate shot with my -- in my life. Wednesday afternoon we played with them on the back 9. It gave us a little practice, just enough to know how we feel about playing. They didn't take a hundred dollars from us.
TIGER WOODS: We were up early, too, we were yapping, too.
Q. Anything to the premise that you might play a little harder in alternate shot because you don't want to leave your teammate in the lurch as opposed to playing your own ball, anything there?
TIGER WOODS: I don't think it has to do with that. I know from my past experiences and in playing these things that it's a lot easier, I think, to play alternate shot than it is Four-Ball, just because it doesn't take six and a half hours to play. This morning it took a long time and anytime you play Four-Ball it's going to take a while. And the times I've played Four-Ball has been in the afternoon, which makes it even worse, because you're tired from playing in the morning, then you've got to go back out in the afternoon and play Four-Ball, which makes it a really long day. So it's just one of those things where it's hard to find your rhythm. If you're not playing well, then it's really hard to find your rhythm. But if you're playing solid then it's really no big deal, you can play well, if you're playing solid.
Q. Tiger, were you surprised with the ease that you and Notah were able to beat Ernie and Vijay, considering that's supposed to be their top team?
TIGER WOODS: We got off to such a wonderful start today. I hit a good shot in there on 1. Notah buried the putt, and I made the putt on 2. And from then on we just ran away with it. And we won, I think, the first six holes. We were 5-under through 6 and missed two short ones. It really could have been low. From there we just tried to -- just trying to stay even par, maybe make a couple here and there, and just basically keep them at arm's length and we were able to do it.
Q. Is it an extra rush for you guys knowing they put the pressure on in the morning and then you guys are able to respond?
TIGER WOODS: That's what I mean by each team -- when they have the onus on them, they tend to come back and really play well. And so far that's been the way of the matches at this Presidents Cup. And hopefully we can put a halt to that.
Q. The other four afternoon matches were pretty one sided and it became pretty obvious that your guys match was going to be pivotal. I want to know how early you were aware of that and did that add any extra pressure to your matches?
KIRK TRIPLETT: Well, I think I noticed it about the time we turned ours around. Because we were down two and had a good chance to get one back on 7. And we missed a putt -- I missed a putt on 7 that was very makeable. But then Stewart followed it up right on the next hole, hit a wedge in there about a foot and we made a great save on 9. And Stewart rolled it in on 10 and that's about the time that I saw how all the other matches were going, so we were square. And I told Stewart walking up to 12, I said here's where we did well yesterday. We had three birdies in a row, here. This is our part of the golf course. What did we do, of course we lose that hole. But then we birdied the next three. At that point when we were about on 15, that was when all the matches were 4 or 5 either way. We knew ours was the close one. I didn't really have in mind the point totals or what that meant. It was just, hey, there's those two guys over there; we've got to beat them.
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