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September 19, 2008

Chad Campbell

Stewart Cink


KELLY ELBIN: U.S. Ryder Cup Team members Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell joining us midway through the first day of the 37th Ryder Cup. Earlier today Stewart and Chad defeated Justin Rose and Ian Poulter one up in a foursomes match. The U.S. has a lead after the morning session.
Gentlemen, congratulations. Thoughts on the victory and the early success for the United States, whoever would like to speak first.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, it was a great day. Obviously the last few holes were very exciting. We got off to a little bit of a tough start, dug ourselves a little bit of a hole, but we told each other, just fight back one shot at a time.
After we went 3-down on 7, Stewart hit a great shot there on 8 and kind of turned things around and was able to play some great golf coming in. I hit Stewart into some interesting places off the tee, we were able to fight back.
KELLY ELBIN: Stewart, comments beyond that, please?
STEWART CINK: Well, it was a vintage Ryder Cup match, really. I mean, there was great play, there was poor play by everybody in the group, but nobody gave up and everybody fought hard.
There were some miraculous saves out there, and as is so often the case, when you put two teams like this together to fight it out, it came down to the last hole.
Chad hit a great second shot on 18 that just put a lot of pressure on their bunker shot, and it was too much.
KELLY ELBIN: The club and distance on that approach shot on 18, please?
CHAD CAMPBELL: 186, 5-iron.

Q. Stewart, as important as Chad's second shot was on 18, the drive is almost as important because you have to get set up to be in play to have a decent run with a decent club and a decent distance. It seemed like that might have been your best tee ball of the day. I mean, that thing looked like it was bombed pretty good.
STEWART CINK: It might have been the best tee ball of my life, to be honest. I caught it pretty solid. It's not exactly my favorite tee ball there on 18. You know, it's a little bit of an awkward angle, the water is right, and their golf ball was already in the fairway. Just tried to stay in the present. All day we were just taking it one shot at a time and just trying to chip away at whatever we had to chip away at.
There, you know, I just tried to stay within myself and just swing and caught it really solid, perfect line, and gave Chad a good club.

Q. It's been a long time since there have been so many cheers for an American team while the match was going on, and the possibility of that inspiring the other groups around the course. How much did you guys feed off of that? There was a lot of noise out there in the second nine holes?
STEWART CINK: Yeah, there was a lot of noise all day, from the first tee on. As the morning wore on, there were more USA cheers than there were Europe cheers, which we, I think, could sense.
Just to hear them excited about the way we were playing for a change in the Ryder Cup was refreshing. I've never been able to experience that myself when we were ahead after the first session. So it's great.
The crowd here has been just unbelievable. They're really excited, they're really vocal. They've been waiting for quite a while to have this, and I think they were just about as excited as we were to get the show going this morning.

Q. How would you describe your play the first seven holes, and what got it turned around after the 7th in particular?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Honestly I thought we played fine the first six holes. My play on 7 just kind of made everything look bad before then.
But we hit some good shots in there. I thought we played all right the first few holes, just 7 I turned that into a mess, and we forgot about it and kind of went on from there.
STEWART CINK: You have to look at the scoreboard and see that they were 3-under three five holes, and we were 2-down, not by really any fault of our own. We birdied the hole we were supposed to birdie and we had birdie putts on the other holes, but we couldn't convert them.
And then 6, I think we gave up a little bit there. Chad hit a good iron shot, and I hit a bad first putt, really bad lag, about five feet past, when their team was already struggling for bogey. They made their bogey putt; we missed our par putt. That really gave them an open door.
And then the 7th hole, obviously that was a bad loss. But I think a minor blessing might have occurred there on 7 because we didn't have to play the last 210 yards of the hole.
We actually got a long walk and got a chance to calm ourselves down and sort of refocus and regather a little bit of momentum there and gave ourselves a long pep talk. We had about a 10-, 12-minute walk. We had plenty of time to think about it.

Q. What did you hit into 8?
STEWART CINK: 8-iron on 8.

Q. Paul made the switch to foursomes in the morning. He went back to this arrangement for the Ryder Cup. From a player's standpoint, obviously it turned out well. What appeals or what played to the American strengths, do you think this morning, playing foursomes in the morning as compared to the afternoon? And in that format for both of you, are you more or less aggressive than you would be if you were playing your own ball?
STEWART CINK: Well, I really don't think there is an answer to what about the format favors the Americans, because as recently as about two Ryder Cups ago, the questions were always why Europe dominates the four some matches. I don't think there is an answer to that.
To the second part of your question, I think that in alternate-shot, you play a lot more like you play your own game. If you feel like it's a green-light situation, you get aggressive. If it's a caution situation, you're conservative. In best-ball, a lot of times it depends on your partner, and if he's in good shape then you're very aggressive, and if he's in trouble then you're very conservative. That's the main difference. You have a partner to sort of gauge your style of play on in best ball. In alternate-shot, you play how you would play in stroke play basically.

Q. What will you guys do this afternoon? Are you more wanting to be out there rooting the guys on or go relax, get some lunch? What's kind of your thoughts for the afternoon?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I think we're going to do a little of both. Probably go practice a little bit, hit a few balls. It'll take them a while before they turn and then probably catch them on 8, 9, catch them on the turn and follow them and root them on.
STEWART CINK: I think it's important for us to still go out there and support them, and we want to, especially the players that have never played in the Ryder Cup. That's one of the best things about playing in the Ryder Cup is the fact that your teammates come out and watch you on the golf course. I know it makes me feel good when I see guys out there watching me, and I think that Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis will enjoy it, and J.B. and Boo will really enjoy it.
So I think we're going to watch them a little bit this afternoon and try to get our games in shape for the next time we may play, which who knows when that's going to be.

Q. Given the role that both momentum and pressure play in this event, how does it feel to you now at this moment, your first match is out of the way, you were successful. How does that alter your approach or calm your approach over the next couple of days?
STEWART CINK: Well, it won't change our approach, but it gives us a lot of confidence, because for many, many sessions in the Ryder Cup, we haven't done this. And now we've done it, so we know we can do it again.
So we've got a lot of confidence after this morning. By no means is the job even begun to be finished. It's still a lot of golf to be played. So we're excited; we're confident; and we really feel the same way we have all week.
We've been really itching to get going here.

Q. Just to follow up on that, the Americans, if I'm not mistaken -- Kelly, help me on this, were behind at some point in all four matches?
KELLY ELBIN: Yes, that's correct.

Q. And didn't lose a full point in any of the four matches. Going along with just the fact that it's, what, 3-1, how important is that fact, that everybody came from behind, everybody on the team?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I think it's very important. You know, it shows how hard we were fighting out there and how bad we want this. You know, I think Captain Azinger has preached a good word, just one shot at a time. Coach Holtz came in there the other night and gave us a few words of encouragement and kind of along the same lines.
You know, you're out there after the first three or four holes, you've got a lot of golf left. That's what Stewart kept telling me, I was telling him. You're going to be out there for four hours and there's a lot of golf shots to hit. You never know what's going to happen. You can't ever let your guard down, just kind of keep fighting, and hopefully things will work out for you.
KELLY ELBIN: Just to verify, that is correct, the Europeans did hold the lead in every match at some point during the foursomes this morning.

Q. How important do you guys think it is for the rookies to be out on the first day to get a feel for Ryder Cup play?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I think it's great that they get out there. You don't really want to sit all day and have tomorrow be the first day. You're out there -- like they came out there this morning and kind of got a feel of it. I saw Boo out there and I saw Ben and Strick. They're all out there watching, kind of getting a feel how the crowds were. I know they're excited to get out there this afternoon.

Q. Did you sense they started to protect things a little bit, play a little more conservatively; no birdies after the 10th hole?
STEWART CINK: No, I don't think the question was whether they were conservative. They weren't conservative.
I think they were just feeling a little bit of pressure that we were starting to put on them. They controlled the match the first seven holes. They were making birdies. They hit it in there stiff like for a gimme that I made them putt on 3. They made a good putt to halve us on 4. They made a 20-footer to win the hole on 5. And then we gave them basically a halve on 6, and they won 7, and we gave them that one. So we were giving them the match.
I think they might have been feeling a little bit at ease and confident, and when we started putting some pressure on them, it just forces golfers into some bad mistakes mentally, and I think that's what it was. It was just a couple mental errors. But both teams made them.
I mean, we had quite a bit of mistakes made out there in the match by everybody. We all responded in one way or another, and it all came down to that last hole. I don't think they were trying to protect anything. I think it's just the fact that it's the Ryder Cup and it was the first round and it was such a tight match. They could feel us coming back, and it just forced them into making a few errors.
KELLY ELBIN: Chad Campbell, Stewart Cink, thank you very much.

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