September 20, 2005
TODD BUDNICK: We're going to get started before Freddie gets here. We welcome five members of the U.S. Presidents Cup Team, Stewart Cink, Chris DiMarco, Davis Love III, Scott Verplank and Tiger Woods. We'll open it up right to questions.
Q. Maybe Davis, this might be a good one for you, there's sort of a feeling that this event kind of grew into it's own last time around, the intensity of the matches on Sunday, the singles matches, and sort of the emotion that was shown out there by Nick Price and you at the end, do you feel like that was when this haven't kind of came into it's own?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think that we said after playing here a few times that if we lost the Presidents Cup, it would get a little bit more intense, and I think certainly going overseas for the second time and having a close match and obviously the tie was a new twist. I think that certainly it made it a lot more interesting, and then when we started losing and getting it rubbed in for two years, it certainly gets a lot more intense. We beat them so bad here the last time, they wanted to beat us bad in South Africa, and it was a close match.
Certainly it's gotten we've gotten more comfortable with the event and it's friendlier, both on and off the golf course with the friends and the players, a friendlier match, certainly, less intense but still a more it's a fun competition and I think we all enjoy playing with these guys that we play against all year.
Q. Tiger, as good as the sort of camaraderie is between the two teams, can you just go back five years and give us your take on the "Tiger Who", and do you expect Vijay's caddie to be coming out with another interesting hat this time around?
TIGER WOODS: At the time I certainly didn't appreciate it. I thought it wasn't real respectful. I know he tried to do it in fun, but I didn't take it that way. I went out there and beat him 2 and 1, so that's my response to it. (Laughter).
Q. Who are you going to be paired with this week to help you get off the schneid of the 0 and 6 in four balls?
TIGER WOODS: That's a great question. I know, but you can't know.
Q. Who do you want to be paired with?
TIGER WOODS: As I said, I know but you can't know.
Q. Sort of following on that other question, I mean, not that obviously you didn't appreciate that, but do you enjoy you're a guy who enjoys the needle occasionally, is that something that you liked a little bit to make it more interesting?
TIGER WOODS: Doesn't need to be, though. We're out there competing and he's trying to beat my brains in and I'm trying to beat his in. That's the nature of competition, and that's what makes it fun. You don't really need that and that's not our sport. Especially we don't want this event to get to where the Ryder Cup got to where it went out of control. It was it's if those kind of things continue to happen, the media plays on that and then you've got to build it up and then it gets exponentially worse.
Q. For Fred and Davis, you guys obviously in the past have played together very successfully in match play, can you talk about how maybe being friends helps or when you're looking for a partner, what do you want in a partner?
DAVIS LOVE III: I already answered one.
FRED COUPLES: Oh, you already did? (Laughter).
Yeah, well, I think it's truly a treat to play with Davis at any time. You know, one of the things we do is we kind of, maybe not so much anymore, but we have the same kind of ball flight, same kind of shots, so you can learn a lot.
And I think any team thing, being comfortable is the best thing about it. I know you've heard it all the time, everyone thinks they can play with everybody and they all get along great, but when you're on the course, you have to know the guy pretty well because you're not going to win every single time you play and you have to be able to say the right things and have some fun with it and I think again, I've never played with Chris or Stewart, but it would be very easy to play. And sometimes there just some guys that aren't, and I think most of it is not golf oriented, I think it's the part where you're 2 down after five holes, you know, what do you do, what do you go say to your partner. A lot of times, you'll walk away and you'll say, why the hell did the guy say that, and, you know, most of the time, you really need to settle down and have fun with it. I think, you know, playing with Davis would be a treat and I know we've talked about playing with Tiger, which would be an ideal thing for me. And there are a lot of guys that would not be ideal to play with me and I know that and they know that. So, you know, I need to play with guys I can really support and have fun with.
Q. For Tiger, Davis, actually anybody who has played here in the past, the U.S. has a 58 38 point advantage at RTJ. Is there something about the golf course itself, architecturally or what have you that lends itself to the advantage that you guys have? They play here in the States all the time and, but you have a pretty huge advantage, wonder why?
TIGER WOODS: You're the oldest.
DAVIS LOVE III: I think home course helps and right in the middle of a lot of big tournaments for us, so I think playing in November is just a different I think a little bit different animal. We play the full long season, you know, and I think we're just fresher this time of year and more comfortable here. So I think not that, you know, obviously most of those guys live here, too, but I think just we like the golf course and we've got confidence here. I know after playing in Australia and then after South Africa, we look forward to coming back here because we have a lot of confidence playing here.
Q. Tiger, just an odd sort of question, have you got a little something going on under your hat?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I do.
Q. Can we see?
TIGER WOODS: No. Why.
Q. What's it all about?
TIGER WOODS: Just having fun. Got to do it while I've still got it. (Laughter) Just trying to be like Bobby over there.
Q. Does it look a lot like his?
TIGER WOODS: I think mine looks a little bit better.
DAVIS LOVE III: Some parts, do.
Q. Speaking of hair keep going.
TIGER WOODS: No, no, all you. Go ahead.
Q. For the guys who played in the last one in South Africa, I wonder how much it means to you knowing the kind of year Jack has had the last major and then personal things in his life, how much it would mean to you guys or how much of a motivation is that for you to win one for the gipper?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's always motivation when you're trying to win for your captain. That's who you're playing for, your playing for your teammates and your captain. With Jack being the legend that he is in the game of golf and obviously retiring from the game of golf competitively, just makes it that much more enjoyable to come out here and play. We did the same thing with Ken Venturi and just had ourselves a blast and hopefully we can do the same thing this week and play as well.
DAVIS LOVE III: Certainly, he's got to win and a tie or a loss and a tie, we'd like to get him a win.
All of these guys have played on a lot of teams. You see the effort they put into it and to have a guy do it three times, a couple, I guess Jack and Barbara and their staff, we certainly want them to have a win and all of us have seen both sides of it, too. But it's not a whole lot of fun when you lose, and tying is about the same. So hopefully we can get him a win.
Q. Stewart, the same question for you about Jack.
STEWART CINK: Well, I've known Jack a long time, maybe not in years as long as Fred or Davis, but from my early age of about 19, I've known Jack, since his son was on my college team at Georgia Tech. I've not only seen him on the silver screen or TV playing Masters but also around the dorm. So, you know, just to be qualified and to be able to represent a team that's captained by Jack is special enough right there.
Q. Does it make it even more considering the emotional year he's had and this would be a great way to cap it off for him?
STEWART CINK: Yeah, it's definitely something that I can't relate to, what he's gone through this year and hopefully I'll never have to relate to it. But to get him a win here might take some of the sting out.
Q. Fred and Tiger, if you guys could just talk about, when you step on the first tee Thursday, do you have the same kind of vibe as you would last year when you stepped on the tee at Oakland Hills, or any Ryder Cup, I should say, is this the same feeling you get as when you play the Ryder Cup?
FRED COUPLES: (Looking at Tiger).
TIGER WOODS: Thanks. I think that it's certainly not as loud and as boisterous. You hear a lot of chanting at Ryder Cups and you don't hear it here as much as the Presidents Cup.
Still, the atmosphere from the gallery is different, but from the players' standpoint, it's still a lot of pressure out there and you're still trying to win your match, win your point, and that's all you care about once you get on that first tee, getting a point for your team. And you have to let everything else just roll off your shoulders and go out there and team up with your partner and hopefully get the job done.
Q. For Chris and then Tiger, along those same lines, it was a different year and different team you're facing, but would it help as far as team golf goes, take the sting off of last year?
CHRIS DiMARCO: No, I don't think last year was any fun, no. I still wake up hearing "Ole, Ole, Ole." (Laughter). So there's certainly some motivation about how we got everything handed to us last year. So we're going to hopefully not let that happen again. We're going to go out and try to make it go the other way.
Q. Tiger, any idea how many partners you've had since you started playing these things?
TIGER WOODS: I know you know the number. (Laughter).
Q. It's a big one.
TIGER WOODS: I'm going to say 16.
Q. No, 14.
TIGER WOODS: 14.
Q. Why do you think that is?
DAVIS LOVE III: Everybody wants to play with him. Everybody gets their turn. (Laughter).
Q. He's got a losing record. Why would you want that?
TIGER WOODS: I have no idea. We all have I've had some great times with my partners trying to go out there and win points. Unfortunately I haven't won as many points as I'd like to and to help the team out, but I go out there and play as hard as I could with all of my partners.
Q. Following what Fred said earlier, what in your mind constitutes a perfect partner?
TIGER WOODS: A guy that makes a lot of birdies. If my partner makes a bunch of birdies, we're going to have a great time. (Laughter).
Q. Davis, yesterday Fred was saying that he thinks one of the reasons Tiger's record isn't better is because people get nervous and press a little bit playing with Tiger because you feel like you've got to play for Tiger; is that something that you can relate to at all in your experience?
DAVIS LOVE III: I get the same feeling playing with him as I do with Fred Couples or Stewart Cink; that you want to do well for your partner, and I think sometimes it's harder when you know that all you have to do is help a little bit, you know, and you'll be okay. I think that Tiger and I were laughing about Ryder Cup, my first Ryder Cup match with him at The Belfry, you know, all you've got to do is relax and play, and sometimes that's hard to do. You know, we say, well, if you just get out of your own way at the majors, you could win a lot more and sometimes it's easier said than done.
You know, it's different. I had never played with Stewart in a match, and last time at Oakland Hills, I was very, very nervous playing with him because I just didn't know how. Maybe I'm supposed to be the veteran and the leader and I was nervous playing with Chad Campbell, too, for the same reason; that I'm supposed to help him out enough so that I can get as much as I can out of him. Sometimes it's different pressure with different people. Certainly with Tiger, you can just help a couple of holes, you're going to be okay, but that's what team golf is all about.
That's what Tiger was saying, you've got to have a guy that makes a lot of birdies is a perfect partner and if you go out and play your game I think that's why Fred and I, not only in match play, but even more in the World Cup, which is a tough format, we just go out and play our own games and have fun. I know when he hits a bad shot, he's going to try real hard on the next one, and he knows when I screw up a couple of holes that I'm not going to give up and I'm going to hang in there. I think just knowing each other real well makes it a lot easier. Certainly when all of a sudden you get thrown with Stewart Cink who you've never played with or Tiger you've never played with, I don't think it's really the person, just that new partner nervousness.
It's not easy, you know, so it's hard to match up. There's a lot of great players that if you go back and say, this guy is a great match play player and then go look at his record in the Ryder Cup, it's not very good; there's a lot of them. None of our records are really good because we keep either tying or losing, so nobody's record is 100 percent or 90 percent because it's real hard to have a winning record.
Q. Fred, you've played in every Presidents Cup except the one in '03 in South Africa. Did you watch those events, wishing you were there playing with those guys, and now you're back here at RTJ with this new team where you've had some success here, talk a little bit about that.
FRED COUPLES: Well, yeah, I watched most of the Ryder Cups and the Presidents Cup. It's very exciting, nerve wracking and I think, you know, everyone's goal is to win a tournament. Everyone's goal is to win a major and everyone's goal is to be on a team event. So for me, you know, it's very special. There's no doubt, I'm going to be 46 in a couple of weeks and I know Fred Funk is older and Kenny Perry is up there, but basically this is my 26th year on the Tour, and you know, to be on this team, it's almost a huge boost for, really for a couple years, just to be a part of this and see how everyone plays, to hang out with everyone.
I did play with Tiger in Australia and it was truly, truly a treat. I think I'm looking forward to that. But for me, just to be hanging around with Chris and Stewart and Scott and Mickelson everyone, just to hear everyone talk, because I haven't played great golf or been paired with a lot of these guys because I'm not in the last groups anymore, it's going to be fun to see all of that. And it makes you a better player, there's no doubt.
Jack could have picked Ted Purdy or Tom Lehman or Zach Johnson, but getting to your final answer, ten years ago, I played well here, but that was a long time ago. But, you know, the people are behind us and they are certainly behind me, so it's a kick and I think at the end of the week, it will truly be amazing.
Q. Judging from some of the responses here, it sounds as though you might be playing with Tiger this week
FRED COUPLES: We're just trying to throw you off. I'm really playing with Mickelson. (Laughter).
Q. In the last couple of Presidents Cups, Tiger has played with one person all the way through, do you all in general, do you all like playing with the same person over and over again, or do you like to mix and match and try different things, because I know the Europeans and the Ryder Cup have got set pairings now and then and the Americans don't as often, do you prefer to stick with one guy?
FRED COUPLES: I'll answer it quickly. Again, I like to play with the guys that I think feel capable of playing with me, which it's not everybody. And I certainly enjoy playing with them, and I think it's an easy fit.
I've said a hundred times that I could be paired with Chris and we could go out there and pump our fists and shoot 2 under par in best ball and win a match and Davis and Tiger can go out and shoot 9 under and lose to Trevor Immelman and Nick O'Hern, when they are 10 under. And it looks like we were great, and yet we played terrible. So, you know, this win and loss thing is a little mixed up. I think sometimes the captain has no idea, so he'll come out there and say, hey, you and Chris are going to play in the afternoon, and Davis, I'm going to split you up with Tiger because you lost when they basically were like machines so, it happens all the time.
So to answer your question, I think you need to stick with one or two guys, but none of this, well, you lost with him so let's try with someone else.
Q. Are you happy that there's no envelope this year?
TIGER WOODS: You think? (Laughter).
Q. How about some of the other guys, you were probably watching that event, you see it, it comes down to one guy, what do you think as pro golfers?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I'll just answer real quick from my side. The reason why I didn't want to have to go in that playoff is because I had already beaten Ernie earlier. So I've already beaten a top player on their team in his home country and one us a point, and if I go out and lose one hole, no one's ever going to remember I beat Ernie Els and I got a point. I just lost the entire Presidents Cup. So that was a little nerve wracking out there. Thanks, Davis. (Laughter).
DAVIS LOVE III: Finally, somebody said it. (Laughter).
CHRIS DiMARCO: Gary and Jack in a playoff would have been perfect.
TODD BUDNICK: On that note, we'll say thank you very much, guys, and good luck.
End of FastScripts.