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September 24, 2005

Jack Nicklaus

Gary Player


JAMES CRAMER: I know our captains are anxious after this long day to get back to get with their team, so why don't we go directly into questions.

Q. Jack, did you have any kind of strategy; what was the strategy behind the way you lined your guys up?

JACK NICKLAUS: I tried to get one from our side against one from Gary's.

Q. How did it go?

JACK NICKLAUS: We were successful, both of us.

No, no real strategy. I think what we tried to do is Gary picked first, picked Tim Clark. I tried to match a guy I feet like Tim's playing nicely, he's a nice player, I tried to pick a guy I thought was playing nicely and I picked Justin Leonard, they both are quick players and get things started having it be a slow match.

Then we just sort of bantered back and forth a little bit. I put David in and Gary countered with Trevor and he put Retief and I feel Retief is probably playing better than anybody else on Gary's team. I think Gary probably well, maybe not. I'm not going to speak for Gary. Let's put it this way, from where I've been standing, it looks like he's been playing pretty good.

I told Tiger, I said that if I could get him Retief, I was probably going to do that. And so that's what I did.

Then from then on we just sort of mixed and matched. The only strategy I had at the end is I picked two guys that I wanted to be my last two players and that was Mickelson and DiMarco. Gary kept Cabrera and Appleby for that, and we matched them up at the end.

But outside of that, we just tried to mix and match the best we could.

Q. On the Goosen/Tiger, did Tiger specifically ask for anyone, is that just what you wanted?

JACK NICKLAUS: Tiger said he didn't care, play anybody. I said, "What about Retief?"

He said, "That's perfect." So I said okay.

Q. Tim said that you came up with a batting order, you and the team, and you essentially told Tim he would go out first. Did you pick the players and put them in an order prior to picking?

GARY PLAYER: What I tried to do is put they are all strong players. That's the difficulty. But I tried to put, you know, one very strong player, one strong player, or a little stronger than the other. I tried to mix it up. You know, I didn't want to put all of our best players out first. We tried to save some for the end and just tried to mix it up and that's basically what happened.

Q. Did you give any thought to if it does come down to the last matches, maybe Jack, obviously Tiger would have been one, but Gary, maybe Michael Campbell, who just won The Match Play, going last?

GARY PLAYER: Well, Michael Campbell if you look, he's at the end, and we put that there on purpose. We did that on purpose.

Q. Just wondering how significant the No. 12 spot is for you and your thoughts on having Chris DiMarco there?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, we didn't have any particular I could have had I had three guys that I was going to put probably around that area, Davis and Mickelson and DiMarco. They just sort of the way they fill in on pairings, I had to pick on I put, oddly enough, Fred Funk says, "See if you can get me Cabrera." (Laughter) He said, "I want to laugh at it, too."

But I didn't want to hold Fred down to the end of the thing. Fred is playing really well. And when Gary put Michael Campbell, I said, just a little bit like I did this morning when Gary had Retief and Adam Scott, I put Verplank and Leonard, a team you normally would think would be an underdog to that, and I thought they did very well this morning. They did get beat badly this afternoon, but I think, as I said, Retief was like 7 under through like the first ten holes himself this afternoon, so they were playing pretty well.

Freddie will stay there with anybody. Michael Campbell I think is a wonderful player, having a great year, he's a terrific match player.

I just thought I would put a bulldog against him and that's what Freddie basically is. Whether Freddie will beat him or not, I don't know, but that's what I did.

Q. For either Jack or Gary, it seems like when we were watching the pairings go by, you would put strong players against strong players, and guys that were maybe not having as good a week against guys that were maybe not having as good a week, is there a danger on either side by doing that that we could end up in a tie, again?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't know whether that's a danger or not.

GARY PLAYER: Not at all. If it did end up in a tie, it's been phenomenal golf. I think everybody is seeing it on TV. You guys are giving all the coverage to the event. If it ends up that way, the golf has been phenomenal, it just really has. The matches out there have just been unbelievable.

So I don't know whether you could start saying about a tie with 12 matches to go, but it could happen, and if it did, so be it.

JACK NICKLAUS: Really, to answer your question, you're asking, the way we paired? I don't think we paired to try to see that we're going I paired who I thought would have my best chance of win being 12 matches. That's the way I paired and I'm sure that's the way Gary paired. That had nothing to do with anything else.


JACK NICKLAUS: I'm sure we have some matches that would be like taking a player who is down low on the list and putting a best player against him, you might be wasting, so you try to take a guy that's your best player and you try to pin him against here because somebody is going to have to beat those better players to win the match. That's really what you're asking.

You know, you just hope that your guys that are somewhere in the middle of the road, beat some of the other guys who are supposedly in the middle of the road here. And there's nobody in the middle of the road here, there's 12 darned good players, 24 of the best players in the world.

So you try to gain whatever advantage you can through your pairing, knowing that Gary has got some really top players and I've got some really top players, just try as best you can.

Q. I think you picked Freddie to go against Vijay; did you consider going with one of your guns, maybe such as Mickelson to take on their No. 1 player?

JACK NICKLAUS: I did go with one of my guns. That's who asked for him.

Q. Freddie asked for him?

JACK NICKLAUS: Mm hmm. He said if you could get me Vijay, I'd like to have him. Did I answer that question real quick?

Q. Yeah. (Laughter)?

JACK NICKLAUS: The other two requests I had was Freddie wanted Vijay and Fred Funk wanted Cabrera. (Laughter).

Q. Jack, given the history of the American players in singles, how confident are you, or with the level of the play with the International Team does history matter?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think it makes much difference one way or the other. We have a reasonable history with singles, but who knows what's going to happen with singles. We played two days or three days, four rounds of golf and we are dead even. I mean, we've got two teams that are so even, it's unbelievable. What's going to happen tomorrow, you know, I think both Gary and I are the same. We just said, hey, it's going to be a great finish. Whoever wins, or if it's a tie, I don't I think it's been a great match to this point and will continue to be so.

Q. I apologize, I'm not clear on the tie breaking procedures. Could you just run through them?

JACK NICKLAUS: There is no tie breaking procedure.

Q. There are no extra holes?

JACK NICKLAUS: You mean on the matches? The matches all go to conclusion. They go until the Cup is settled, then the matches stop at 18. But the matches go to hole No. 1; after No. 1 it goes to hole 11, if 11 is clear. If 11 is not clear, it goes to 2. If 11 is still not clear, it goes to 3. By that time, you would think that 11 would be clear. (Laughter) And then the match would go to 11 until conclusion. Those matches would only thing we haven't been clarified which I assume is if there's one or two matches, which I really would like to have that chart back because I really don't know but it really doesn't make any difference. If one or two matches are in extra holes and the Cup is decided, do those matches stop then or do they go to conclusion?

GARY PLAYER: I would imagine they stop.

JACK NICKLAUS: They do stop? That answered that question.

GARY PLAYER: I think you should tell them about the two names in the hats that we've got to put in the envelope.

JAMES CRAMER: In case a player is injured, each captain is going to put a players's name in an envelope and then in the case of a player getting injured the other team's envelope would be opened and that player would then sit.

JACK NICKLAUS: And I assume that what happens is whoever that other player is playing would be switched over to the other player that is playing. That's the other part of the equation, which wasn't mentioned. I mean, if Jim Furyk is hurt, Jim Furyk drops out, Gary has, I'm sure Gary will either have Retief Goosen or Michael Campbell in the envelope. (Laughter).

GARY PLAYER: I wasn't thinking of those guys, really. (Laughter).

JACK NICKLAUS: It just moves over, that's all.

Q. To follow along those lines, what if circumstances dictate that darkness interferes, as it did the last time?

JACK NICKLAUS: Darkness. (Sighing) (Laughter).

You're going to have to ask a higher being than me. I don't know the answer to that question. (Laughter).

Q. Jack had just talked about four sessions and we are all tied, but really, we've been tied for two years and going back to 2003, I wonder what the emotion is of just seeing this thing deadlocked, deadlocked, is it just bemusement or great excitement, can you characterize?

JACK NICKLAUS: Our guys are charged. They are pumped. They are absolutely pumped right to the ceiling right now.

I tell you, I told Tim out on the green, this has absolutely been a great bunch of guys and a great bunch of gals. I have not had one problem in two captaincies in the Presidents Cup with any individual or wife or anything, no issues, zero. And they have all been pumped, enthusiastic, supportive right through.

I tell you, and as I told Tim on the green, the reason I think that happens is the format. You don't sit guys out. If you've got four guys sitting out every day, all of a sudden you've got, oh, "why am I sitting out," the wife says "why is my husband sitting out," and you've got, you know, that thing. We don't have that here. I think that's what's so great about these matches.

Q. Just your thoughts on what I asked about, we've been tied since the beginning of 2003 here, how do you look at the matches?

GARY PLAYER: It never entered my mind because the guys are all trying so hard, just like Jack says. They are all so pumped up trying to win. It just shows you that that when you take, you know, these players, the best players in the world, that kind of thing can happen. You can expect that to happen. They are all pumped up.

JACK NICKLAUS: It's called pride, guys.

GARY PLAYER: Even if you're playing a practice round for a five-dollar Nassau, you're trying like crazy to win.

JAMES CRAMER: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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