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September 21, 2008

Hunter Mahan


Q. Huge roller coaster to finish this match, what's going through your mind right now?
HUNTER MAHAN: Not much. Not much. It's been a long week but a whole lot of fun. Paul played great today. I knew our match was going to to be big so I knew I had to get something out of it.

Q. Taking a look at your putt at the 17th, just a little bit of rock star in there and a lot of emotion. What went through your mind, and were you so amped up when you got to 18 that it was just a tougher shot than it needed to be?
HUNTER MAHAN: Could have been. I felt 17 was up and over the hill, but down, and you know, it hit the back of the hole luckily, and that was a great moment. All of those people right there, it was awesome. I just didn't hit it as good as I needed it to. I've been missing kind of left today and missed a right one.
But you know, Paul played great and I tried as hard as I could.

Q. It's been a pretty exciting week for you, tough there on the 18th but had to be a great day.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, it was tough. Paul played great. We didn't give each other much and he had to go earn it, but that's what you want. It was a great match and I knew I couldn't lose. It I knew I had to get something out of it for our team and I was glad I got the half point. Which I would have gotten a full one.

Q. A successful week for you; expectations coming in, did they exceed them?
HUNTER MAHAN: For sure, by a lot. It's an incredible, incredible experience. I wish every golfer, every player on TOUR could experience this because it's just amazing.

Q. Can you just talk about the putt on 17?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, it was, I don't know how long it was, 35, 40 feet and up over a mound and I thought I had a pretty decent beat on it and just hit it and it went right back in the middle and couldn't be happier.

Q. Talk about what went through your body at that stage.
HUNTER MAHAN: A whole lot. A whole lot of energy, the crowd, everything, it was quite a strange.

Q. U.S. is looking good. What does this feel like?
HUNTER MAHAN: We don't have nothing yet. As far as we are concerned we have nothing. I'm going to go out there and cheer as hard as I can and hope our boys get in.

Q. Have you ever experienced anything like this in your golfing career?
HUNTER MAHAN: No. Unless you play in this, you won't. Incredible stage.

Q. How do you get yourself calmed down for 18 after a putt like that?
HUNTER MAHAN: Got a hole left. Got to get in there. Fortunately I didn't do as good a job as I needed to, but you know, scored a half-point, which was huge.

Q. What about your tee shot?
HUNTER MAHAN: Didn't hit it very good. Caught it high and if I would have left the wind take it would have had a better chance but just didn't carry. Tried hard all week and all day, and I've got nothing left in me.

Q. How big was that?
HUNTER MAHAN: It was a very big point because I couldn't lose that match. I know they won 3 and 4, Match 3 and 4, and I could not lose that match.

Q. The swing of emotions, how do you deal with that as you're making your way through the round and hearing the cheers from all over the course?
HUNTER MAHAN: This is great. It's an incredible stage and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity really. If I get to play in a couple more of these that would be unbelievable. You have to focus on what's in front of you. What's important now, it's kind of our motto all week, just got to focus on the shot in front of us, not the shot behind us.

Q. What was the biggest prize for you the entire week?
HUNTER MAHAN: I knew what to expect but it blows that out of the water; the people, the fans, the moments we had out there playing, and I just felt a lifetime of memories right there.

Q. Did the veterans try to prepare you or did they under-sell it?
HUNTER MAHAN: I don't think you can prepare for this. Captain Azinger did a great job this week preparing us, and with Justin helping me a lot, veteran, great guy, just helped me a lot just stay in the moment. You know, for me personally, you just can't try too hard. You want to make everything and you want to hit every shot pure. You can't force it. You've just got to let it happen.

Q. Closing out the match, what's your reaction to that?
HUNTER MAHAN: Great, a couple steps closer. We need all the points we can get right now.

Q. Did you get how special this is for Kenny?
HUNTER MAHAN: I think I told somebody, I told Kenny this: This is the best worst situation I've ever seen because you get to play in your home state, people are cheering hard for you and it's the worst because you're going to try so hard. I can't imagine how hard he's trying out there. That can hurt you a little bit. But he's done an incredible job this week, everybody has. J.B. has been awesome. I couldn't be more proud of our team right now.

Q. After the last two days of being there as a team, what's it like being out there alone?
HUNTER MAHAN: It's a little different, it totally is. It's a little weird. But I felt everybody around me and I felt all of the cheers, all of the good stuff happening, all of the positive energy everybody was creating, so yeah, it was definitely weird, but awesome.

Q. All of the questions about rookies coming in, just talk about what it's like to contribute what you did this week and look at the young guys.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, so proud of everybody, six rookies on our team, I think we were definitely underdogs, and we just went out and played. I mean, we were not afraid of anything, scared of anything, we just went out and played golf because we knew our golf was good enough. I didn't think we needed to go do something special out there. We were good enough to win this thing. We just have to go play.

Q. With you comment on the entire match you had to play, as you end, so many flawless shots and very few errors.
HUNTER MAHAN: It was tense. Paul played great. If he did miss a shot, he got it up-and-down. It was tough. I knew he wasn't going to give me anything. He birdied 16. I don't know how you do that.

Q. Ready to go be a cheerleader now?
HUNTER MAHAN: Absolutely, I'm going to every bit of energy to help everybody on.

Q. Your putt on 17, did you feel after you hit it that it was going in? They were saying on BBC it was a 3-putt.
HUNTER MAHAN: It was definitely hard, no question about it, and it just found the hole. I don't know if I blanked out after I hit it, just watching hoping and hoping and I saw it, it looked like it was going right in the back in the middle and it did.

Q. Were you a big Boo Weekley fan before this week or did you find out some stuff about him this week?
HUNTER MAHAN: You kind of knew Boo before, but he's a really good golfer and I think that gets lost sometimes in kind of his character.
But he's a great guy, fun-loving, and he's played awesome this weekend. But he's just a southern guy. You just can't go wrong with him.

Q. Compare the intensity and pressure of this to anything you've ever experienced?
HUNTER MAHAN: Nothing. This is fun and as hard as it gets.

End of FastScripts

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