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October 19, 2000

Ken Venturi


Q. Did you think it was probable that you would go 5-0 today?

KEN VENTURI: You always hope for the best, but in my wildest dreams I could not have expected 5-0 today. Not at all. The pairings were so compatible. We were very fortunate. We got the breaks, and it can always go the other way sometimes, too. No, I was hoping -- I'd like to have an edge. I mean 3-2 would have been good. But we were very fortunate. We had great shots at the right time.

Q. You were out there cheerleading throughout the day. At what point did you feel like the momentum was really in your favor, and was there a point where you thought the match the entire day had swung your way?

KEN VENTURI: Never. Not until -- you'll only win when it's over with. I never, never think ahead that far. You think you're 5-0, and what do you think? I think tomorrow we're going out 0-0. I never take anything for granted. I never have when I played and I certainly wouldn't now. You don't want a let down. Because if you get a let down tomorrow, you can't build it up by Saturday or Friday afternoon. No, we're still geared.

Q. Kenny, Lehman and Mickelson clearly set the tone in that first match today, which leads to the question, where why are you breaking them up tomorrow?

KEN VENTURI: Why am I breaking them up? Because -- because the thing comes up to this: I've got to put them back together again, but I have to leave them off some time. So I thought tomorrow would be then, and to take the success they had today, so why not use them again -- so I have to leave 8 players off at least one time. So that's what I say is the hard thing. The easy thing was when I played the Ryder Cup we only had 9 players. We played 8. So most of the time the guy said I don't feel like playing the afternoon, and that was fine. But two is very hard to do because you've got 12 talented players and when do you leave them off? But I had to do it sometime and I decided to do it tomorrow.

Q. You can bench somebody twice, though, couldn't you?

KEN VENTURI: Well, yes. But then how do you explain it? You've got 12 talented players and I'm going to be equal, as I said, when I left off Roberts and Azinger, they were 11 and 12. And the first four qualified for the tops. The only one that I'm looking, that may be a little doubtful will be David Duval. He said he doesn't know if he can go 36 holes, but he'll let me know tomorrow after he finishes, because he had to take ten weeks off and came back.

Q. Your hunch was good on Triplett and Cink, they played well today. Is there any thought in keeping them in the mix? They seem to get on pretty well together?

KEN VENTURI: Well, if you look at it now the way I did it and we looked at it, they're off in the morning in the fourball, and I've got them back on in the foursome matches again.

Q. Kenny, are there any real surprises? You're saying, of course, you were surprised it was 5-0, but is there any pairing that really surprised you as you look at that?

KEN VENTURI: Not really. I thought when we -- when you had the Woods pairing, Woods and Notah Begay with Els, who has been runner-up to him quite a few times, it's just that it -- no, I wasn't surprised, but -- I was surprised at 5-0, definitely. But, no, they're so compatible. I was saying to Paul today, and I was just standing out there, I thought that in my day I could play. I'm not even in their class. I see things that these players can play today that I just marvel at.

Q. Are you saying that you thought perhaps Tiger and Notah would do better than they did today, they were struggling out there, did you think that wasn't going to be happen --

KEN VENTURI: No, not against those two players. No, no. In fact we said, 1-up would be -- I thought 1-up either side. No. You can take a coin and just -- those four or those two teams are so equal.

Q. Could you talk a little bit more about Cink and Triplett? They made 7 birdies today; that's three more than anybody else made.

KEN VENTURI: They're both rookies, they both played off each other, they liked each other, and they thanked me for what I did. I saw Cink several times, he was walking down 18 with me. He said we had the greatest day. We were just complementing each other, and you get on that swing. When you get on a roll, as I said many times, when you're playing pros it's easy to shoot 65. What's hard is shooting 75. 65s are easy, but to try to shoot 75 is hard. They're very compatible. And we said at the very beginning, I felt that that was a great pair.

Q. Ken, Notah and Tiger are the only two that will be playing tomorrow morning that also played today. Can we expect to see them together all the way through, now, at this point?

KEN VENTURI: No way, because Notah will be left off one time. The only one, as I said, that would be taken off would be Duval, but he will take himself out. He told me, we had a discussion, he will tell me if he thinks he can or can't, that will be the way it is. And -- but Notah has to be gone one time, and when do you -- the easiest to leave him off is on Thursday. The hardest twosome to leave off is Saturday, because you've got a whole day in between there and the singles on Sunday.

Q. Will he be with Tiger the other time that he plays, if he's not left off?

KEN VENTURI: Yes, for sure. But he's got two more matches with him. But, again, all the 8 will play 3, and everybody will play the singles.

Q. Do you know how David snapped his 7-iron?

KEN VENTURI: Yes, he hit a tree on the 6th hole and he tried to tell the people to move away, and when he -- he hit the shot fine, he said he felt fine, it hit the tree and snapped and flew over the top of the gallery. The second hole? I didn't know, I didn't see where it was. I'm sorry, it was 2, we went over there, because I saw him on the 3rd tee. I got confused. And he borrowed a 7-iron from the assistant pro in the shop, which is what he played, but it had a different shaft but it was tipped, had an all-weather grip, and he has a rubber grip and the whole thing. And he tried to use it at No. 9, but wouldn't use it because it wasn't his. So he decided at the 11th hole, it was a 7-iron shot, there was no in between, it was a 7-iron shot. So he used this club that was foreign to him and the first time he ever hit it and he hit it cold stiff. I said you better keep it in your bag.

Q. Kenny, a couple of things just before I get off of Duval. Why wasn't he wearing the uniform today that everybody else was?

KEN VENTURI: That is our uniform. That's part of our uniform. But he couldn't put both on because of his neck and his back and long sleeves. He couldn't wear a sweater like that and it was too much to put a shirt and that on. We discussed it and we did that because of his back. He has it worked on all time, and he was off 10 weeks. That is part of our uniform, but it wasn't -- but he couldn't play with that much on.

Q. What do you mean his back? He can wear a long-sleeved shirt but not a short-sleeved shirt?

KEN VENTURI: He wants the heat. If you wear a long-sleeved shirt like that and you've got it here, it keeps the heat in your arms and the whole thing. And his back and his neck. But he just does it to be loose. He could have worn that underneath the shirt, but then it was too hot. So we discussed it. That's part of our uniform, but it was totally due to his health.

Q. And just the other thing is what was the mood after the 5-0 amongst the players? Were they sort of whooping it up a little bit or were they --

KEN VENTURI: No. They went down the 18th green and watched the last group finish. I didn't go down to the green with them, because I let everything go. I went back -- we had to do the pairings and I had some things to do. It will be different -- I believe in keeping everything the same. And they knew I was there all day. They saw me all day, so I didn't have to go down to the 18th green. And in the interviews it was their time to talk and my time to go back and do some business.

Q. Kenny, it seemed like you were a little bit confused by that Maruyama and Franco pairing, and you might have changed your mind about who you put out with them. Was that the case?

KEN VENTURI: No, because I had two good teams left, and I felt that that would be -- as I said, I go on gut feelings. I know I can go on paper, but it's another thing to say I think this is the way we ought to go, and that's what I did.

Q. I have another uniform question that's not really significant, but I just noticed that Triplett wore a cap today that wasn't the same cap that the rest of the team wore. Is that the only cap he has?

KEN VENTURI: It's the only cap he brought to the course. And it still looked better than the other hat, but I'm going to tell you right now, he may keep that, because they made 7 birdies. But he just grabbed -- I don't think he knows that -- knows that he had the wrong hat on. I wasn't going to tell him anything.

End of FastScripts....

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