Q. And what was the mood like?
SCOTT HOCH: Well, we were disappointed. We were disappointed. I mean, everybody felt worse for Curtis and Sarah because they put so much time into it. For us, you know, they put three years into it. I mean, they lived it. As a player, we lived it for a week. We were there and played for a week, and then we get right back on our games, come here for an individual tournament. But it wasn't a matter of anybody sitting there molding us into a unit. I mean, we really enjoyed doing that. I think to a man everybody enjoys playing in a team game, getting together, playing darts, playing pool, playing ping-pong with everybody on the team and eating all our meals together at the same time and everything else. It was a lot of fun. I'll have a lot of good memories from this past week?
Q. So you don't buy this notion that's been floated in some of the national media that somehow the Europeans are a closer team and the Americans are somehow just 12 entities and they don't bond...
SCOTT HOCH: No. We might do it differently, but I don't know how that's different because I wasn't around them.
See, when foreign players say play our Tour, most of those guys kind of play together in their practice rounds. They know their games a lot more than maybe we would with our fellow guys. We play with them maybe some practice rounds, but then the only other time we get together is when we're playing in tournaments against each other, but I think they play a lot of -- the ones that come over here and play a lot of their practice rounds together. Sam is a great guy, Torrance. He's a fun guy. I've known him for a long time, since the early '80s, and he's a fun-loving guy and I'm sure he's a great captain. As far as everything done to get us ready to play and the atmosphere and everything else, I'm not sure that you can be better than Curtis was.
Q. Well, do you think it could be too organized?
SCOTT HOCH: Well, everything is kind of regimented. Well, that's part of the whole Ryder Cup. We have to do this at a certain time, that at a certain time, show up here at a certain time, leave the dinner at a certain -- it's all that way but it's that way for them, too. I mean, I don't think it affects any one team more than the other. Sure, they might want it more than we do, but when we get there we really want it.
Q. You guys played great on Saturday. I mean, it's not like you played bad. I mean, the Saturday play --
SCOTT HOCH: We played -- somebody told me this and I don't know if it's true, but the matches that I had, I played four matches, they said that each match that I played, the opponents that I or we played shot the lowest round in that format each day. I mean, that was unlucky for me. The first match I played I just played fair. The two matches I played on Saturday I played well, like I said, except for a few tired, errant shots in my last match, like the last five holes or so. But I still hit some good shots in between and everything else. And then Sunday I was a couple under, just played average, needed to play better and didn't. For me that was just unlucky because I don't think I've ever played that good and gotten so little out of it as far as when it comes to points or credit for anything. I mean, I shouldn't get any credit, but I lost three and a half points, but it wasn't as if I played poorly. That's the way match play is.
Q. The team got off points-wise to a bad start on Friday morning.
SCOTT HOCH: We always do.
Q. That's the question. Why is that?
SCOTT HOCH: He said that in the -- he made us aware of that at dinner the night before; we talked about it and he made us aware of that, and we said let's not do that. Let's just get out there and think that we're in the hole already and just go out there and then play. They're better than we are at best ball because I think they play better when they lean on each other.
Q. But yet Tiger and Azinger go out there in the first group, shoot 63 and lose. It's not like --
SCOTT HOCH: Well, we got 11-under and tied on Saturday afternoon, and that wasn't their best team. McGinley, he not only won the last point or the deciding point, but he was very instrumental in them tying us on that Saturday match which was important. He hit some great shots coming down the stretch. He was probably not really the surprise, I don't think they had any surprises, they just all played well, but I think he did the most crucial shots and putts that anybody other than Colin against Furyk in the singles. He birdies out of rough on 17, comes back for two and tied it up. Against us he made some key birdies and made pars, parred 18 when Darren was already out of it, and he birdied 16 and I think he birdied 15. I think Colin was ispirational and he played the best out of everyone there, and I think McGinley was probably the one that hurt us the most because we weren't expecting that.
Q. And Price. I mean, Price against Mickelson --
SCOTT HOCH: That's just one match, though.
Q. What about Monty? Monty came across as almost embarrassed as well as he was putting against you.
SCOTT HOCH: He should have been.
Q. I'm serious.
SCOTT HOCH: He should have been. It's just not fair. I just figured one of these days I was going to catch him when he did do it but I never saw that day. Last time I played him was at Valderrama and he hit it terrible. He made everything. He made everything but it hit it good. That's a tough combination to beat.
Q. One more thing, Scott. One of the things that made a lot -- got a lot of attention over there was on Thursday when Curtis came in to announce his pairings, they said to him how set were these pairings in your mind? Curtis said all of them were set in my mind except one. He said I was going to have Calcavecchia with Woods in the first match, but when I got here this week, I found out that Calcavecchia doesn't play well in this format so I changed it?
SCOTT HOCH: Well, Calc felt more comfortable in the other format.
Q. Curtis said I found out he's 4 and 0 in best ball and 0 and 4 in foursomes. He said when I got here this week I found that out. I mean, everybody's head snapped.
SCOTT HOCH: Well, it wasn't as if he found out, but Mark did not -- I mean, he wanted to play the other. If he was going to play one or the other, he felt because he had a better record that he'd rather play alternate shot than best ball. When I think of Mark, I would rather have, just like everybody would, rather have him at best ball. That's what I would think. You don't really need to look back at these records. They can be deceiving. Like Valderrama I think I was undefeated. I think I played better this time than when I was undefeated. I had good partners and we played well those two matches and we played some tough teams but the other teams didn't play great like the teams that played this time. That's the way match play is. One thing good about Curtis is he listens to the players. When we were figuring how -- when he was figuring, nobody was going to talk him out of putting Tiger last, which we understood. That was a very sound judgment, and it was brought up at our meeting that only once has it gone to the last match.
Q. So why is that sound then?
SCOTT HOCH: Then he came back and said, hey, but if it does come down to that, who would you rather have? You'd rather have the guys that can handle the pressure and the best players, which would be if Mickelson -- the two best players in the world if it came down to that, which it should have come down to it. It did come down really to those two, could have --
Q. Could a guy being the best player in the world or second best player in the world might not be the best match player in the world ?
SCOTT HOCH: Well, I think he's proven himself to be the best match player in the world at one time. Look at all he did as a junior and U.S. Amateur. He played well in the match play tournaments up until this year, he lost early, but he still made it to the finals. That's tough for a favorite to do because everybody is gunning for you, but I think his game has changed. Tiger goes for the long hall. He's got it to where it's not a go-for-broke like he used to when he first came out, when he was a very aggressive player. He's found he doesn't have to be an aggressive player to win. He eliminates mistakes. Now he plays safe for the marathon. He doesn't run the 100-yard dash. If it's an 18-hole tournament anybody can win that 18 holes. He figures what's the best chance and which type of game can he have that will be best suited for the marathon, the four rounds. That's the way he plays now. It might be tougher for him now to play the aggressive style than he used to, which is advantageous to have in match play, compared to the way he's learned to play now and be so successful with.
Q. Then it's tough to put him in the last spot if you're thinking that the match is going to be on the line.
SCOTT HOCH: No, it's easy to do that because if you're going head-to-head, you think that other guy is feeling good that he's playing Tiger, the best player in the world, when he knows he can't beat him, and Tiger every time he needs a shot can pull it out? That's what he's done over his career. No, I wouldn't want to play -- I wouldn't want to be the guy playing him if the matches are riding on it. That guy won't be able to swallow.
Q. You were saying that Tiger is the best, Phil Mickelson is second best. What if you put those guys where you were to start out the day.
SCOTT HOCH: Then we'd have been 0 and 2 given they played the same, but also given -- I did read something kind of derogatory about me, saying that what happens -- they asked Parnevik, what was your feeling or what was the European feeling -- what was your feeling when you saw that Montgomerie was playing me first match, and he said, oh, man, we felt great. Which -- rather than Tiger. I don't know if he said anyway, but sure, I think they were comparing what if you saw Tiger there instead of me. They were happy that it was me -- that we didn't front-load our lineup because then they would have -- I don't know what would have happened, but if Montgomerie would have played the game, he would have beaten everybody except for one guy on his team. But obviously if he's playing somebody else like a Tiger or a Mickelson, then he might not have played the way he did.
Q. What about --
SCOTT HOCH: But we don't know. Even so, after the top three matches, top three guys, we were even. We were split, and I think we'd have taken that.
Q. Before it started?
SCOTT HOCH: That's one thing that Curtis did that was a very good move. He had Toms kind of backloaded, too, and he made the decision, well, we need to get some more meat up there depending on how Sam is going to put his lineup. We don't want to put the young rookies or whatever, we still want to put some good players. You've got to think -- maybe not look at me as the player I am but the player I am in match play or -- I feel I'm a better match player -- well, all my career, than a mental player. It's not that far-fetched to think he put me up there because the crowds wouldn't bother me, the situation wouldn't bother me, mainly because the other guys were into the Ryder Cup probably more than I was before we got there. Hey, Toms, he played the second best player there of the 24 guys as far as the way everybody played there all week. You put him No. 2. You put Duval, which obviously he's not playing as well as he used to, but he's still a guy that you've got to fear, and we came out with the split. I was the only one that lost. From there I would have thought we would have done well if the rest of the team would have played decent, and we didn't.
Q. Wasn't golf the big winner, though?
SCOTT HOCH: Oh, yeah, I thought it was outstanding how the crowds were, the sportsmanship. There's hardly even anything that caused a ripple. I thought it was outstanding because I criticized the event in the past for not being what it was designed to be, what it was originally designed to be, and I think this Ryder Cup got back to the way these matches should be held. The wrong team won, but they were held -- I hold it in a lot higher esteem than I did before because they were conducted the way it should be with sportsmanship but really good competition.
Q. What about playing on the road, the significance of that? It appears to me in this kind of competition that whether you're home or away has an awful lot to do with it.
SCOTT HOCH: It probably wouldn't bother me very much either way because when I'm playing over here I'm not exactly the favorite no matter who I might be battling with. I might not be the favorite here. Really that doesn't -- as a matter of fact, I love playing over there when they're against me because when I'm playing well, you know, you could quiet them down. I like playing on the road, but some of the other guys -- I didn't ever discuss it with the other guys but it might affect them some, but I don't think that much.
Q. What about the way they set up the golf course?
SCOTT HOCH: Yeah, that makes a big difference. Another thing that they did, they slowed the greens down on Sunday. I don't know if that was on purpose or not, but to a man, all of us agreed that the greens were slower on Sunday that they were on the other days. I don't know the reason, but second hole I had a downhill 12-footer and left it a foot short and hit it the way I wanted to. I'm thinking, whoa, maybe I just misjudged it or something, but when we got in a lot of us were talking -- I had a number of putts that were dying and breaking off of the hole because I thought I hit some good putts that weren't going in. Also they had the high rough, and then right before the tournament started they cut it down. It was still rough, still some good rough, but when we got there it was pretty high, and we were licking our chops. That's part of being the host. You can set up the course the way you want.
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