September 28, 2002
SUTTON COLDFIELD, ENGLAND
Q. Here with Phil Mickelson and David Toms. Curtis Strange told us early this morning you were vocal last night at the meeting about the first point. Did you want to get it?
PHIL MICKELSON: I felt we were only one point down, and the first match could square the Ryder Cup so far. And it was up to us to do that. And it's up to the guys ahead us to give us a lead
Q. David, what makes you guys such a good team? Here you are 2-0 and 1 through three matches.
DAVID TOMS: I think we're comfortable together, and as many times as we play together before when we were paired together, we played good solid golf, and that's what we've done here the first couple of days. Hopefully this afternoon we'll do it again.
Q. You know you're going out this afternoon?
DAVID TOMS: Yes.
Q. Was the Ryder Cup as you imagined it would be?
DAVID TOMS: It was great. On the first tee, it's great. It's what we've been waiting for. I had to wait another day, but I just want to get back out and play again and beat these guys.
PHIL MICKELSON: We got fortunate to win a couple of holes and get 1-up on the next couple of holes. And we eagled 15 to pull it 2-up, and that was really a difficult point to overcome with only three holes to go. When we parred 16 out of a difficult situation, that insured us a half a point and that was a very good feeling.
Q. David, your first experience in Ryder Cup, has it been as you imagined?
DAVID TOMS: Yes, it's been more fun than I imagined. I knew it was going to be nerve wracking, but it's been a blast.
Q. You're not going to give him up lightly, are you Phil?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, he's one of the greatest drivers of the golf balls that you've ever seen. He's hit tight, tight fairways with pinpoint precision, and as a partner in alternate shot, that's a tremendous feeling. He hits the ball so long that it made our score yesterday and today in alternate shot very low.
Q. The crowd has been courteous to both teams?
DAVID TOMS: The crowds have been wonderful. You're out there, you know whose side they're on, but they've been very respectful of everybody, and like I said, it's been a lot of fun.
Q. First match of the day, pretty important to get what you got?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was very important to get the first point. We were a point down heading into today and we felt the first match, if we could win, it would square everything up and give the guys behind us a chance to give us a lead. So that was an important point. And we were fortunate to get it. Because Price and Fulke played some very good golf and we were trailing there for a while, and they had a chance to change the outcome of the match, had a couple of putts gone in instead of lipped out. We're certainly pleased to have won our point.
Q. Talk about your play today, some critical holes, your bunker shot on 16?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I hit a really good shot on 15 to get us ahead. And when we won 15 to go 2-up we felt like we needed to still win one more hole, and it looked like we might be in a position to win 16. When they hit a great shot on the green and we were plugged in the bunker, it looked like they were going to win the hole and, had they won, the whole outcome could have changed with the last two holes, them being only 1-down. I was fortunate to hit a very good shot out of the lie. And David topped it off with a great putt
Q. How did you play today?
DAVID TOMS: We were shaky early, I guess. And we let the guys stay in it. And they made a couple of nice birdie putts. And I think in the end we just kind of -- our ball-striking ended up just wearing them down. We hit a lot of fairways and greens, really didn't make a lot of putts, but they started to make mistakes. And we were rock steady. And I think that was the difference in the end.
Q. Talk about their play?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I'm sure most people thought that we'd be favored over them. But I thought that they came out. I birdied the first hole to get us up and they came out after that and played with a lot of heart, we made a couple of mistakes and they hung in there. They played solid golf until the last four or five holes. They were just like the Ryder Cup is, everybody hangs tough and gives a hundred percent and when you do that everybody is pretty equal.
Q. Ready to go this afternoon?
DAVID TOMS: I'm ready to go.
Q. Congratulations, Tiger and Davis, first time ever paired together in team competition, you come away with 4 and 3 victory.
TIGER WOODS: It feels. Being 0 and 2 wasn't exactly a great feeling. It was tough sleeping last night. But the fact that I had Davis coming out this morning, I was pumped up and excited about it. We went out and played well.
Q. The pairings have been released and you will be together in match 3, out against Sergio and Lee. Your thoughts on this afternoon.
DAVIS LOVE III: I'm happy to be out with Tiger again. I was nervous on the first hole, and once I settled in I played pretty good. I have to figure out how to get the ball to the hole and the greens.
Q. Have the greens lost that much speed? We're seeing it all day, every match; guys can't get it to the hole.
TIGER WOODS: They're slow. I put more on my stroke, and still can't get it to the hole. Either play long, and putt downhill, like we did here, or put the "Arnold" stroke on it.
Q. Some thoughts on the round today?
TIGER WOODS: Davis and I played well and we went out and gelled. Things worked out pretty good. We had a lot of fun playing with each other. First time we ever played together in a match. So it was a lot of fun.
Q. Did you finally find a partner this week you think that may work this afternoon?
TIGER WOODS: Hopefully that's the case. Hopefully we'll go back out and really play well again. It would be nice. We've got two pretty good opponents out here this afternoon, so we're looking forward to it.
Q. A lot of talk about the world's number one not winning yesterday. How does it feel to get a win for you personally under your belt and going out this afternoon and Sunday ahead?
TIGER WOODS: That's the thing with match play: Anything can happen. We went 9- or 10-under par in the morning, and we got beat. But anything can happen in match play, that's what is so fun and so exciting about it. I've thoroughly enjoyed playing these matches, it's been a lot of fun, and hopefully we can continue to play well.
Q. Talk about the match today, Davis?
DAVIS LOVE III: We got off to a bad start with the bogey, because I hit it in the rough. I was nervous on the first hole. And then I came back, and gave him two short putts at 2 and 3 and it got us going. Even though we were even, 2-3, we felt we had the momentum. And we kept hitting good tee shots, good solid, iron shots. We never hit it stiff, but both hit it solidly off the tee and solidly on the green, and let them make mistakes. Seemed like Thomas was a little bit off, a little quick with his swing, and we knew to keep plodding along. And it was just one of those days where solid was going to win the match and we were solid.
Q. Critical holes?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think after hitting it in the rough after the first hole and basically costing us a lost hole with one bad shot that I came back with a good one, and I hit a 9-iron where he couldn't hardly miss on the second. And hit a sand wedge where they had to give it to us on the third. After being uncomfortable at the start that was important for me. After that they made a few mistakes. And once we got ahead we just were pretty solid after that.
Q. There's a lot of talk about the world's number one yesterday not winning anything. How critical is it that you and he get a point?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think it just shows how match play was. Yesterday he played better than he did today. And he got a point -- or than he did yesterday. But you go out -- they shot 9-under, he and Azinger and they didn't get a point. Butch Harmon was stressing on style. The guy is not playing bad. He got beat by a team that's playing very, very well. Had it not been for a couple of putts on their side, he would have gotten two points. That's match play. He understands that. He wants the points as bad as anybody for the team; not for himself. If he's going to be 3-2 and we win, he's happy. If he's 2-3 and we win, he's happy. So I'm excited to be out with him again. I think he's going to be on a roll now, and hopefully in the next two matches he shows these guys why he is number one.
Q. Gentlemen, it wasn't always pretty, but you're still having fun.
LEE WESTWOOD: We had more fun. We holed a few more putts than the other rounds. It wasn't a high-quality match, but didn't give too much away. And it was tricky to finish it off, but we managed it in the end.
Q. Talk a little bit about Lee.
SERGIO GARCIA: It's been great. We've played great every day. But today we started off a little bit, but it goes with the pressure, and trying to win as many points as you can for your team. But this match was probably the worst in my Ryder Cup history, but we managed to win it.
Q. How about the home-court advantage?
LEE WESTWOOD: The crowd is fantastic. This is Sergio's first time here. I've been trying to help him around it, but he doesn't need much help. The reception on some of the greens and tees have been unbelievable.
Q. This was probably not the tidiest match you played but you still got a point.
LEE WESTWOOD: You get games like that, especially in foursomes. It's difficult to get going when you started like we did. It's difficult to get momentum, we held in and didn't make too many mistakes. We didn't give too many holes away. So we feel fortunate.
Q. Sergio, you're going out again in match 3 against Tiger and Davis?
SERGIO GARCIA: That's great. I'm looking forward to it, I'm hoping to play a little better. But this kind of match really boosts your confidence. It helps you to get going. You're not going to play well every day, and if you manage to, the day you don't play well, to still win the match, it's always good
Q. The Dynamic Duo, indeed. Somebody suggested this would be a quiet affair, the Ryder Cup. Your third shot at 17, with all the pressure, you pulled out a master stroke.
BERNHARD LANGER: It was solid. With Monty on my side you knew it had a chance.
Q. Pressure to you, Colin, the 18th tee, everyone talks about, over the water, under the ultimate pressure, it reminded me of your tee shot against Scott Hoch at Valderrama. How much relief did you feel?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Relief when the ball was in the air. But if I may say, the whole team wanted to play with this guy, and I was the lucky guy to have the opportunity to play with him. Whether this is his last or he has many more Ryder Cups to play, I was honored to play with him in '91 and '97 and now. He's the best partner the world can have.
Q. It was a huge point for the Europeans, the one you procured at the last.
BERNHARD LANGER: Every point is huge. We don't want to get behind. We wanted to stay in front. We played three rounds together, we were never behind. We were always up or level. And it's been a wonderful partnership. I enjoyed every minute with Colin, too. And wish him well this afternoon.
Q. You have been terrific, and we'd like to wish you luck, as well.
Q. Talk about the match today out there.
JIM FURYK: Well, I think that Garcia and Westwood did a good job scrambling early. They put the ball in trouble but always seem to come out. Stewart and I had opportunities early. We had a couple of holes that I felt we should win early, we did not. We gave them a lot of momentum. And we fought back and clawed back through the middle part of the round. We still had a few holes where we had the opportunity to bring it even and we weren't able to. Towards the end we hit a couple of shots astray and they closed us out. It was disappointing I felt after we played so well together yesterday that we had opportunities today, we didn't take advantage of them. And that left a bitter feeling.
Q. You mentioned there were some earlier holes that you should have won.
JIM FURYK: The one in particular we had on the 7th hole, the par-3. Hit a 6-iron on the green about 25, 30 feet. And Stewart hit a putt that was slower than they thought. I think the greens retained the moisture today a little bit and the wind hasn't dried them out, maybe they're a touch slower, from about four or five feet short he lipped the putt out. And the European team was in a lot of trouble there, they had about a 30-foot putt to par. And we ended up halving the hole, and we should have won. We had a good opportunity to get up-and-down for birdie on 3 and we did not. We just had some holes where it seemed like both teams hit the ball in the rough and we drew a bad lie, they hit it in the bunker, hit it out in the gallery, drew a bad lie, had an opportunity to go for the green, and that was also on No. 4. It's not that -- they found a way to get the ball in the hole and we did not. And that's the name of this game and that's why they beat us.
Q. Talk about the match today?
SCOTT HOCH: Actually we played pretty good. Just like all the other matches, especially the ones I've played with Monty and Langer, they made everything early. Even when he hit an errant shot, which they didn't hit many, they got it up-and-down from 140 yards for par and made a lot of good birdie putts. They played well, didn't make a bogey. We were three or four under, I'm not sure. They played well, didn't make a bogey and we only made one. We hit enough quality shots, we just didn't seem to make the putts and they certainly did. And we had putts inside of theirs many times that we didn't make.
Q. Talk about Monty's putting today?
SCOTT HOCH: Oh, the last hole was an excellent putt, but as far as putting goes, Langer is the one that worries me more than Monty as far as standing over it. They both made everything. Today if Langer didn't make it -- he made big putts early, Monty had shorter putts that he made, but Langer made the longer ones to keep -- to get their lead. Because we birdied the two out of the first three and we were tied. They're shooting well right now. It's hard to look at one without noticing the other one, too. One is not overshadowing the other by any means.
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