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September 27, 2002

Stewart Cink

Phil Mickelson

Hal Sutton

David Toms


GORDON SIMPSON: Guys, thanks very much for coming down. I'll just start with, on my left, Stewart. Great debut, must feel very good.

STEWART CINK: It does feel very good, thanks. Jim Furyk and I played really well. We both played equally well. And Jim made some good putts, I made some good putts, and we really never waivered much, no bogeys. And it would have been tough for any team to beat us today. And Harrington and McGinley, they played pretty well, too. When you have a team that's really on, and birdie putt after birdie putt after birdie putt, you can't compete against it forever.

GORDON SIMPSON: David, also a debutante, you must have enjoyed that game, it went right to the end.

DAVID TOMS: I had an absolute blast out there. My partner kept me loose. I think this morning's match, birdying the first two holes, settled my nerves, seeing as it was my first time to experience anything like that. Both matches went to the 18th hole. And it was exciting, and I didn't know physically how I was going to hold up 36 holes. I had some back trouble early in the week, but it never was a factor today. I had so much adrenalin going with the way the matches were going that fatigue never set in. And I just had a great day. And I know that half point we got late in the day, it was a big halve for us, just because we really weren't in the match at all until just the last few holes. Overall, like I said, had an absolute blast today.

GORDON SIMPSON: And Phil, is the 18th green ever going to recover?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I think I did a pretty good job repairing it. It would be tough to tell there was a divot there. But it was a very fun day, a very fun day. And obviously we all felt the pressure out there, and that's part of what made it very enjoyable for us. We were very fortunate to win the morning match, 1-up. Padraig Harrington hit a fabulous putt at 18, that was in the middle of the hole and somehow wrung out. And we were fortunate to get a halve in the afternoon, but Colin and Bernhard played excellent golf, and we were fortunate to get a halve there.

GORDON SIMPSON: That was a great comeback, Hal.

HAL SUTTON: It was, and I wish my partner were here, also, because he played great, his first experience. Scott played tremendous. And we just didn't make any mistakes, basically, and just hung in there. They made a couple of mistakes at the end and we capitalized on them.

Q. To all four of you guys, could you talk about the psychological edge that that last match may have done for the team? You were down 3-1 early, and with Phil and David, obviously everybody was crowded around 18 there; with that comeback, what could that do to your spurring into tomorrow?

STEWART CINK: I started to feel some momentum there. My match just finished up and I looked over through the trees on the 10th green and I saw 1-up right above their names, which is of course the European team was 1-up. And I knew they'd been 3-up, and that these guys must have won. I saw the crowd on 17 -- I thought we might have been the last match going. So that got me going a little bit, even though I was finished playing. To have those guys come back, and especially at that late stage, to come back and draw even and take it to the last hole, and then to go ahead and secure the half point. It looked like for a minute with Bernhard putting that they might take the point after all, and that would have been bad. So it was great that they secured the halve there after coming back at such a late stage.

DAVID TOMS: Well, I think it was -- I know it was good for Phil and I. We battled all day, played good, solid golf all day long, and to be down and be able to come back I think is going to give us some momentum going into what happens tomorrow. As far as what it does for the team, our teammates were there, and they saw it all. All the other matches were done. They got to be there and be with us and root us on, and for us to come back the way we did, I think it will do a lot for everybody.

PHIL MICKELSON: I thought that the reason the half point was so important was that we had come back from 3-down to pull even. And it would have been disappointing to have not at least gotten a half out of the match. Also we gained a little bit of ground from this morning's matches. We're to the point now where we're only one point behind. That means that the first match tomorrow gives us an opportunity to carry it. That's the way we're looking at it. Let's get that first match in the morning, if we can secure that point, the matches are back to even, which given the morning that we had this morning would be a good position for us to be in.

HAL SUTTON: I think that what's happened today is a good example of where World Golf is at today. It's just 1-putt or one shot that separates a lot. And I think the comeback that they had today meant a lot to the U.S. team in terms of our confidence, but at the same time it told the Europeans that we're not going to give up, we're going to fight to the last. And I'm proud of David and Phil for hanging in there and coming back like that.

Q. To Phil and Hal, can you speak a little bit about the performance of the Ryder Cup rookies. Do you guys ever remember a more impressive first-day performance from three guys who have never played in one before?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I don't really recall how everybody who's played in the Ryder Cup played their first year. We've all had our first experience in the Ryder Cup and I think that for the most part guys are so excited and prepared so hard that they perform well. And it's -- it seems to be a surprise to the public, but it's funny that it's not a surprise to us as teammates, because we see their talent level, we know they're the 12 best that the U.S. or Europe has to offer in the game of golf. I don't find it surprising, even though a lot of people seem to find it surprising how successful they've been.

HAL SUTTON: I think, again, this says a lot to the new generation of golfers. Whenever I was young and I came out here, I wasn't sure how good I was compared to everybody else. But the younger players coming out today are pretty sure how good they are compared to everybody else. And David and Stewart and Scott Verplank's performance today shows that they're well aware of how good they are, and they're going to perform at their best. And I was certainly very proud of them today.

PHIL MICKELSON: When you asked that I didn't even realize that David was a rookie. This was your first Ryder Cup experience. He's a guy that's a top-five player in the world; just because he hasn't played a Ryder Cup doesn't mean that his game isn't the highest level.

Q. Could I ask Hal and Phil to comment on Paul Azinger's frustrated comments after his round today that he claimed that part of this course had been set up, designed to what he said, to neutralize strikes, stifle the long and powerful talents of Tiger Woods, to name but one.

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's tough for me to comment on that because I didn't hear his comments. I'd have to see his comments, rather than take it through an intermediary source.

Q. Basically Paul Azinger --

PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not doubting you. I just didn't see his quote and see the whole thing, so it's premature for me to comment on it.

Q. Could I put that to Hal?

PHIL MICKELSON: Probably premature for him, too (laughter.)

HAL SUTTON: I think Paul is a very fair person, so I really want to hear his comments. I don't think he's too critical of anybody when he shouldn't be. I'd rather not comment, again, like Phil.

Q. Hal, how important is it for all 12 guys to have swung the bat today? There's nobody sitting on the sidelines; how important is that at this point?

HAL SUTTON: I think that's very important. I think everybody got a taste of what the Ryder Cup is all about, and the feel of the golf course right now. Curtis said everybody was going to play the first two days. We've only played one day, and everybody has played. And I think he saw good things out of most everybody out there today. I'm sure he's fast and furious with the pairings in the morning. And I think everybody will be ready to play.

Q. Hal, a lot was said in the last few months about you and Lee Westwood, and you guys won a combined 3-0 today, just talk about that.

HAL SUTTON: As I said going into this, this is match play. And anything can happen in match play. Foursomes is a lot of ball-striking going on. You're trying to make sure that you never get in trouble. I hit the ball pretty good today. I hit some really good shots when we needed them. And I'm sure Lee Westwood did. I watched him hit one great shot and that was the only one I saw him hit but it was right in the middle of the 17th fairway and he knocked it right in the middle of the green. You never know what's going to happen in stroke-play. We haven't had the year we wanted. I've had those kind of years before, and came back from them.

Q. Could you compare the management and captaining style of Curtis Strange versus Ben Crenshaw from three years ago.

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know, they both seem to be great leaders. They obviously have different personalities. Ben is -- his personality is different than Curtis, but they both seem to be very good as captains and very similar, very assertive, very up front. You know where you stand. You know what's going to happen, who you're going to be playing with, what matches you're going to be playing in. And there's no uncertainty, not in '99 nor this year. So I thought they were very similar.

Q. For David and Phil, the most successful American team today. You guys had a couple of battles at New Orleans, the PGA Championship. Interesting that Curtis put you guys together. Can you talk about what you guys have together, how well you knew each other before socially or competitively, and those were really heated contests, as I recall.

DAVID TOMS: I'll comment on it, since I was lucky to come out on top those couple of times you're talking about. You know, we're teammates. And it's absolute pleasure for me to play with him. I've said it before, that if I was going out to watch somebody play golf as a spectator, he'd be the one I'd watch playing golf. I've been right there competing with him all day long, and watching his talent. And I'm just glad to be part of this team. I think that somebody it seems like is always trying to make a riff out of something that's not there. And for us, there was -- after the two times that it happened, he shakes my hand, says great going. That's the way it is. And this week we are teammates, and real close teammates all day today. Is there any hard feelings between us?

PHIL MICKELSON: No, no. Also if you notice when we have been paired together, we have both played great, even though we're going against each other. Whenever we've been in the same pairing, it's not as though we've been going head-to-head. We've been playing some of our best golf head-to-head. When we play together, for whatever reason, whether it's the right tempo, the right rhythm, visually watching each other's shots or what have you, we seem to bring out the best golf in each other. And whether we're playing against each other or a team together, I certainly prefer to be teamed together. I haven't had the greatest success playing against him. So I like having him on my team.

End of FastScripts....

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