September 12, 1996
LAKE MANASSAS, VIRGINIA
WES SEELEY: To my left is Corey Pavin; to his left is Tom Lehman, to his left is Scott Hoch. And Arnold is on his way. Since we're behind time we will begin with -- well, have you had a chance to see the pairings or did you just gaze up there? Are they everything you dreamed of?
TOM LEHMAN: Well, I think the pairings are some good matches. I think -- I feel like our team has five good teams out there tomorrow, I think they do, also. There should be some interesting matches, I think particularly Jumbo and Vijay make a very strong team, I think Allenby and Norman will be strong. I think our five teams are strong, as well.
WES SEELEY: With that, questions.
Q. Tom, your paired with Steve Stricker, Minnesota connection, is that what it is?
TOM LEHMAN: He's a cheesehead and I'm a gopher. I think it's appropriate that we play together. Actually I asked Arnold if I could have a chance to play with Steve at least one match. I think our game is similar, hits about the same club. He hits about the same distance as I do. So I think we will be very compatible as a team.
Q. How much do each of you have in the pairing selections and the team pairings for tomorrow?
COREY PAVIN: I think as far as the pairings go, Arnold, we just expressed some opinions, but obviously Arnold makes the final say. He's the captain. So we just basically had maybe a few people that maybe we have played with before, maybe in matches like this or guys that haven't played that we'd like to play with, as in Tom's case. We just expressed our opinion. And it's Arnold's decision ultimately, and that's why he's captain. And I think all the pairings are great. As Tom said, the matches, there's going to be some beautiful matches out there tomorrow. It's going to be fun to watch.
Q. Corey, could you talk a little bit about your a Ryder Cup Veteran, obviously, and how does it feel compared to that? Is it as tense yet or is it -- just as players, how is the feeling?
COREY PAVIN: I think we've all played in both, now, I guess. But the Ryder Cup is very intense and I think this one is going to be very intense this week. I think the last time being the Inaugural Presidents Cup, it was hard to get a total feel for what it was going to be like. But I think this one with Jumbo coming over to play, which is great, and with Greg able to play this time and Ernie playing, and their whole team is strong. And we're all pretty fired up as well to play. I just think both teams are very deep. I think it will be very competitive. And both teams want to win. And it's going to be a lot of fun out there competing. I think the intensity is going to be pretty high this time.
Q. Does the big three maybe tip the balance in their favor or do you still regard yourselves as the favorites?
COREY PAVIN: I don't make odds. I just go out and play golf. So I think the teams are both very good. That's why we're playing this thing is to find out who's going to play better this week. So we'll just wait and see. I think we're going to have a lot of good golf played out there and a lot of close matches. It should be a lot of fun to watch.
Q. Corey, would you talk about playing against Jumbo, if you know much about him. Have you experienced playing against him in other tournaments?
COREY PAVIN: I've personally played with him a few times over in Japan. Obviously he hits it quite a long way. He's definitely Japan's best player; has been for a long, long time. He's an excellent golfer, and I don't think -- the fans over here haven't seen that much of him. They've seen him in the U.S. Open and I think -- was he leading in the Open or a shot back or something, last year or the year before or something like that? He's had some pretty good rounds in major championships over here. He can flat out play. He's an excellent golfer. He's 49? I don't know if he's going to play the Senior Tour over here, but if he did, he'd play pretty well. He's a very talented guy.
Q. Scott, just a question, you guys play each other all week, all throughout the year and then all of a sudden the Ryder Cup or here, what's the change in mindset that you have to change, suddenly being a team and playing together, how do you change your mindset?
SCOTT HOCH: Arnold told me to keep my answers to one word, it would be "safer." (Laughter) Yeah, give me some yes and no questions. (Laughter.) That's probably why this might not be quite as intense yet as the Ryder Cup would be, because we do play with many of these guys all the time. But then again, we did that last year and it was kind of fun. I was playing one of my neighbors from Orlando. It seems different. It's still matchplay and you've got to go out there and still have the killer instinct, but when you get off the course, we're a lot closer to these guys than we are some of the others. But on the course we still have to put that aside and it is a competition, and we're out there to beat them and they're out to beat us. So -- but after it's over, I'm sure we'll toast the winners and wish them good luck and good play and all.
Q. How much does patriotism enter into your thinking, guys?
TOM LEHMAN: Well, we're all friends in this competition. However, I will see once these pairings come up, my intensity level has gone up a hundred percent. These guys are no longer fellow PGA tournament members; for the most part, they're the other side. I know we want to win. We have a Captain who wants to win. We have 12 guys who want to win. So this is like take no prisoners from here on out until Sunday evening.
ARNOLD PALMER: 13.
TOM LEHMAN: 13? How could I forget you?
Q. Talk about the possibility of a wet weekend; how will it affect play?
COREY PAVIN: Hopefully, it won't rain. It's no fun to play in the rain. It's no fun to watch in the rain for the fans. I don't think the course will play much longer than it is right now. It's not wet out there, but it's soft. So I don't think that will really affect that much at all. I think the course drains pretty decently. Obviously, there was a lot of rain here when Fran went through last week. And the course is, on the surface, very dry. Underneath there's some mixture. Hopefully it won't happen, because it's no fun for everybody. I don't think it will affect the course more than the condition it is in now.
Q. Corey, last year you guys got out to a good start, two years ago, got an early lead, how important do you think that might be this time?
COREY PAVIN: It's obviously important to get off to a good start. It doesn't dictate the rest of the tournament. Tomorrow is just the first round of the 5-round event. In the morning, anyway. And obviously it would be good to get off to a good start. But I think as long as everybody is out there playing good and going at it and doing their best, that's all Arnold can ask from us, I'm sure. And hopefully we'll have plenty of victories out there in the matches. But everybody is going to be out there grinding and playing the best they can.
Q. This is for Mr. Palmer. This is the captain's version of the hole-by-hole. But can you briefly touch on why you teamed certain people together?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I tried to put the guys together that I thought would work best together as far as my players are concerned. I tried in some way to answer their questions and their desires as far as the pairings were concerned and as far as who they play, I won the draw and deferred to Peter. And you can see from there, that's the way it went. The very first match was Greg and I figured Freddie and Davis would make that a good match. And right down the line. I tried to put the guys against their guys that I thought could do the best against them. And no one is a mind reader. You can't tell. But I feel like my guys are pretty happy with the way the pairings came out and if that happens, then I've accomplished part of my chore to keep them happy. They're all anxious to play. I've got the feeling, the enthusiasm that I was looking for out of this team, whatever happens, I will be happy and I'll be a lot happier if they win.
Q. This is for Arnold. Could you just go over the procedure for that sudden death tie-breaker on Sunday? When do you have to choose the player and what's going to go into that thinking? Have people come up to you volunteering?
ARNOLD PALMER: I haven't discussed that with the players. I know how they feel. They've expressed their feelings about that tie-breaker and I have 12 guys and they all want to be in the envelope. So that answers that. So I will pick the one and probably I'll pick him -- I don't have to turn that envelope in until Sunday morning. So I will be watching how they play and that will have something to do with the guy that I put in that envelope. As you know, we have two envelopes. One is in case of an injury or something like that. We don't need to discuss that because that's very clear. I would like to hope and I do hope that no one will ever know who's in that envelope but me, because I'm not going to tell anybody else. If I keep that secret forever, that would make me very happy, because -- on the other hand, there's some suspense in that. Does that answer your question on the tie-breaker, the normal thing will go as announced. A tie match will continue to play, immediately. And then if at the end there's a tie for the title, then we'll see who's in that envelope.
Q. Just for Corey or the players, what do you think of this system and would you want that kind of pressure on you if you were the one?
COREY PAVIN: Aren't you in the envelope, Arnold? (Laughter).
SCOTT HOCH: That's what the players suggested that the captains go at it. (Laughter).
ARNOLD PALMER: I think I'm going to skip that. (Laughter). But I think we may do some studying for the future as to that playoff situation, but right now we feel like it's pretty adequate and it will solve the situation if it arrives. And I don't think maybe the players are too crazy about going out and playing after they finish a match. But that's the way it is and they are very cooperative, so we won't have a problem with it.
Q. Arnold, you've kept out Kenny Perry and Justin Leonard as -- is it your intention to put them in the afternoon?
ARNOLD PALMER: It is.
Q. The International Team has talked about how impressed they are, how well they're jelling, and the team spirit is extraordinarily high. How is the chemistry of this team, compared to others? Is the team spirit all gelling well?
COREY PAVIN: Yeah, I think so. Just those few fights last night, but that's it, fist fights (laughter.) We all know each other very well. We play on the TOUR all year long, and a lot of us have been out here many, many years. We all know each other very well and obviously the chemistry is going to be very high because we know each other so well. And all our games, we know each other's very well because we've seen each other play for a long time. I think the chemistry is very high. I think what Tom was alluding to when the pairings come out, it gets your attention and it's time to go and you get keyed up. And I think probably tonight, when we have dinner as a team, that we'll all be pretty fired up and keyed up. As the week goes on, you get closer and closer and closer. It's a wonderful, wonderful experience for everyone.
Q. Scott, if you have had some success this year and in matchplay competition, I wonder how your attitude changes for that from stroke-play? Does your strategy change significantly, how are you different in medal play?
SCOTT HOCH: In matchplay I think what your opponent does, in terms of what you do or vice-versa, depending on who goes first or where they hit it, but again you have a whole different scenario when you're playing best ball and when you're playing alternate shots. The only thing that I have to compare it with, what I did this year was come Sunday, because that's the only thing that's similar. But all the others are different I played in this last year. And you just have to -- well, first of all, Arnold picks the guys that play together and then we have to decide how we want to play, our strategy within our match, how we want to do it and like I said, every shot pleases somebody. And what you have to do is play according to what your guys are doing. You're not just playing the course in matchplay, that's the one major difference. You have to do according to what the other team allows you to do or makes you do. If they get a tie then I would say you've got a tough shot; you're not going to hit it in 20 feet to make it. You've got to go for the pin a lot more. And obviously if they're in trouble then you might not be as -- take as many chances. That's just matchplay and that's the major difference.
WES SEELEY: At this point, I'm being told that we're going to have Peter Thomson and Ian Baker-Finch come in and we will release the three of you and the captains will answer some questions together after which we will release Mr. Palmer and some of Peter's team will join us.
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