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October 22, 2000

Stewart Cink

Davis Love III

Paul Marchand

Kirk Triplett

Ken Venturi


Q. Ken, you've had a very emotional career, winning the U.S. Open in '64 and in San Francisco with that great comeback at Harding Park at the Lucky International, I believe it was, and I wonder in your career, which has been very varied and wonderful, where this ranks and if you could just go into a few words on the whole situation.

KEN VENTURI: In my career, it's winding down, as you know, but this is quite a send off to be able to be the winning captain of the Presidents Cup. But I would just -- that was just a small part of it. I owe it to my team and Paul Marchand. As you know, I'm going into semi retirement, just a few tournaments and television now, and I couldn't think of a better way to go out. I know all of my guys, I know they gave me a hundred percent, and I'll always be indebted to them for what they've done and to make my going away present. Maybe it's never been said before, but every one of my -- I love them, I just do. What they did for me I'll always be indebted to them.

Q. Davis, since 1998 you're undefeated in International competition, team competition, any reason why, and how much of you enjoying it?

DAVIS LOVE III: I'm definitely enjoying it a lot more than Valderrama and Australia. And it's due to Ken Venturi being real smart and putting me with David Duval and Phil Mickelson and having great partners. You can help your partners play good or you can help them play bad. And I think both in Valderrama and Australia, Justin Leonard still has a knot on his head in Australia from where I kept hitting them in the trees. You can help your partners, and I helped them a little bit in the beginning of those matches. They gave me confidence because they were in the holes I wasn't in, and I was lucky enough to get points. And I made some good putts when I had to, which was the difference in Australia and also Valderrama. And it's just nice to hole a couple of putts and help your team. But it's all how things fall. Sometimes you get the big match that you think is going to be the toughest match and it turns out not to be. And I've had, from Freddie Couples and Tom Kite, I've had great partners, and that certainly doesn't hurt your record. These guys all played good, to a man. Nobody got swept, nobody lost a whole lot of matches, nobody was ever really getting thumped two times in a row, and that's important. We played as 12 guys and two captains the whole week and there was no one person, I don't think, that played any better -- except maybe Stewart -- but they all played about the same and all had the same amount of confidence.

Q. Davis, follow-up to that is today you had to do it yourself, you were a one-man team. You had to take on Ernie Els, the No. 2 Player in the world. You defeated him pretty nicely.

DAVIS LOVE III: It goes back to, your partners can get you going one way or another. Ernie had a lot of pressure on him the first couple of matches to try to carry a best ball in an alternate shot match on his own. And he got a little -- pushing a little too hard. And I didn't beat the No. 2 Player in the world. He didn't play like the No. 2 Player. Neither one of us shot a low score. I did just enough to get by. I missed a couple of putts early that would have made it a little tougher on him. But he had -- I guess had a pretty good week last week, obviously has had a great last year. But he, and it looked like a couple of other guys, weren't just on top of their game. When you get behind 5-0, you're not free wheeling it anymore, and it gets a little tight. And I think their whole team got a little tight there.

Q. Davis, everybody knows your love of the game and the amount of history you've been involved in the game and a lot of International competition, to be the deciding match, I just wonder what that's like, because I saw you and Kenny hug there. What was going through your mind?

DAVIS LOVE III: I hadn't really thought about it. The deciding match, I think, was probably somewhere Saturday afternoon when we got way ahead. But to have Ken and Paul pop out of the ropes when I'm coming down the 15th fairway, I knew that they were there for one reason. So it was nice to get the ball on the green and finish that match off. But again there's 12 guys out there playing, and as I said, everybody got points and that's just luck of the draw and you'd rather have it that way than be the last guy that has to make a putt to win or to not lose, and that's Bernard Langer and a couple of other guys have been in that situation. It's a lot more fun to just be cruising on in and just happen to be the guy that the matches end on.

Q. And for Stewart and Kirk if you would, what about this experience and coming together with all these guys as a family during the course of the week under the tutelage of the granddaddy of all, Kenny Venturi?

STEWART CINK: It's been a real sincere pleasure to spend the last several days, the last week, I guess, with these great players and great people. It's something I'll never forget, and I just hope that I play well enough in the future to earn my way on to future teams, because it's really a blast. I've never felt jealous before, from not making Ryder Cups or Presidents Cup teams. But for every team from here on out that I don't make, if there's any, I'll be real jealous.

KIRK TRIPLETT: I think I'd agree with that. Last night was really neat. I can only imagine what it was like a year ago in the Ryder Cup Saturday night. I'm sure it wasn't quite as much fun in the team room as it was last night, even though we still had some work to do, it was a pretty neat atmosphere to be around last night, everybody was pretty excited and looking forward to coming out and playing today and knowing that they've got 11 guys, like Davis was saying, 11 guys that were playing well, Steve knew if everybody had played the way they've been playing or the way they had play similar matches, we could have won every match today, too. That's a pretty neat feeling when you're a part of that and you know that things are just really clicking, if one guy drops the ball a little bit, the other guy picks him up. And I think we saw that all week, especially in the team matches and today, even though it's not great for TV ratings, golf pros love to cruise in and have a big lead. We really enjoyed that.

Q. Davis, you had said that neither you or Ernie played your best rounds today, and I think Kirk alluded to it as well. Was it tough given the lead you had to go out and really be as focused as you were the other two days?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I'm sure it was harder on their side to have to come from that big a deficit. And we heard a couple of little comments this morning. And we knew that their attitude wasn't going to be the best. But we had a goal today and that was to break the record that got thrown at us last year. We wanted to get to those points early. We wanted to send Kenny off as the all-time points winning captain and hopefully that's a record that's never broken. Certainly I hope it's not broken with us on the losing side. And we tried hard last night to tell everybody, these guys, they're going to come out and give it a shot. They're going to try to win every match. And as soon as it's over they're going to try to win their points, they're going to try to win for pride and we can't give up. We set a goal that we wanted to get to, and that was going more points than we got beat last year. Notah is not here, but Notah was grinding out there to get that last point and Goosen certainly didn't want to give it to him. And that's what it's all about, is all the matches were played out to the end and they were played hard.

Q. Davis, is the beginning of this victory last year's victory in the Ryder Cup?

DAVIS LOVE III: Obviously, we had some new guys on the team, but I think we learned, the guys that did play last time, we did learn how to come together. Ken certainly showed us that having faith in yourself and having faith in your team and giving as Ken said a hundred percent we'll come out well in the end at some point. And we had something to prove after -- certainly after Valderrama and Australia that the Americans weren't the spoiled little group of individuals that showed up together to play and didn't care. And I think Valderrama we cared too much and got beat and down in Australia we certainly weren't in the middle of our season, and weren't prepared. But we did want to win. And when we got behind we started trying it too hard and we got beat by the better team, as Peter Thomson said. They were obviously the better team that week. And we didn't like that. And we've been waiting for our chance to get this cup back, and I think the Ryder Cup was a big part of that last year.

Q. Davis, congratulations, and to the whole team. Do you think the Ryder Cup will enjoy the same kind of gentlemanly spirit that existed here all week long? And, as a follow-up, different subject, it was announced that it will go to South Africa in 2002; what do you think of that as a venue?

DAVIS LOVE III: To answer that first, I haven't played that part of South Africa, I've only played The Million Dollar. And from what Ernie Els has told me a couple of times this week, it's going to be a very nice venue. And these matches, within -- I played against top players in the world every match this week, and it's the same thing as I played in the Ryder Cup matches, I played against top players. The galleries behaved themselves better at the Presidents Cup than they do at the Ryder Cup. And you know, not to get into a long discussion about it, but we can't control the way the galleries act at the Ryder Cup. The Presidents Cup here, maybe we had a little bit more control, because it's a smaller crowd, and because these fans watch Ernie Els on TV every weekend and they pull for him and when he comes to Congressional and wins. And they see him play Tom Lehman down the stretch and maybe they can't decide who they're going to pull for. And then all of a sudden they start pulling for the American team, because they run the flag up the pole. But they still want to see Ernie hit the shot, and they want to see the national champion, Vijay Singh -- the fans in Boston did not conduct themselves well. And the players and the captains are going to have to urge the fans to do a better job. But there's nothing wrong with the way the players conducted themselves at any International competition that I've been in in the last eight years. Yes, some players jump up and down on the fairway when they chip in. Yes, players have run out on the green, on both sides, of the Ryder Cup, when matches have seemingly ended and obviously there was golf left to be played. But that doesn't -- that hadn't caused any rift between any players on either side. Now, the fans being ugly to players' wives, supporters, all that, we can't go and control that. The best thing we can do is have you all say, we need to have friendly matches. You hear Captain Venturi and Captain Thomson say at the beginning of the week, and you'll hear Curtis Strange say that at the beginning the Ryder Cup, if people listen and conduct themselves like golf fans should, we won't have any problems. We watched the tape Friday night and our fans were yelling at Jose Maria after he hit his shot into 17. That's not right. But our players were by the green, and our players were playing the Graham, and we respected Jose Maria, and we still do, and he still respects us. So anyway we need the fans at the Ryder Cup to act like the fans at the Presidents Cup. That's a simple answer.

Q. Davis, primarily this is for Davis, Ernie was in here a little while ago and he was -- obviously he's very keen for the best U.S. team to go to South Africa. There's a lot of speculation. Your representative was quoted as saying that some players on the U.S. team don't see The Presidents Cup as a key event.

DAVIS LOVE III: We played four of them, right? And all of our players have played. And we play every year, either The Presidents Cup or the Ryder Cup and we'll see after next year's Ryder Cup how our Presidents Cup team shapes up.

Q. Would you say now that you would go, if you were chosen?

DAVIS LOVE III: I'm two years away, I can't tell you if physically I'm going to make the team or mentally I'm going to make the team or if my back is going to be good, so I can't tell you that. If you say -- if the captain was sitting here and said I pick you right now, I'd say I'd love to go, but physically if my game is in shape, I can't tell you right now. But that's two years away. Captain Venturi has won this cup and that's what this week is all about. Again, what the Internationals miss is we've got a Ryder Cup coming up 12 months from now, 8 months from now, something like that. So that's now -- and everybody on their team needs to understand, we're going to go to Spain, then Australia, and then play our Tour schedule and then we're going to play a Ryder Cup match in England. So we've got a lot on our plate right now before we start thinking about South Africa.

Q. Just as a follow-up, is the schedule that demanding? As a player, is it that physically and emotionally sort of demanding that a trip to South Africa would be a problem?

DAVIS LOVE III: I don't know. A lot of players don't go to World Golf Championship events already. I don't think everybody that's going to make the event in Spain, an event in Australia are going to go. There are Australians that have said they're not going to go to match play in Australia. So obviously it's not just Americans that don't want to travel to every tournament around the world. Nobody has said they're not going to South Africa. As I said, a year from now when we start focusing on The Presidents Cup team, that would be a good time to ask that question.

Q. Davis, you talk about the pros of this event as opposed to the Ryder Cup. I'm wondering if you miss the electricity, the intensity and the excitement of Brookline, and obviously there's a fine line between passionate fans and overzealous ones. And I wonder if you have any thoughts on that, and also if this event needs to tweak the format, give it a little bit more of an identity as opposed to the Ryder Cup.

DAVIS LOVE III: I think there's been some good suggestions. In fact, Kirk and Ken made good suggestions this week, maybe we play just one set of matches a day, one segment and everybody plays. It was Kirk's idea, and everybody out there in the Golf World understands scramble. Nobody understands alternate shot in this country. And I think maybe suggestions like that to spice it up would be good. And there's been suggestions about the week from both sides, both teams that have been good suggestions. So I think this tournament is going to grow and change. The reasons to have it are because the Ryder Cup is so successful, because the International Team wanted something like the Ryder Cup. And the reasons to keep it going are to make it better. And you say, what's more exciting for the fans, what's more exciting for the players, I think a scramble day, a better ball day and an alternate shot day and a singles day would be a lot of fun. And, as Kirk said, we ought to get everybody to play every day rather than having to sit guys out. Because it sure was hard on our side to decide who got to sit. And Ken did a great job with the pairings, but it was hard to sit two guys out every day. And it would be fun if everybody got a shot at it. But you didn't have a 36-hole day to wear people out.

Q. Did you miss Brookline at all?

DAVIS LOVE III: The Ryder Cup is too much pressure. It's nice to see how you hold up, but it's just -- it's so intense. And maybe because everyone at least that I've been involved in have been very, very close, and that's part of it. Today wasn't electric because it was pretty much decided earlier in the week. There's a lot of nerve-wracking moments. I was standing over that 4-iron yesterday hitting it over the lake out there on 14, I was nervous as I've been for a while. But we haven't had the tight finish since I guess Freddie's putt to have that electricity. And we don't want it to be close, but I think that's maybe what it needs to be, a little more exciting.

Q. The celebration seems a lot more subdued than we saw in Melbourne two years ago, at Valderrama last year. How much does this cup mean to you guys?

DAVIS LOVE III: It meant enough for us to come and work hard for Ken. We set some goals, we wanted to win and we wanted to win by the biggest margin ever once we got ahead. It's hard, when you do it every year, it's hard to compare one to another. But you know what, for Stewart and Kirk and Notah, their first team, we fed off their excitement. And I know how excited I was my first time making The Presidents Cup team. We want to win. As I said earlier, whether it's Tuesday and Wednesday in the practice rounds playing for a little bet or playing against the best players in the world. The reason I got a little upset a couple of times today at cameramen on TV and still picture sides is because I didn't want to lose to Ernie Els, and I didn't want anybody to get in my way of trying to do it. Everybody out there was playing for pride. Is it as frightening as the Ryder Cup? Probably not, but we still don't want to lose for Ken Venturi.

Q. My question is for Kirk. How many caps did you wear this week, and is this the end of the bucket hat?

KIRK TRIPLETT: No, it's not the end of the bucket hat, I just wore a couple of caps. We tried to get the bucket style hat but we couldn't get it worked out. With the team hat nonconforming, the guys picked up on it today and finally wore the same hat I did. (Laughter.)

End of FastScripts....

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