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September 28, 2002

Stewart Cink

Scott Verplank


GORDON SIMPSON: Scott, you're the rookie, you weren't in yesterday, but you had a winning start yesterday and went right to the 18th today before Monty and Bernhard won. How would you assess the match, and also the experience of playing?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Well, the match today or just the whole thing in general?

GORDON SIMPSON: The whole matches.

SCOTT VERPLANK: It's great. It's been fun. It's tightly contested like I think most people figured it would be. I've enjoyed playing. This is a great atmosphere. I could get used to this.

GORDON SIMPSON: What about today's match, because it could have gone either way at the end there.

SCOTT VERPLANK: Today's match was -- really the bottom line was Colin and Bernhard made putts and Scott and I just didn't make enough. We had opportunities, particularly on the back nine to get ahead. We actually had -- I missed about an 8- to 10-footer on 14 to win the hole. And we did win 15 and Scott had about an 8- to 10-footer on 16 to win the hole. We just didn't get them in. And Colin makes a great putt on 17, makes a 12-footer, and they made a bunch of those and we didn't. I think we shot three or four under and they shot 4- or 5-under, and we made the only bogey, and that turned out to be the difference in the match.

Q. You went up against a couple of guys that were scrambling for their lives today.

STEWART CINK: They were all over the place, and they didn't play alternate shot golf that would win the match. Jim and I didn't play the best, either, it seemed when we were in the rough you were chipping it out to the fairway, you can't make too many birdies. We made one or two birdies, and it's not much. But those guys played well when they needed to and they never really lost a lot of holes. I think we only won one hole all day, and it's unfortunate because Jim and I played well yesterday and we were way under par, and today we didn't seem to be able to connect the same way we did yesterday. Jim is playing well, and I have a lot of confidence for him this afternoon.

Q. Both of you guys were in hotly contested matches today, and yet the crowds have seemed to be very fair and supportive of everybody. Have you found that, have you seen any instances of them being out of the ordinary, have you heard anything?

STEWART CINK: I don't know about out of the ordinary, because this is my first time. They've been very well behaved and they've been supporting their team like they should and appreciating our good shots like they should. And I think they've been complimentary. It's been fantastic to play in front of a crowd that, while not hiding their bias, they're also not hiding the fact that they appreciate good golf.

SCOTT VERPLANK: He summed it up beautifully. I agree, they've been great. They're obviously very loud for the European team. I think I still have Colin's name ringing in my ears. But it's great. I think that that's why it's being played over here this time. They deserve the home crowd advantage and it's a neat part of the event.

Q. This is your first experience, but it's got to be tough to be sitting. Curtis had to make some tough decisions putting out pairings this afternoon. What are your thoughts on that, and give us an idea of where you think he's going with it and how you think you stand, the Americans.

STEWART CINK: I think probably -- he did have some tough decisions, and it was difficult, I think, for him to decide between me and -- well, the other guys that are sitting out, Hal Sutton and Paul Azinger and the two of us. And then to put some guys in that haven't been playing like they wanted to play yet, like Duval and Calc, and I think he just went on experience, basically, thinking that if there's anything that's going to maybe sway his decision, it might be that. I don't blame him for that. I'm obviously disappointed I'm not playing. I wish I could be out on every match. I have confidence in those guys, and we're 12 pretty good players, and from top to bottom is really not a whole lot of difference when you get in match play, anyway. So a putt or two here or there, one lips out and one falls in the edge, that makes the captain's choices correct or incorrect. It's a tough job for him, but hopefully it will pan out just right.

Q. Are you comfortable with where you are right now?

SCOTT VERPLANK: We'd like to be leading. But I agree with Stewart, when you only play 8 and you have 12 on the team, you're going to put four guys down that are wanting to play. If they weren't wanting to play, then they shouldn't be on the team. But everybody we have out there can golf their ball. And he wouldn't put them out there if they couldn't. So like I said, I think, like Stewart and myself, we played this morning, both of us would like to play all day, but like I said, that's why he's getting paid the big bucks to be captain.

Q. Scott, can you talk for Scott Hoch, and how good a partner he is, and what he's like to play with.

SCOTT VERPLANK: He's an excellent partner. Like I said, he and I have played very well together. We just -- I think we probably would have won any other match we would have played, just the score we shot, shooting -- either 3- or 4-under par. That is probably going to win most matches in alternate shot. We just didn't hit it in the rough much. I think we each hit it in the rough once off the tee. Yeah, he's a solid, solid partner. He hit a lot of nice iron shots and a lot of good tee shots. And we just -- we partner up very well. Actually he and I thought we might be playing together a little more than just once, but like I said, there's another guy that's making those decisions.

Q. What about as a person?

SCOTT VERPLANK: He's great. The guy is extremely smart. He's a hell of a golfer. And I enjoy playing with him. Listen, he's the kind of guy that -- he's the kind of guy you want on your team, because I guess to some other people he can irritate them. You want that guy on your side, where you don't get irritated. So I've never had that experience with him. He's always been nothing but a real gentleman to me.

Q. Scott, a lot of the British crowd were applauding your gesture on the 18th, after Monty had hit that putt you went over and tapped him on the shoulder to say "well done." You did it. In the heat of the battle it's good that -- do you feel it's good that you can still do that sort of thing?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Yeah. As big as this deal is, it's a golf tournament. And in light of why it's postponed a year, it's just a golf tournament. I'm friends with pretty much all the guys or most of the guys on the European team and I enjoy playing with them. We had a great match today. I'm sorely disappointed that I lost a point for our team, but Colin won it by making a great putt on 17 and hitting a beautiful putt on 18. That's not that easy of a putt to hit up there a gimmee. So, listen, if you like playing and you like golf, then it's hard not to appreciate really good shots and good putts like that. I'm just kind of hoping maybe I'll get another shot.

Q. Scott, talk about the support out there for Colin; obviously he's had some of the opposite treatment on your side of the pond. Does he carry himself differently; did you see something different out there today?

SCOTT VERPLANK: He was enjoying himself. I think we all were. Obviously he's somewhat more comfortable here. I mean the guy just putted lights out all day. So really the difference in the match was he and Bernhard both made these 8- to 10- to 15-footers when they had to have them. And they both made them. But, yeah, they were very relaxed. Bernhard is kind of the same all the time. Very nice guy. Never says much. Doesn't change expression much. But Colin is -- was definitely in a better mood, seemed to be in a better mood today than -- and listen, in all honesty, I don't blame him. If people were riding me or if people were saying stuff to you, he's got every right to be disappointed in those kind of -- that kind of crowd behavior.

End of FastScripts....

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