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September 24, 2005

Tim Clark

Retief Goosen

Mark Hensby


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Retief Goosen, Tim Clark, Mark Hensby, thank you for joining us, great play today, we head into the final day of the 2005 Presidents Cup all tied and we'll go straight into a Q&A.

Q. For all of you, but specifically for Retief and maybe even Tim, in the competitions you've been involved in, do you think the quality of the matches and the quality of the play here this week has been as good as anything you've seen?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I think (laughing).

TIM CLARK: (Laughing).

RETIEF GOOSEN: I think both sides has been very consistent. Everybody seems to be playing well, and the golf course is sort of set up for a bit of low scoring, as well. So the guys are having a good time out there. The greens are good, so I think tomorrow we'll see another day of low scoring.

TIM CLARK: Yeah, obviously compared to the last competition in South Africa, like Retief said, this course lends itself to more birdies, so the scores have been pretty low. I think today myself and Mark were 8 under. It does lend itself to lower scores and I think the guys are playing good golf. Obviously haven't been able to see all of the other matches, but the ones I've been involved in have all been pretty tight.

MARK HENSBY: Well, I've never played one before, obviously but if you don't think the competition is exciting, you only have to look at the score, 10 1/2 each or 11 1/2 each, I think that speaks for itself. I think it's been great play by both teams and I'm sure tomorrow is going to be an exciting finish.

Q. Tim, can you assess your play today, obviously coming through with two points and what was going well for you, and what was the difference today?

TIM CLARK: Well, this morning I started off a bit shaky this morning with Nick in the alternate shot and we were a couple down early. But we seemed to both find a good rhythm later on and we were 2 down through 12 and managed to win that match 2 & 1, so we started to turn it around there.

This afternoon with Mark, I think we just made a great pair. When I was out of a hole, he was in the hole and when he was out of the hole, I was there. So that was important this afternoon. We won by a big margin, but really we didn't play that much better than the other team. I think we were just helping each other out, and that's really important.

Myself, I feel I played pretty well. Could obviously get better, but I feel my game has gone on as the week's gone on.

Q. For someone who has played in the Cup before, what advice do you give to Mark going into singles tomorrow, it's obviously going to be very intense most of the day and this could come down to the wire as it did two years ago in South Africa?

MARK HENSBY: Or Retief could give me a lot of advice because he beat me 12 and 11 in The Match Play last week, so I'm looking for something.

RETIEF GOOSEN: You know, Mark can play. Obviously match play, tomorrow, it's just you and the other guy out there, nobody helping you out. You know, it's really I think the key is trying to get up early in the round, put pressure on the guy. The key is to be in the hole, the whole time, trying not to give the guy give the guy a hole away easy, that's the main thing.

Q. Also for Retief, I just wanted to ask you about the pairing with Adam this week, why it's worked so well and about Adam's play in particular.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I don't know why. We've combined well. Adam played really well the first two days; I played terrible the first two days. I was prepared to sit out today, actually, either this morning or this afternoon. But today I seemed to have found my game a lot better. I started hitting the ball pretty good and made a few putts again. So I think Adam sort of carried us in the first couple of days, you know, hitting a lot of great shots to keep us going.

Q. Just to follow that up, Retief, have you noticed Adam's confidence growing through the week, has he looked like he's holding his shoulders higher as the week goes on?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Adam has obviously become a great player. He's won some big events now and he's been playing well and consistent this year and won in Singapore just the other day. So his confidence is riding high. He looks very comfortable over the ball and he's hitting a lot of great shots out there.

Q. And for Mark, were you able to sleep in this morning or did you come out early with the team?

MARK HENSBY: No, I slept in. I turned the TV on and saw we were down so I figured it was probably good to come out and see what was happening.

Obviously they did well. But, no, we slept in. There was no point in coming out at 5:30. I mean, what was I going to do at 5:30? No, I came out around 9:00, practiced and got ready to play.

Q. Was that an advantage, do you think, being fresher this afternoon?

MARK HENSBY: Well, no doubt. 36 holes is a toll on anybody. Definitely being fresh this afternoon, I was ready to go, there's no doubt. I felt like I played pretty well today. Tim was saying earlier that when one of us was out of the hole that, was only being out of the hole and not making a birdie more than anything. We combined really well. There's no doubt that when Tim was starting to feel a little bit tired, I felt like I stepped in and did something, so it was a good combination.

Q. Retief, I'm just curious, with your level of play, why did you expect to sit out today for one match?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I just hit it so bad the first two days. You know, a couple of times yesterday, I hit it right in the middle of the lake. Yeah, I've also, funny enough, been struggling a little bit with a sore rib. Everybody's got sore ribs this week. Today I felt a lot better. On Thursday, it was hurting me quite a lot, but today it felt good and I started finding a little bit more rhythm in my golf swing and started hitting a few better shots.

Q. As a follow, I wonder if you can assess how the crowd has been; louder than you expected, not quite as loud and the importance of allowing the U.S. Team to start strong tomorrow and not have some kind of groundswell of cheers?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, you expect them to really support their guys. When we're playing in South Africa or wherever else we play, they are supporting us and the cheers were louder for us.

There's been times that you get quite a few funny remarks out there and you think it's a bit unnecessary. I think yesterday with the rain delay, I think the guys all went into the tented village and cleared out the beer cart, because they were really loud then when they came out. There was a bit of abuse going on, but we're sort of used to it. In general, it's very good out there.

Q. In terms of starting strong, keeping them out of it, to keep the crowd out of it?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Oh, yeah, me and Adam actually, me and Adam today, both times birdied the first hole to go 1 up straightaway, and that sort of got our momentum going. In a way, if you're the first group out and you're up, it sort of keeps them quiet a little bit. It's nice to do that.

Q. When and how did you hurt your rib, and was it any one incident or just a use injury?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I've been having a bit of a very sore groin. The physio was just working on me and I think she bruised the rib while she was trying to stretch my side out there a little bit and dug in a little bit and I felt

MARK HENSBY: (Laughing).

RETIEF GOOSEN: And when I walked up to the golf course the first day, I was really struggling to hit the ball. (Laughter).

Q. They are killing you. When did that happen, though?

RETIEF GOOSEN: It happened on Tuesday morning.

Q. Are you disappointed to see the singles arrive tomorrow, with you and Adam inflicting wholesale damage on the Americans this week?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I'm glad the singles are coming around, just get it all over tomorrow. I'm looking forward to a week off. (Laughter) This is my eighth week in a row, so I'm a bit tired. So, yeah, I'm glad the singles are coming around tomorrow. It's going to be great. You can't ask for a better stage tomorrow, you know, 11 all. It's good that nobody is really in the lead, so tomorrow it's going to be a nice grind out there for everybody.

Q. Mark and Tim, do you foresee this event being something that you like really point for in two years, in the future, how does it fit into your golf life right now as far as stature?

TIM CLARK: Well, for me this year it was my main goal to get back on this team. It was pretty much the only thing I was thinking about, so that's how important it is to us.

Certainly it's going to be that way in the future to have the honor to represent the Rest of the World versus America, is certainly a huge accomplishment for us players. It shows you're playing consistently good golf over a period of two years. You know, this is just a tremendous week, it's a lot of fun, you can be in a team atmosphere and play under these sort of conditions. It can be a bit tough out there at times. This is what we enjoy. You know, it's always going to be on our minds when we set goals at the beginning of the year to make the Presidents Cup team.

Q. Do you see the sense being similar to what the Europeans must feel about the Ryder Cup?

TIM CLARK: I think so. This is obviously our only event like that, so we kind of see it as our Ryder Cup really; it is. The fact that that tournament has a little bit more history probably lends itself to people to think that it's more important than this one, but this is very important to us and we certainly want to win.

MARK HENSBY: I think more than anything, we are representing not only the International Team, but also our countries, and that's why it's such a big deal for us to make this team. We're not just international players, but, we feel like we're representing our countries. Any time you can represent your country is a great feat.

Also, you know, this week is very so much fun, because you know we can sit here and laugh at Retief because you don't know how funny this guy is. As a team we've got on so well and we all get on so well, so you learn a little bit more about the guys that you play with week in and week out as a team. It's just been an incredible week, no doubt.

Q. Retief, you may not know this, but you're playing Tiger in the third match tomorrow, is that something you relish, your thoughts about the game?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, well, we were just sort of discussing it there now before we came in, yeah, who is going to play what.

You know, we all just went down to we sort of made a little game plan, really. It doesn't matter who they put up against who, this is just the way the players were going to go out, so whoever they put against whoever, that's what's going to come.

So, yeah, I enjoy playing with Tiger and I always enjoy playing with him.

Q. What's your record head to head? Do you feel like you've had the edge on him like at TOUR Championship last year?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I've come close to beating him at the Match Play in Carlsberg once. But I don't think too many players have a great record against Tiger.

Q. And Tim, they put you out first against Justin Leonard. Did you know that you were going out first?

TIM CLARK: Yeah, I knew I was going out first, yeah. I'm excited about that, that they felt that they could put me out first. Like I say, my game has gotten better as the week's gone on and it would be nice to go out and secure us a point early on. Obviously Justin is a great player, but really, anyone who we play tomorrow is going to be a tough match, doesn't matter who.

So we're all prepared for tough matches, and I think that certainly I'm going to have a role tomorrow early on.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Gentlemen, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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