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October 20, 2000
LAKE MANASSAS, VIRGINIA
Q. How big was it to win that last point in the morning round?
DAVIS LOVE III: It's obviously better to be 6-4 than 5-5, and get a little bit of a
momentum going for the afternoon. I think being the last match of that segment and sending
everybody out there with a better attitude than if we had been completely caught. It helps
a little bit. The guys that didn't play well this morning are still disappointed, but it
looks like they're going right out and going right after it this afternoon. I know that
didn't sit well with a couple of the guys, like Jim out there pounding his frustrations
out on the range. They'll come back and I don't know what's going to happen out there, but
they'll be more determined, I think, than they were this morning.
Q. The pace of play has come into question. What's your feeling on it, and would it be
better to maybe try to arrange the schedule or add another day so you can spread out
everything one match a day?
DAVIS LOVE III: I don't know who it was up there, but somebody just played too slow.
And we waited -- we got bogged down on 12 and got a hole open in front of us on 13, but
then by the time we played 13, and were hitting your tee shots on 14 we were waiting again
-- yeah, at 14, the par-5. And just sometimes in match play you have to prod guys along
more than you do in stroke-play. And I don't think it will happen again. I think whoever
is out in this first match is just -- it's hard, too, when you're playing an International
Team competition, it's hard for the rules guys to say you're going to have to hurry up.
It's hard when you're watching what's happening. But it was a slow day. The thing is, it's
worse on the players than on anybody else because if we have to come back in the morning,
it sure messes up a nice sleep-in morning. So we're all feeling it. We don't want -- none
of us wanted to go slow, either, but something happened up there in the front and I'm sure
they'll correct it.
Q. Is there too much conferring between the players?
DAVIS LOVE III: As I said, I didn't see who was doing what. I know we get frustrated in
the Ryder Cup that there's too much conferring going on. And I've played a lot of matches
-- I'm always frustrated with the conferring, because I don't -- I ask Phil a couple of
times, and he asked me a couple of times. But you've got to play your own game. And I
think it's all a little too slow. But there's a lot of pressure and things get bogged
down. But, as I said, if the officials say, look, here's what we've got to do then we can
do it, it's just a matter of getting pushed into it.
Q. The other thing that was brought up was maybe the greens are set up too fast,
DAVIS LOVE III: Today was a lot trickier than yesterday. They're very fast and if you
hit it 6 feet every hole, you play a lot faster. But when you hit it 40 feet, you've got
two guys 30 and 40 feet away, it takes a while to lag them down there. If you don't hit
good putts, you're putting coming back. I think the course was a lot of the factor today.
You don't want to set it up where every hole has to be a birdie or you're going to lose
the hole. But you don't want to make it so hard that you don't see any birdies and it
slows things down. There were some key ones today. That would help a little bit. But the
only thing is like alternate shot, if you hit it out there and the guy is waiting for the
ball and he negotiation in and hits it without a whole lot of discussion you can play
pretty fast. But if you both walk to the tee and you both walk to the ball it goes pretty
slow. Same thing with four guys playing. If you talk about your shots it's really going to
be slow, because our foursome-play on this course would be 4 and a half hours anyway with
no discussion playing a tournament. So it's a slow format, but we just need to do a better
job, especially the players. But after today it won't be an issue, with just one match
Q. Davis, in a television interview this morning, Kenny said that regardless of what
happened this morning and this afternoon, that as long as you kept coming up on the plus
side in the total score, he was going to be happy, because he knew it was not going to be
as easy as it was yesterday, and I wonder your thoughts there, sir?
DAVIS LOVE III: He's right. We've just got to stay ahead until the end. We knew that we
weren't going to stay five points ahead with all the points out there. If we could pour it
on, we'd be lucky to -- you can't win every segment is what I'm trying to say. And we
didn't win it this morning, and we would have much rather lost it 3-2. But they got back
in it right away, rather than creeping back. And as Peter Thomson said yesterday, we lost
the first segment before and have gotten that far behind and came close to winning. So it
all seems to even out in the end in these matches. When you get on a run, it's easy to
sustain it. Maybe we'll get back on our run this afternoon and jump back out ahead. But
these are two very evenly matched, two very good teams and it's all momentum and who's
making putts. And, again, I'm at a disadvantage, because I was the last match and I didn't
see anything. But I have a feeling that the golf was a lot like it was yesterday and they
just holed the putts and we didn't.
Q. How did your own match go? Did it turn on a certain hole, did Phil carry you or
DAVIS LOVE III: No, I think there was a couple of very good holes that Phil sucked it
up and I'd say 15, he made that putt after hitting it in there close, probably a
20-footer, 18-footer -- maybe 15. But anyway, he -- we both hit good drives after they hit
bad drives -- well, I guess they hit first. We both hit good drives. We both hit the
green. He hit it a lot closer than me. He said coming off the tee, he said we have to win
this hole, because we need to make a birdie and take this hole and get 2-up. When he gets
focused he does really well. He had a couple of times where he was a little sketchy where
the putter wasn't comfortable. But when he did get comfortable he started hitting really
good putts. He's playing very well. He's bombing it out there. I put a little bit of
pressure on him a couple of times and we both played a couple of holes not well. I missed
a little putt at 10, probably would have made the last few holes up a little easier. And
he had a bad drive at 12, and I didn't make birdie at 12 either. And those guys made a
bomb at 13. So it got a little sketchy there in the middle. Then we both hit some good
shots coming in and got the ball in play when we needed to. We weren't -- again, just like
my match with David, we weren't in command, but it always looked like we were going to
Q. Davis, normally we think of momentum as being a positive, yet there's just as much
negative momentum in a situation. I want to ask you about Ernie and Vijay, who have lost
two matches and getting cooked early on in this one this afternoon. Is this a negative
momentum kind of thing that they're experiencing?
DAVIS LOVE III: I know Phil said this is the best team, we've got to get out and beat
them. I was hoping he wasn't going to put too much pressure on himself that we had to win.
And that that was their toughest team. You never know who the toughest team is. But
they're the biggest names on their team and when you beat them or when you beat Greg
Norman it stings them a little bit. And just like Tiger and Notah not winning this
morning. That's a jab. It's not just one point, it's, hey, these guys aren't invincible.
So I know Tiger is probably very determined this afternoon, as Hal Sutton and the rest of
the guys are, but, yeah, the momentum -- sure they got back in it, but it all hinges on
the next segment. If we come out and do well in this segment then that forces them back in
on the next one, that they have to do very well in it. We don't know how it will turn out.
But I have a feeling the singles matches always seem to be the deciding factor. We would
love to win four or five matches every segment and have the singles not be important. But
I think it will come down to who wins the most of those.
Q. I know you were saying you'd love to be winning 4 out of 5 every time, but isn't it
a much more fun when it gets close the rest of the way? Had you guys gone up 9-1 after the
first two sessions, it's kind of hard to maintain the interest level?
DAVIS LOVE III: It was fun to make that putt at 17, because you knew those guys were
going to make birdie. Yes, that's fun. Would it have been more fun to be done on 14 and
sitting up there to watch President Bush flip the coin? Probably. If Phil had birdied
every hole, I wouldn't have been disappointed. But we're here for the competition. We're
here to see how you handle pressure. You're here to see how you react to things. You get
confidence from things like making that last putt. In fact, Lee said over there having
lunch said, boy, you're putting good, and my wife went (indicating). Hey, I made the putt
on the 17th hole that made the match. That's all I remember. I'm not dwelling on the fact
that I missed a couple 10- or 15-footers. I said, hey, under the gun I made it. And that's
why we're here is can you make them on the last hole. Some of the best putts that I go
back and think about in your memory bank of good putts -- I'll never forget Crenshaw
reading that putt for me at Brookline on the 18th green and standing up in the shadows
with everybody standing around the green with both teams watching. If I can make that putt
or I can make that putt on 17 today, that's going to give me confidence to go to THE TOUR
Championship and make some putts. So, yeah, that's why we're here is to be under pressure.
We'd like for the pressure to ease up by the time we get to Sunday, but it is fun to
compete. You don't want to go out and have the guys bogey every hole and give you the
match. But you want to go out and win it. I think that's what you're saying. We want to go
out and win it and do it in an exciting fashion and not just cruise through it.
Q. Davis, could you tell us how long that putt was at 17?
DAVIS LOVE III: I'd say it was probably -- the pin was 10 or so over that bunker, so
I'd say it was 25 feet, 26 feet, somewhere like that.
Q. Davis, you said that Franco and Maruyama beating Woods and Begay was more than just
a point, it was a jab. Were you surprised that Franco played so well or did you think he
might be the sort of person who responds to the challenge that Tiger presents?
DAVIS LOVE III: No, we saw him in Australia what Franco and Maruyama can do. They both
played great down there. And we were just happy that Maruyama sat out yesterday, because
he's been the giant killer for them. Anybody on either team, that's what I kept trying to
say to Phil, he kept saying this is their best team, we've got to beat them. I said you
know what, you don't know who their best team is every segment, it changes. I bet you that
when they were sitting in that other side they weren't going, you know what, Stewart Cink
and Kirk Triplett, that's going to be their best team. I bet they were looking at Tiger
Woods or David Duval. So you never know. And I'm not surprised. Those guys are relaxed.
They have great attitudes for playing the game. And I think when you get to this kind of
format, the guys with the better attitude, the more focused and relaxed and confident
players seem to shine more than the mechanical guys. And one thing is for sure, Carlos
Franco isn't mechanical, he's just out there playing the game.
Q. The International Team pointed to Ernie Els. Apparently he made sort of an
impassioned speech, by his standards, to get them going. Coming into today did you guys --
what did you guys say? What was the feeling? Was there any feeling about we're up, now we
have to -- don't let up?
DAVIS LOVE III: We had the same -- we had a Hal Sutton repeat speech of we've got to
get out and take it to them, don't just sit back and see what happens. We know how good
this team is. We know that any let up, like this morning, they're going to come roaring
back. And we saw what they can do in Australia and they know that if they get too far
behind, they know what we can do on Sunday in singles. Nobody ever thought a team could do
that, and we proved that anything's possible in this format, that we can come back from
any deficit. So we know what we're up against, and we've got to just, as Hal said, put all
our others in the water, don't leave anything in the water. Kenny says all you guys have
to do is give me a hundred percent. And we're trying to give him 110.
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