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May 5, 2024

Cam Smith

Marc Leishman

Matt Jones

Lucas Herbert

Republic of Singapore

Sentosa Golf Club

Ripper GC

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Let's welcome the back-to-back team champions. We have LIV Golf Singapore champs, Ripper GC. We're joined by our captain, Cam Smith, Marc Leishman, Lucas Herbert and Matt Jones. How awesome does it feel to be back-to-back champs?

MATT JONES: Yeah, it's amazing. Last week was a very special week for us, but to come out here this week and do it again, it's really special. This team, they play like maximus decimus meridius, and it was just amazing just to be part of it.

MARC LEISHMAN: Yeah, obviously an awesome week. Individually for me and Cam, it was obviously a great week. Looked like we were cruising there in the team stuff until I hit it in the "ganguly" there on the right on 1, and didn't quite get it out.

Yeah, managed to make that good putt for bogey and finish it off all right. Was really happy to get across the line there with the team, and yeah, good two weeks really, all around.

Q. Cam, you went on a heater today, shot 7-under and it helped secure the victory. Tell us about your day and what gave you that extra motivation?

CAM SMITH: I think it was nice to be on the other side of that. Last week I was the worst score of the whole group and today I was the best score. It was nice to be on the other side of that helping the team out. I felt like I was dragging a little bit last week, so it was a really good. Game is starting to feel really nice. Just need to kind of match everything up like I did today for the rest of the season, and I'm sure myself and this team will be up there, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the season for sure.

Q. Lucas, you guys are the newest member of Team Ripper, and you guys have secured back-to-back championships. What do you think that says about you as the addition to the team?

LUCAS HERBERT: I don't think I can take all the credit for why Ripper GC is playing so well, but it was obviously great to watch these two to my right here playing the way they did in front of me today. I obviously didn't have my best stuff. For them to play like that and carry the team through, yeah, there's probably a reason why Ripper GC has won the last two weeks. I'd say there's a reason Cam is the captain, too.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about that, how Cam is as a leader and a captain?

LUCAS HERBERT: He's pretty cruisy. We don't have to answer to too much. As long as all of us are practicing and working at things the right way, I don't think he's got an issue with where Ripper is going to go. He trusts all of us to get all our work done as we need to. Once we get to the tournaments, it's like we just go and have a lot of fun together. There's not a lot of critiquing of each other, of what we're doing.

MATT JONES: He did send out a text yesterday before we went out and played after that long weather delay, which I wouldn't think many other captains would have sent out, and said, 'go and enjoy it, boys.' I don't think many other captains would have texted their team that.

Q. Cam, how does that make you feel, to hear all those nice words about you?

CAM SMITH: Very nice. Thank you, guys.

Q. You guys definitely seem like you're all great friends and you're genuinely out here having a good time, even regardless of how you play. Do you think that's part of the winning formula for Team Ripper?

MARC LEISHMAN: Yeah, definitely. It certainly doesn't hurt. I can't speak for the other boys, but I'm genuinely excited every time I go to an airport now to come to a tournament. That's not a fib. I actually am. It feels like we're -- obviously it's very serious golf and there's a lot on the line and you're playing for each other, but it almost feels a little bit like we're going on a boys' trip every time we go to a golf tournament, which I love.

Obviously we've got to pull the reins in every now and again if we get a bit excited, but it's awesome to be traveling the world with these lads.

Q. A little birdie told me you guys partied for about 48 hours after your win last week. Are you going to top that this week or go a little bit more low key?

CAM SMITH: I think we're all heading home, to be honest, so it might be a bit hard to do it by ourselves. I think it was great fun to do it as a team, and there was a lot of enjoyment in those drinks, but I think we've had a long couple of weeks and probably looking forward to getting back to our families and getting some rest and getting some sleep.

MARC LEISHMAN: I think the plane ride is about 48 hours, so we might top it.

Q. How exactly did you guys battle the hangover, maybe figuratively or literally, since winning in Adelaide? Obviously that was a huge thing for you guys. Did you feel like it was a massive challenge coming into this week?

MARC LEISHMAN: Yeah, I think it was certainly a challenge. It might have been a blessing in disguise. Yes, we partied pretty hard for a couple of days, but then we all had Tuesday off. I don't know if many of us left our hotel rooms. And I think conserving energy this week was pretty important, particularly for the end of the week when everyone is worn out. We were worn out, but I think just taking it so easy early in the week might have helped us just to have that little bit of mental strength that it took to get across the line.

It may or may not be the case, but I'm going to put it down to that.

Q. Cam, were you worried about the hangover effect coming into this week for the team?

CAM SMITH: I think last week was definitely a big week. I think it was very energy consuming, and everyone was just tired. Given the win, had a few beers, like Leish said, had Tuesday off. No, I wasn't concerned. We had all played this golf course before. We had spoke about the golf course. We all like the golf course.

I think it's a very tough driving golf course, but once you get in the fairway you actually have to hit some different shots, which we all love doing.

I wasn't concerned about how we were going to do this week. I think we probably got a little bit of a kick up the butt on Wednesday. We did a chipping drill and then did a putting drill on Thursday, just to kind of get the things ticking over and get the mind competitive and active again.

No, I wasn't concerned. These guys are the best at what they do, and they showed it again this week.

Q. Matt, is it nice to show that you guys don't need 90,000 fans to actually win out here, that you guys can win on any course any time?

MATT JONES: Yeah, it was great to win in Australia in front of the home fans, but we had plenty of Ripper fans out here, too. It's a pretty easy flight from Australia, and I think they're either expats or a lot of people traveled up here, so it was great to have Ripper fans out here again this week. Hopefully there's more and more. The more we play, there's more Ripper fans everywhere we go.

Q. Lucas, obviously it was a bit of a different Sunday than a week ago. How did you deal with it? How were you dealing with it during the day, knowing that things weren't always going right, but at the end of the day your score was still going to count?

LUCAS HERBERT: Yeah, I think it's probably something I've worked on a lot recently is really trying to grind out those bad rounds as much as I can and get as much as I can out of some of those really poor days.

I don't think that I played much poorer this year than I did today. To be able to drag out -- 3-over was a good score for me realistically, so to drag that out of today was quite -- there was a lot of self-satisfaction in that. It was made a little harder watching these guys have a ripper of a round in front of me. It was 6-, 7-under. I didn't have that in me today. But trying to really stay focused on what I had in front of me, and I knew that they were going to keep making birdies. As long as I didn't make us go backwards and they were trying to cancel out my mistakes, just try to keep it on the straight and narrow as much as I could, and yeah, not throwing a double or a triple in when we didn't need it.

Q. Cam and Marc, how much was today as you were trying to chase down Brooks were you really concentrating on that part, or was it more where you were with the team? Take us through your perspective during the course of the round today.

CAM SMITH: Yeah, I think at the start of the round for me I was really kind of out of the golf tournament. It would have taken something pretty special to go and chase Brooks. Probably with seven or eight holes to go, I was closer than I thought I was going to be. Then started to just probably aim at a few more pins that I maybe wouldn't have, trying to win the golf tournament. I think there was an element of both for myself. I think Leish was a couple shots north of me this morning.

I really wanted the team to win, but at the same time I got so close that it was hard not to think about that, as well.

MARC LEISHMAN: Yeah, early on I was focused on both, and then I was a fair few back, switched over to the team, looked and saw the team was going pretty well, and then I made a few birdies there -- sort of birdied 7 -- yeah, a few probably with six, seven, eight holes to go. Then I switched back to the individual. But it was both. It was pretty cool to have those two leaderboards and watching them sort of simultaneously and trying to see what Cam is doing in the group ahead of me and where the team is and where I am individually. It's a good concept. Yeah, it brings that extra aspect to it.

Q. Cam, you mentioned this on TV, but you said you worked on your hip was it earlier this week? What was the issue there? Was it that bad?

CAM SMITH: No, not really. It just flares up from time to time. I've had it probably come off and on for the last probably two years. I think given the heat and how soft the ground was, it was just working a little bit overtime and got a little bit sore that first day and struggled to get into the left side. But Nick did a great job. He fixed me up, and I was ready to go the weekend. Yeah, it's all good.

Q. Cam, just in terms of being the captain of this team, Australia has got some pretty good teams, so have you picked the brains of any of the cricket guys or some of the rugby guys as to how they approach captaincy?

CAM SMITH: A little bit. I wouldn't say I've gone in depth. I think maybe over a couple of beers ask a question here or two, but it's not kind of how to run a team or how to manage a team.

I think these guys have been professionals, for starters, for 20 plus years, a couple of them, seven years. It's hard to come in and really tell them what to do. They all know what they need to do. They know what their job is. I just got lucky that I have probably three of the cruisiest guys in the world that I've got to look after.

Besides maybe let's do a putting drill from time to time, it's really not that hard for me. These guys kind of take care of themselves.

Q. Obviously momentum is everything when you're winning, so would you almost like to be playing again next week?

CAM SMITH: I think we've had a long couple of weeks. Adelaide was very energy consuming, as I said before, and this week was just so hot. I think it's taken a lot out of everyone. It's probably a good thing to have a couple of weeks off.

It'll be another hot one in Houston. We all love the heat. I think we've all played that golf course before. We're looking forward to getting there and keeping the momentum rolling.

Q. Is there a different level of expectation then going into Houston now, not just for you but I guess from the other teams, as well?

CAM SMITH: I mean, I kind of knew all year that we were going to get the ball rolling at some point. I think internally that we're the best team out here, and we're going to be tough to beat when we all have our best stuff.

Although a couple of our guys didn't have the best stuff today, there was also Leish and I that stepped up, and it was the same last week. I didn't have my best stuff on Sunday, but the other guys stepped up to the plate and really did a good job.

Yeah, I think we're going to be tough to beat the rest of the season.

Q. I didn't see the celebration. Was there a Singapore shoey out there?

CAM SMITH: Yes. It was rank.

Q. Can you guys tell us why you don't have shoes on?

CAM SMITH: The quality of FootJoy shoes really come into their own this week. I did a shoey out of mine on Sunday. It was good to go by Wednesday, held up all week perfectly. Another shoey today. I signed it and handed it off into the crowd. It was on its last legs, to be honest.

Even though I've had a couple of wins, they're only a few weeks old, so I feel like I should go and get them back, to be honest.

Q. How does a shoey after wearing your shoes for three rounds in the Singaporean heat taste?

MARC LEISHMAN: I said to the boys, I'm like, surely we've got to draw the line somewhere, don't we? They're like, no, we're doing it. I'm like, all right, so we did. It was pretty ordinary. Yeah, warm. I mean, as expected, I guess.

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