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September 30, 2007
DOUG MILNE: We have the 2007 champion Presidents Cup team, joined by the captains. We'll start with some general remarks from Captain Sluman and Captain Nicklaus are starting with Captain Nicklaus, please.
JACK NICKLAUS: I've said enough I think this week and I just think these guys have been fantastic. They gelled as a team. They work with each other, they helped each other along. They played together. They played with whom they wanted to play or sometimes with who they didn't want to play with. They got the job done, and a great bunch of guys every single one of them, and I couldn't be more proud of 12 guys.
JEFF SLUMAN: Well, I just feel, you know, it's another special week for me being with Captain Nicklaus. It's kind of hard for me to goof up, we have so much experience here. Jack's forgotten more about golf and formats like this than I'll ever know.
My three weeks of being Jack's assistant, we've had unbelievable teams and made great friendships. We've had the golf gods on our side and each team's been different, but it's been fun, and beyond my wildest imagination. It's just been something that I'll treasure the rest of my life. And thanks, guys.
Q. Congratulations on your win. This question is to Tiger, and it has a little to do with Woody. On hole 15 when Mike went into the water, I asked him this question, since Woody could float, did you think he was trying to do the same thing in?
TIGER WOODS: Well, if you look at how the ball was sitting, actually, you know it's pretty muddy in there and he didn't have his rain gear in the bag. We were actually laughing that more than likely he was going to get all muddy, you know, smell a little bit.
But, hey, he hit an unbelievable shot. There's no way that any of us would have thought he could actually hit it over the green from where he was. You know, he stayed dry.
Q. You've had so many great final days, how did this day compare when you look at the match, the crowd, the situation, everything combined; where did this day compare with days you've had in the past?
TIGER WOODS: Result-wise, not what I wanted. But atmosphere-wise, it was pretty loud. It was like a Ryder Cup. You know, especially starting out, it was unbelievable how loud the roars were. You know, pretty deafening, actually. And I was 3-down early, so they had a lot to cheer about. You know, Weir was playing great and it was just unreal how the atmosphere was electric out there.
It got quiet on the back nine and then it got real loud at the end. But you know, overall, it was just a great day.
Q. Just a general comment on Mike's play out there today and the composure he showed as you were able to level things with him.
TIGER WOODS: He played solidly all day. Only two bad holes he had was 14 and 15. Other than that, he played great all day, never gave me an opening to get back in the match and I had to try and make birdies. He played just really consistently all day.
For the pressure that he had all week, it was pretty phenomenal how he had to deal with that and the way he played. I mean, not a lot of people could actually have dealt with the things he had to deal with all week, and expectations, the pressure, and you know, questioning whether or not he should be picked on the team or not. There's a lot of different things that were going on.
And the way he came out and played this week and represented all of Canada was impressive.
Q. Jack, when you were playing on World Amateur teams and World Cup teams and Ryder Cup teams, and now captaining these teams, is it only when you're a little bit older or a lot older, and when you're captaining these teams, that you can really sense the emotion and feeling of what it means? Is it only later that it really is so strong?
JACK NICKLAUS: How old do you think I am? (Laughter).
Q. I know. I've written it many times. I won't say.
JACK NICKLAUS: Are you saying real old, a lot older?
Q. Older than when you played on the World Amateur and World Cup teams.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, obviously.
Q. Is it only when you have time to reflect, and you were quite emotional in your speeches in the ceremonies and other places.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well I'm getting to be a sentimental old fool to start with, but that's okay.
I just happen to feel that you have some special moments in your life, and this happened to be one of them. And when you have the opportunity to represent your country, lead a team that's representing your country, in another country; the way you must lead them, the way you must handle what's going on, is something that is very, very special to anybody who has had that opportunity.
I mean, I'm not Canadian, I'm not Australian, and I'm not South African and I've led teams in all three of those countries -- matter of fact, in -- no, I guess I was on U.S. soil both times in the Ryder Cup. But it was all very special.
When you do that, you get wrapped up in 12 guys' lives, and you're trying to not only lead them, but also make sure that their wives are part of what's going on, and that they are part of the team. It's just a very special thing.
And I get very sentimental about it. I'm sentimental about it right now. I know that as you get older, you're right, your years are shorter; that you may not have those opportunities again. It may be the last time that I do it. And if that's the case, that's fine. That's a pretty good way to bow out.
You know, the reaction that I get from these guys and the support that I've gotten from them, not only the support that I've tried to give them, but the support they have given me, is just something that, you don't have very many times in a lifetime.
Q. Jack, kind of along those lines, Barbara was concerned about how can you possibly top Washington in '05.
JACK NICKLAUS: We did a pretty good job. Washington was pretty special, because of the nature of the way it finished. You look at these matches, these matches were absolutely dead even the last three days, the last four rounds. We were 5 1/2 -- or 5 1/2 to 1/2 in the first round and we won by five points.
So the first round was these matches. We won five out of 12 today. Even as good as we were yesterday morning, when we were 5-0, we still needed all that to be able to win these matches.
So we played a very formidable opponent. You know, you've got guys that are experience players, who have played for a while; Tiger, Phil, Jim, have played in a lot of teams. And you've got guys that have played on one or two teams and guys that have played on no teams.
And to get those guys to come together in a format and an event that is not what they play every day, not what they play every week, it's a whole different thing. And to have that happen once every year, and usually once every two year for the Presidents Cup, but once every year they get together to do that, for the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup, I think that they find it pretty special, also.
Q. Question for Jim and for Phil. What is your take on the disparity of the U.S. only having lost one of seven Presidents Cups but only having won one of the last six Ryder Cups?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. Why don't you go ahead, Jim.
JIM FURYK: (Snickering.)
STEVE STRICKER: Quietest he's been all week.
JIM FURYK: I've had a few crickets to my left and right say, "That's the quietest he's been all week," which may be true.
I don't have an answer for you. Just like going out in foursomes this week and winning ten and a half of 11 points, it's just I've got no answer. I'm glad we were on that side of it.
But I think our atmosphere, you all see it, I'm sure you all feel it; I see it and I feel it, that we're a little bit more loose this week. I think we have a little bit more fun and enjoy it this week. Why that translates over into our play, I'm not sure. I go to the Ryder Cups thinking that I'm going to loosen up and I'm going to enjoy the week and I'm always a little bit tighter. I have fun, but I'm always a little tighter there than I am at a Presidents Cup.
You know, I've got no answer. I mean, the team we beat, what I'd like to say is the team that we beat is one hell of a team, from top to bottom, 12 guys that are all very, very solid players. You all said that they look better on paper than we do, and you know, that's true.
But I'll tell you, it seems like we pull together, we have a hell of a time, and we're loose for these weeks at the Presidents Cup and we tend to gel more.
I have no answer for you why that would be, but it sure is fun to ride it while we're here.
PHIL MICKELSON: I agree.
JIM FURYK: It's the calm before the storm if he's not talking. (Laughter).
Q. Tiger, sorry to put you on the spot but would the Presidents Cup lose something for you if Jack were not the captain?
TIGER WOODS: I guess I've only played one time without him as captain, the year we played with Ken Venturi. We've had some great years together since '98. I've always loved playing for Jack, and hopefully we'll come back. And South Africa was supposed to be his bow-out and here we are and hopefully we'll get one more.
It's always, you know, great to see him, great to have him around. He's the greatest player of all-time, and to have him as your captain lead us, it doesn't get any better than that.
Q. A question for Captain Nicklaus, and congratulations on your victory. Reflecting on the day, do you think of the irony when Mike Weir wrote a letter to you and it's often talked about, about changing the side that he stands on when he's addressing a golf ball; he wrote you a letter when he was a teenager about going to the other side, and do you think about the irony on a day like this and teeing it up against the No. 1 golfer in the world and maybe Tiger might have an opinion and wish you had told him to shoot right, but do you think about that at times?
JACK NICKLAUS: Mike wrote me a letter, and obviously I didn't know Mike Weir at that point in time and nor did I know who I was writing back to until a few years later. Mike wrote me when he was 13 years old and said that he had been told that he should switch to be being a right-handed golfer but his natural way was a left-handed golfer, and what did I think.
And so I gave him my answer and he stayed with the left-hander. I told him to switch to right-hand -- no. (Laughter).
I told him that I think he should go with his instincts and however you feel and I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference whether you play left or right. Maybe in those days a little easier right-handed because there was more equipment made for right-handers than left-handers and probably a little more sophisticated but today I don't think it makes any difference.
Mike has come back and we've talked about that many times. It was nice to play a little bit of a part in somebody's life. You know, I've always had great respect for Mike. I like Mike a lot. He's always handled himself beautifully. And Tiger was absolutely dead right. He was put in an awfully difficult position this week, I felt, carrying the whole International Team basically on his shoulders.
You know, if he had not played well the last couple of weeks, he wouldn't have been on the team. So that's a tough deal, and he's come through very well.
I was hoping today, I thought the right thing to happen today was when Tiger had a putt at 17 to win the match, and you know, as much as I want my players to win their matches, I was saying, you know, I think it would be good for the game if Tiger did not make this putt, they tied the last hole, and Stewart who won at 14, ended the matches and they ended in a tie, I thought it would be the best of both worlds.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, me, too. (Laughter).
JACK NICKLAUS: I know you did. But Tiger didn't hit it hard enough at 18, I guess.
You just didn't hit it hard enough or you hit it too far left?
TIGER WOODS: Left.
JACK NICKLAUS: Did you?
TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah.
JACK NICKLAUS: Thought you were just trying to hit it over the water.
TIGER WOODS: I used to back in my younger days.
JACK NICKLAUS: You could have done that last year.
That's what I was kind of hoping because I felt that was the right thing for Mike in, Canada, and I thought it was the right thing for Tiger with his position in the game today.
It didn't turn out that way, but that's what I was kind of hoping would happen. I was kind of hoping they would play to a draw today.
But Mike played great, and can't take anything away from him and I can't take anything certainly away from Tiger. He's proved what his golf game is, and how he can play. And as I said at the presentation today, he proved his medal a lot to us about I saying, I'll take that tough position and that was a tough position to take.
Q. Tiger, we all know how important Jack's 18 majors are to you, but as you've hit 30 and lost your father and got married and had a child of your own, has Jack's example in golf and other things become more important to you in?
TIGER WOODS: In what way?
Q. Does the example of how Jack has led his life, has that become increasingly more important to you? Do you take more from it?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I can understand a little better. I have a better perspective. Until you actually become a father, you don't really understand it; until you lose a father, you don't understand it. So understanding that and have a better perspective of what, you know, he went through in his career. There's one part of it where you really want to experience it, and another part where you really don't. I can understand why he became motivated, why he played better after his father passed and you know, also why your life becomes more balanced, as well, when you have children.
Q. Stewart, would you talk about scoring the clinching point, what that meant to you and as your match got near the end, were you peeking at the scoreboard to see if you had a chance at that?
STEWART CINK: No, I wasn't peeking first of all, I was trying to take care of my own business. I didn't know where we stood on the team until my caddie mentioned on the 13th green, he said, "I think that clinched it."
I said, "No, it didn't, because we're not done playing yet." We had five holes to play and I was 5-up. I think what he meant was the half-point I was guaranteed, would be enough to win the Cup.
I was proud to be the one that did it, but credit doesn't do go to me, it goes to everybody who teed the ball up this week, and everybody who did such a great job of staying in the game and I was so proud of everybody on this team and proud of myself, too. To win the final point it was something that I didn't know happened at the time but looking back, I'm proud of it.
Q. I just want to know, the drive on 18 you put in the water, Jack had some history with that, did he talk to you about it at all that in '75 he hit his tee shot --
JACK NICKLAUS: He doesn't want to know about my history.
Q. I guess he didn't tell you about it.
TIGER WOODS: No.
JEFF SLUMAN: Jack, ever hit a hot to the left?
JACK NICKLAUS: You hit one to the left?
I didn't hit enough club. (Laughter).
Q. David, best record of the week for this side, just a few comments on the week for you, and on your play.
DAVID TOMS: First of all, I had some good partners. First time I got to play with Tiger. I guess this is my sixth international competition in a row, and I've yet to play with him until this week, so that was a lot of fun.
You know, I think what I'll remember most is what happened with Woody. You know, not necessarily going -- going in the water, that was all funny and adds to his legacy, that he said, but the way that he finished up, birdieing last three holes. That was pretty impressive stuff and I was lucky enough to be his partner to see it. That was pretty gutsy, one of the gutsiest things I've seen in golf, really, to being totally soaked and a couple of holes later finishing up like that and for us to get a half point that was pretty awesome.
And then Zach and I just talked, we have pretty similar games, never got to play together, so I did that this week. You know, Jim Furyk and I played on many teams together, never have played alternate-shot together. So just a lot of things I'll take from this week, a lot of new partners, a lot of good times. You know, I was lucky enough to contribute to the team.
Q. Stewart, just the place where you were on the course when you won was further away; was there anyone else out there, any of your teammates or anyone when you won, and maybe that contributed to you not realizing you had won?
STEWART CINK: Right away, I saw Lucas and pretty shortly after that I saw Scott who won his match. And Jack was there, which meant a lot. Barbara came, and not too far after that, I saw -- after Jim Furyk's match came through, the par-3, where Jeff was sort of helping out.
Yeah, I saw the guys right away. That's one thing Phil mentioned earlier this week to us, and he's right. It's one of the best parts of this whole type of experience for all of us, that after the matches are over, no one goes inside to change shoes or goes hits balls or work out or anything. Everyone stays out on the golf course. You stay with the wives and the other players, the captains, and you see it all through. That's some of the best memories are formed just in that short amount of time when you can do that.
It's always great to finish a match with a win and see some guys there to congratulate you.
Q. Phil, I'm hoping you can be more expansive to this question.
WOODY AUSTIN: Don't encourage it.
Q. Your match up today was one of the more hotly-anticipated ones I imagine for various reasons.
PHIL MICKELSON: Why? (Taking innocent tone).
Q. I'm going to skip that part. But were you surprised by how lopsided it was, Phil, in the first seven holes when you went from 1-down to 3-up pretty quickly.
PHIL MICKELSON: Was I surprised by it?
Q. Oh, that's the wrong question. Can you go through the psychology of those first seven holes for me? I'm very curious what your brain is going through when the first hole problem doesn't go the way you wanted to, second hole great drive and then it picks up from there.
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit a terrible drive on the first hole, and ended up hitting it over the green and made bogey and gave him the hole.
I believe that was the last fairway I missed, and I was able to play aggressive and attack pins and ended up making some birdies. I wasn't surprised. He had a couple of great up-and-downs on 4 and 5, one of the best up-and-downs I'd ever seen, he was 50 yards left of the green on 4 in the trees and looked like he had no shot. He and I have played a lot of golf together in the last month or so, and I guess you play enough golf with someone, you start playing like him, because -- (laughter) -- he was hitting it like I usually do, and getting up-and-down. (Laughter).
Q. That was everything I could have hoped for.
PHIL MICKELSON: Would you like me to expand more? (Laughter).
Q. If anyone else would like to indulge.
WOODY AUSTIN: Hey, Phil, I hit the first fairway again, just to let you know.
Q. Woody, four months ago, you were just kind of floating along and then you shoot 62 and win at Memphis and have a great run at Southern Hills and make this team, and then have the week you had; at what point do you think it will sink in just how much your life has changed? Sorry for the choice of words there.
WOODY AUSTIN: That's okay. It's already sank in, because trust me, for the last, I don't know, 48, 50-some hours, I've been taking a big enough ribbing for me to not get anywhere but stay right where I'm normally at.
But it's just been the greatest week. I talked to the other two rookies, Hunter and Lucas, about what we expected this week, and we all expected a fun week, but I could not have imagined this much fun. These guys, you know, we all get to hang out a little bit on TOUR, but it's more just you play your rounds, you see everyone every once in a while or whatever but I don't get the opportunity to have dinner with Phil and different we are Tiger and hang around them in their atmosphere or whatever.
I've gotten a different perspective. I already know how great they are as players and how good they are as people when I'm with them on the golf course. But now I've got to know just how great they are even off the golf course, which I haven't had -- they have been the funniest, greatest teammates I could ever have imagined.
So if all comes to a close for me at this juncture, I couldn't have asked for a better week. If it continues, I'm going to bust my butt to get into another one, because it's been a blast and a half.
Q. How much do you think it will change your profile, the way you're recognized and the way you're received out on TOUR?
WOODY AUSTIN: Obviously the water thing, as I said, it's just going to add to my legacy. I'm the screw ball no matter what.
But if Phil keeps working his magic, I'm going to have a new name.
JIM FURYK: He should be proud of the way he played, though, because no one played harder on the team. No one else birdied 16, 17 and 18 when they had to. So I know we're all proud of him. He's got 11 guys that are proud of him and a lot of guys that are going to respect him for the way he handled himself this week. It's tough.
WOODY AUSTIN: Thanks, Jimbo.
JIM FURYK: (Rubbing Woody's head)
Q. You talk about the Presidents Cup being a great showcase for Canada and the economic impact; Gary was talking about how golf to should go to places like Eastern Europe and China and India, how do you see the Presidents Cup evolving over the longer term with regards to that mission with or without you?
JACK NICKLAUS: I think it will, eventually. The Presidents Cup really now needs to go over the next probably ten or 15 years, to places that really can support it, understand it, and really take care of the event.
The event is going to San Francisco, I guess, what, 2009, and back to Royal Melbourne 2011. Don't know where it's going after that.
But I would think that ultimately, the game of golf is going to grow in China; the game of golf is going to grow in the Eastern block, but it's going to be a long time before that's really there. I think you've got to go to the golfing countries of the world.
I think if you look at the International Team this time, you had several players from Australia, several players from South Africa; I think you had -- because you obviously had one very good player from Argentina and one very good player from Korea, as well as Vijay from Fiji, which probably could not have the event. Where else were we; Canada, which you obviously have the event. Was there anybody else? Was that all of the team in I guess that was all this week, wasn't it? Am I missing somebody?
But each one of them could handle the event, Korea could handle the event, Argentina could handle the event. But you've got to look at, you know, the financial viability of it. It's an event that produces a lot of dollars, and you're not going to take it someplace just to take it for the game of golf, yet. But that will happen, and it won't be that long.
Q. Just a quick question for Tiger. The Presidents Cup comes at the end of a very long season, especially this year after the FedExCup Playoffs. Do you think there will ever be a time when you'll assess in your schedule whether you'll want to play in the Presidents Cup, or do you think it will always be an automatic participation?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's an honor any time you get a chance to represent your country. Granted, this year, especially next year, when the Ryder Cup is the week after the Playoff events, it's going to be a little bit hard on all of us who make the team. But any time you get a chance to make this team and represent your country, it's always been fun.
You know, the guys have traveled to Australia and traveled to South Africa, and we've always played.
Q. For Tiger, Phil and Jim, wonder what charities you will be donating the money from the Presidents Cup to and tell me a little bit about them if you can.
PHIL MICKELSON: Go ahead. Go ahead.
TIGER WOODS: (Laughing).
PHIL MICKELSON: The Tiger Woods Foundation will be receiving Tiger's, and I can tell you about the Tiger Foundation. (Laughter) They opened a Tiger Woods learning center in Anaheim.
TIGER WOODS: (Laughing).
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a $25 million commitment. It's a place where a lot of inner city youths can go and study and play golf and learn. And he's going to do one in Washington, D.C.. he's gathering contributions as such, and you think this is funny, but I say this because I do know what he's doing and I think it's incredible. He has an ability to make an impact on so many people's lives, and he takes advantage of that opportunity, and we're all appreciative of it.
Q. What do you know about the Phil Mickelson Foundation?
PHIL MICKELSON: I know a little bit about that, too. Amy and I have a foundation that we do to support education throughout the country, and as well as the military and some of the sold years and their families. That's what ours does.
JIM FURYK: Just recently my father's father passed away, my grandfather, and we're starting a scholarship at the university of Arizona in his name and in his honor.
DOUG MILNE: Congratulations, thank you all, and thanks for your time.
End of FastScripts