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December 7, 2006

Rory Sabbatini

Richard Sterne


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: I'd like to thank Richard Sterne and Rory Sabbatini for joining us here in the media centre at the World Golf Championships Barbados World Cup. Nice back nine today. Feeling comfortable out there? I'm sure you've played together a couple of times.
RORY SABBATINI: I had to smack him around a little bit at the turn to tell him to wake up, and that did it. Once I did that, he started playing properly.
RICHARD STERNE: This is the first time we played together. Went well, good start for the day and it was fairly relaxing.

Q. The conditions, it was kind of an up-and-down weather day, can you talk about the rain?
RICHARD STERNE: It's what you expect for Barbados, I must say. It wasn't easy. There was a few tough holes out there that we negotiated them pretty well. We didn't make any bogeys which is a good thing in better-ball. Just handle it and we moved on. It was a good day.
RORY SABBATINI: When the weather is, you know, as suspect as it was, it's just of key importance to make sure that you're both always in a position where you can -- if something happens, your partner is there, you can make par, whatever. You always just both want to have opportunities, and we did that very well today. We kept the ball in play. For the most part, I think 16 of 18 holes, we both had a good opportunity at birdie.
So that definitely overcomes the weather and helps that situation.

Q. Don't you think growing up in South Africa you're used to some kind of wild weather, different kinds of weather?
RORY SABBATINI: Well, I grew up in the coast and he grew up in Pretoria. So he's in Denver and I'm in San Diego.
RICHARD STERNE: We pretty much have good weather where we come from. Not like this.
RORY SABBATINI: Obviously I dealt a little bit more with the wind. Today, definitely it was a tough day. It was a mentally-fatiguing day. You just got to battle through it and keep yourself close to the leaders and give yourself opportunity rest of the week.

Q. Do you guys feel under pressure at all to keep South Africa's good record going, three wins in the last ten years, which I think is the best of any team in the World Cup?
RORY SABBATINI: When Trevor and I won, we were the B Team. I think this year, we're what, the D Team or maybe the E Team.
I think it speaks a lot for South African golf; the fact that, you know, you're missing four of your highest-ranked players in the world, and we're still out here and we're still competing. I think it says a lot for the depth of golf in South Africa.
It's obviously an honour for us to be here representing our country, and that's what gets overlooked sometimes is what it means. It's obviously sad that Ernie and Retief couldn't be here, obviously people would have loved to have them here and see them play. But Richard and I, we just went out there and had some fun today.

Q. What was the toughest hole for you guys, or the turning point?
RICHARD STERNE: Actually I was captain on the front nine and since we changed captaincy on the back nine, he was in my ear, so we made five birdies in the back nine. So it must be the captaincy.
17 was pretty tough. Rory made a good par there, and we played pretty solid golf. We were never really in trouble. So that's how it went.

Q. Your first time in Barbados?
RICHARD STERNE: Yeah, it is my first time. It's a beautiful place. We just wish the weather was a bit better. Better; we'll handle it.

Q. What was the key to the back nine? Were you guys just hitting it close or was it just a couple of long putts?
RORY SABBATINI: You know, I'd say probably the key was, obviously we got off to a good start. We birdied 10. We both hit it in there close.
Richard, he made some great birdies on the back nine. He made a great birdie on No. 12, which it's a tough par 4. He hit two great shots and made a great putt. It was a situation that we were both in the hole, we were both there, and ultimately, one of us would put it close. Or, you know, it was just somebody would have the advantage, and the other person would be there with par already; so it gave you the ability to have a run at some of the putts out there.
You know, that's something you have to do is not perfect pressure on yourself when you're standing over a 15-, 20 -foot putt going, okay, I have to make sure I 2-putt at worst, but I want to make birdie. It's easy to get up there and know that you have that par.
Basically, Richard made three on the back and I made two. It was just a good combination. We left a couple out there on the back but that's the way the course is going to be. It's another three rounds to go, and hopefully it will give us a few more shots tomorrow and continue on through the week.

Q. So even though Richard says you were getting in his ear on the back nine, you dove-tailed pretty well.
RORY SABBATINI: We did. I'm kind of the veteran now. He's the -- I call him Rookie but obviously he's not a rookie. I give him a hard time. I keep him on his toes out there, but he's a great kid, he's got a wonderful thing, probably one of the best swings I've seen out of one of the younger golfers coming out of South Africa, and just very reliable, very consistent.
We just, as I say, we had a lot of fun, we made a lot of jokes out there and just had a good time.
RICHARD STERNE: Yeah, it was also key that we didn't make birdies on the same holes, except 10, on the back nine. So for scoring, that helps a lot in this format.
That was key to today, as well.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us.

End of FastScripts…

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