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September 20, 2005

Stuart Appleby

Ian Baker-Finch

Michael Campbell

Mark Hensby

Peter Lonard

Nick O'Hern

Adam Scott


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: At this time we'd like to introduce six members of the International Team, along with assistant captain Ian Baker Finch. First, Stuart Appleby from Australia, Michael Campbell from New Zealand, Mark Hensby from Australia, Peter Lonard from Australia, Nick O'Hern from Australia and Adam Scott from Australia and in the middle Ian Baker Finch.

(TEAM ALL TOGETHER): From Australia.

Q. Maybe you could all take your turn and go down the line, but in terms of a lot has been made about the difference between the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup and what do you all think about that this means in terms of an event and sort of the passion of it, start with you, "A" for "Apples".

STUART APPLEBY: As an event it's probably not as evolved as the Ryder Cup in time. It's evolution and growth process is still going along very strong. I think Ryder Cup has certainly leveled out. We've got a lot of growing, and I think there's a lot of great things, but 50 years from now, we'll all be it will be very much the same in historical sense as what the Ryder Cup has been to the Europeans and to the Americans.


MARK HENSBY: I concur.

STUART APPLEBY: "I concur." You've been watching too many movies.

PETER LONARD: (Raising shoulders).

Q. For Stuart and Peter, if you can just talk about maybe what helps if you're playing in a match, what's best to have as a partner, is it personality or is it play, style of play or personality make the best partner?

PETER LONARD: I think it depends on the individuals, you know. Probably the quiet guys like to be quiet and you put a quiet guy with someone that can't shut up it's going to drive him, isn't it? It's a team event so you have to be friends near the end, so I suppose that's a fair thing. Foursomes, I think it's a different thing we're not sure who we're putting Hensby with.

Q. Vijay.

PETER LONARD: I don't know, foursomes and four balls are a little different. I think you've got to have the personalities but you've also got to have the similar games probably, foursomes similar games, so you don't get guys that are used to hitting the fairways, don't want to hit it out of the rough all day, vice versa. Guys that hit it in the rough wouldn't mind hitting it off the fairway every now and then either, you know what I mean. Four ball is probably a little different than someone who is steady than someone who is by bit streaky.

Q. For Stuart and Campbell, I wonder if you guys could talk about what it is about this course where you guys just haven't done very well; specifically, I guess 2000, but I mean you were?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: We lost, got our ass kicked. Well, I don't know, I played this course once before in 2000 and I think it's favorable for both teams. I think both teams enjoy playing this golf course.

The big advantage I believe is home advantage playing on home soil. That's the biggest advantage that the American team has. I think on paper, you know, I think on paper we've gotten guys from the Top 30 in the world. To me that's a pretty strong team. And we are all pretty good mates. This week the most important thing is you've got to gel as a team and we're all very similar personality, apart from a few (looking at Hensby). We're working on it, though.

I'm very excited to be involved in a great team as it is this year and I think it's stronger than it was five years ago in 2000.

Q. Stuart, do you think it's a stronger team than you had five years ago, and why?

STUART APPLEBY: I'm not sure. I don't remember very much about 2000. I suppose that's a good thing. The degree of home soil advantage, I don't think there's enough to say it's a home course advantage, because we really all play the same courses week in and week out anyways. I think it is an advantage. I had some Australian guys in Australia in '98 and I think that was an advantage. We had a little bit of a new advantage that the Americans really had not seen that type of course much, but it was an advantage there.

I don't think there's much here except the crowd is going to be a bit more in favor of the U.S.

Q. Nick, a question for you, you beat Tiger Woods in the World Match Play earlier this year. What was it about that day that helped you beat him, and are you going to ask Captain Player to be paired with him on Sunday?

NICK O'HERN: Well, if the opportunity arises, I think I probably really annoyed the hell out of him because he outdrove me by 60 meters on every hole. So maybe he thought, "well, hang on, this guy is hitting his second shots in all the time," and that day I was knocking them in pretty close so he knew he had to hit pretty good second shots out here. And I'm a short hitter, maybe me and Freddie Funk would have a good long driving contest I think.

I think if you can have that advantage of playing the second shot in first, you can really put some pressure on your opponent, and that's what I enjoy about match play because most times, I have that second shot first.

The other thing is I tend to hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens so keep things pretty consistent there and the opponent knows that I'm not going to make too many mistakes, so that can wear people down a little bit.

As far as when the singles comes up, we'll see what happens. I guess in that way I've got a heck of a record against him, 1 0, so maybe he's looking for a bit of revenge, who knows.

Q. Anyone can really answer this one, but with no stake in the game in the Ryder Cup, does anybody in Australia pay attention to that event, and what kind of atmosphere back at home is there for the Presidents Cup since its start, do they care about it as much as Europeans care about the Ryder Cup?

STUART APPLEBY: Good question. Most of us are not in Australia at this time of year to know what the press are doing or the public thinks. Obviously we know about Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup is on our mind all the time but I don't know about the nation itself how Europe compares their reputation, Europe and Australia versus the Australians, I don't know.

It's pretty high because we have some good players, 20 odd players on the Tour now so there's a great deal of representation.

IAN BAKER FINCH: I think a number of you were there for the '98 Presidents Cup matches and you saw how the crowds in Australia were and how successful the event was in Australia back in '98, and I think the Presidents Cup in the international eyes is held very highly.

I don't think it's as much of a war as the Ryder Cup, the U.S. versus the European thing has become over the last 20 years. I don't think it's that bad. But we're not necessarily representing a tour; we're, you know, a pretty tight knitted group of internationals. Most of us play the U.S. tour, some still play The European Tour, but we're all good friends. As you see the majority of the team is from down under, and the Australians and the Kiwis and all of the Antipodeans, the Fijians would love to see the internationals win, of course, but they are really just watching a great match as you all will see over the week, regardless of who wins, it will be great golf, great match, great camaraderie, as what happened in Australia at the end of the matches, a number of the American team came into the party and danced all night along with Carlos Franco and a few of the boys down there.

So there's a great feel around this event. The International Team and the U.S. Team are all good friends, and the majority of the guys play the same schedules throughout the year. At the end of the day, they are all going to remain good friends, but, they are trying their ass off to beat each other throughout the week, and it's tough competition. No one wants to go away the loser, and I think this time, our fourth time here at the RTJ, and we haven't won the other three, obviously, so maybe it's our turn this week. We'll certainly be doing our best to turn the tides.

Q. Michael, does it help you coming here straight off the HSBC, not only because you won there, but does it put you in any sort of match play mentality?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Yeah, it puts you in a certain mode of play. After I think playing six rounds, eight rounds of golf of match play certainly helped my mentality for this week, so it's probably a good start for this week preparation wise.

I'm a little bit tired now, it's Tuesday but Wednesday, obviously Thursday I'll be fired up. But right now I need to rest up. It's a long week last week. I played like 170 holes, yeah, 170 holes last week, so it was a long, long week. But come Thursday, hopefully I'll be firing on all cylinders.

Q. Mark, just one for you so you don't sit there all day and not say anything. (Laughter) How is the week looking for you and how is match play for you, how do you like it and do you like to get a little bit of niggle into it?

MARK HENSBY: Yeah, I like match play, I played last week and got my ass whipped by Retief in the second round, so I didn't enjoy it last week, that's for sure. No, as kids we play a lot of match play. To me it's going to be a fun week. I like this format of team, it's a lot of fun hanging around a bunch of guys that you've spent a lot of time with, especially over the last few years. No, I think it's going to be fun.

Q. Adam, you cut your teeth in South Africa on the Presidents Cup, and went 2 0 with Ernie Els in the foursomes. Talk a little about maybe some of the experiences and lessons you learned playing with Ernie and how much he's going to be missed on this team?

ADAM SCOTT: Ernie was great for me in South Africa because it was my first Presidents Cup, and I was the youngest guy on the team there, easily. Probably the least experienced player. So playing with Ernie helped me out a great deal.

You know, I learned a lot out of playing with him and what he brought to the team. Obviously he'll be missed here this week, but you know, we've still got a heck of a team. I'm sure we can get by without him.

You know, I think he taught me a lot about patience out there, playing with him. We were down most of the day and somehow we pulled off two wins out of both matches. So, you know, I was getting a little panicky out there and settled me down and just got me to play my shots and we won holes late and we pulled it off. So, you know, I can draw on that experience, and I certainly have used it just in regular play in tournaments the last couple of years, just taught me a lot being out there with a guy that much experience and that great of a golfer.

Q. Stuart or Ian, one of the veterans, Nicklaus said earlier today that in '98, a lot of the American players told him they were there but didn't really want to be there, and he thought there would be some bail ins and there weren't and he said this year guys were saying, "I want to be part of this team and be part of this and make sure I'm there." Do you find the same kind of buzz with the international players now, guys are talking about it or has that been there for a while?

STUART APPLEBY: So you're saying in '98 the Americans didn't really want to go to Australia.

Q. Nicklaus said a lot of the guys were here but we didn't really want to be here and now that attitude is all gone and everybody wants to be part of this team and part of this function.

STUART APPLEBY: I've never sensed anybody, ever who is trying to get in the International Team going, "oh, couldn't really give a hoot." Everyone's felt like this is something they want to get in there, it's a great experience, something you'll never get forget. It's something I was involved in '98, my rookie year and I'll never forget that. So, no, there's never anything but anyone trying to get on the team. It's very strong.

IAN BAKER FINCH: A quick thing to add it that, you've only got to ask the five or six guys that just missed, how they are feeling, and that's a great answer to the question. Because they all desperately want to get in. Nicky Price basically planned his whole schedule up until the British Open to try and get into the Presidents Cup team. He played in every one since '94. And I know a couple of other Australians, Rod Pampling and Geoff Ogilvy were hoping they would make their first team, Robert Allenby had not been playing well for a while was desperately trying to make a last ditched effort by making Top 10s in the last few events and played every week. K.J. Choi who played last time was disappointed to not quite make it. Shigeki Maruyama had that couple of months where he was injured and lost ground, would loved to have been here again.

So you've just got to ask those next five or six guys; Steve Elkington, so disappointed with such a great record in Presidents Cup competition. He really wanted to be here and came so close.

So, I mean, we're all here, and obviously worked our butts off for two years to be here. But if you ask the guys that just missed out what it means, you really get the good answer. I talked to all of them the next couple of weeks and I remember Cambo how he felt a couple of years ago when he didn't quite make it, he was right there and had just done well in Ireland and desperately wanted to be on the team. Angel Cabrera was in tears because he didn't get on the team last time. He and Eduardo Romero are very, very close. So we may not all be as rah rah about it as the Ryder Cup seems to be because the media is a little bit more attentive to the Ryder Cup competition. But everyone is trying their butts off, and for those that have been here before, it's great to get back, and for those that haven't been here, like Mark and Nick here, they are in for a great week.

Q. For the guys who played here in 2000, what facets of the game is most important on this golf course, and is there any effect at all do you think on the matches that the rotation of the course sequence has been changed so you start on the third hole?

STUART APPLEBY: Sequence doesn't really matter, not in match play. I think driving the ball is going to be important, shaping some of the tee shots, getting because the fairways looks like they could get firm. So controlling your tee shots, and then I really think it's a putting game. That's where the matches are at the end of the hole, very normal, any golf course. It's not a tricky golf course, it's pretty much there in front of you to see and it just depends on the weather really how firm the course gets to how you attack the pins or bounce the ball up or 3 woods, drivers.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I think the difference I saw from five years ago, the ball is going further now, which means that most of the bunkers, some of the guys here can carry 310, Angel Cabrera and Adam Scott and Stuart here. So I think the most important thing is just hit those fairways and greens once again, pretty simple stuff and it comes down once again to holing a very important 6 footer to win the match or to win the hole, or even to halve the hole. So putting is the key this week.

Q. Nick, having success obviously in match play before, is it even are you very nervous going into an event like this having not played it, or is it that much difference between the Accenture Match Play and playing in something like this? Do you feel like nerves will be more a part of this or what is your mindset going into the week?

NICK O'HERN: It's definitely a different feeling to like the World Match Play because you're just playing for yourself and whatnot. But the great thing about this week is it's very much a team feeling and the guys are really, you know, we're all pretty good friends and we're going to have some pretty good parties not parties; dinners this week. And, you know, I guess the feeling that I want is I really want to make a good contribution to the team and the way to do that is just to play good golf and try to gel with your partner.

Now, if you can do that, I don't think you're going to go too far wrong. Match play is a funny game, you can play really well and lose and play pretty ordinary and win. It just depends on the day. But it's great to have these bunch of guys here. It's always no problem asking questions and trying to find out from their experiences what the best thing to do is in certain situations, so it's nice to be a part of that.

Q. Adam, Tiger has had more than a dozen different partners since these things started for him, I don't know why they can't find someone to play with him, so I wanted to ask you if you could be American captain for the day, who do you put him with?


ADAM SCOTT: Who has he got there Phil; they did good together, didn't they? (Laughter).

IAN BAKER FINCH: First match out.

STUART APPLEBY: How many has he played with this time?

Q. In this Presidents Cup?

IAN BAKER FINCH: This year now, with the players available.

Q. Four.

STUART APPLEBY: All the rest of them I guess. (Laughter).

IAN BAKER FINCH: Who would you put him with?

Q. I'd put him with you probably.

IAN BAKER FINCH: I think Tiger and anyone is a good team, but with me I'm not too sure.

Q. With so many Aussies on the International side, does the hopes of the International Team this week ride on how well the Australian golfers play?

IAN BAKER FINCH: Sorry, does the what ride on?

Q. The hopes of the International Team.

IAN BAKER FINCH: Sorry, I thought you said the "host." I can promise you one thing, the Aussies are great competitors, and they all come in here with big hearts and are trying their butt off and they all do as in this case said there before, they are trying to contribute to their team for their teammates, and that's what they will be doing by playing their best golf, I'm sure Cambo is the same way.

But I wouldn't say that the hopes of the team rest on the Australians' shoulders, but obviously there's six Australians, New Zealanders, Australasian Tour players here, so we are half the team. We have a pretty good representation around the world with Australian players. I get a little report every Sunday night from the Australasian Tour about how the Australian players have fared during the week and I'm sure a few of you get the opportunity to read the report from the Australasian PGA TOUR, there's about 75 Australian golfers playing around the world every week on various tours, and we've got six Australasian Tour players here this week representing all of those guys and all of our tour, and I'm sure the guys here know that and are going to do their best.

Q. Ian, you answered earlier, you mentioned that this isn't a real war like the Ryder Cup is portrayed in the past as a "War By the Shore" and maybe as a little overhyped and overexuberant at times, but that sort of combative nature is what elevated it in the public's eye to be the spectacle that it is now. In some ways is this event a little too friendly for it's own good in terms of hype and publicity; that the guys know each other and like each other too much?

IAN BAKER FINCH: Because I'm not playing in the event, maybe I'm not the right person to give the correct answer to that. But as I said before, pretty much all of the guys are playing the U.S. tour and they all know each other quite well, but I think the same thing goes with the Ryder Cup Teams now, too. I think the majority of the European players on the Ryder Cup Team played here regularly; it's just seen differently. A lot of us all live here and our families all go to school here. If you see the guys out there playing tomorrow and the next few days, you can see it means a lot to them.

I hope it doesn't become as combative as the Ryder Cup appears, personally. I think it's a great event the way it is.

Q. That was sort of my question, along the lines of that, has it almost become, you see the Ryder Cup as becoming and too ugly in a sense and that there's a conscious effort on all of your parts to say, let's not let this become what that has become in the eyes of some?

IAN BAKER FINCH: Maybe I should let some of the guys that play on The European Tour give their opinion. Nick, you've played The European Tour a lot.

NICK O'HERN: I've played The European Tour pretty much full time the last six or seven years and it's interesting to get the different perspectives of playing over here the last year or so, as opposed to in Europe, and I can see where why the Europeans do so well, because the guys really do bond extremely well over there. The Tour seems to be a little bit more social. Over here it's more, you go out, you play and then you have your family with you and then you go home and have dinner type of stuff. Whereas in Europe, you're a bit more, you go to a restaurant with a few of the guys and everyone gets on really well over there; and I'm not saying they don't get on well over here.

I think as a team on paper, the Europeans I don't think are ever as strong as the U.S., but the last few years before it started, I pretty much put my money on the Europeans each time because I know how well they get along, and I know that just gelling, the foursomes and the four balls mean so much here. The singles are important obviously but if you can obviously play well in those team matches, you can really stamp your mark on the event.

You know, it's quite an interesting I'm Australian so I obviously don't get to compete in that and this is my first time in this type of event so I'm looking forward to see what the difference is and I'll be chatting with the Europeans as to how they find the Ryder Cup and how it compares to the Presidents Cup so, it will be quite interesting Cambo has played a lot on The European Tour as well, so he might be a good one to answer that as well.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: What was the question again? Sorry. About the Ryder Cup?

Yeah, I've been playing The European Tour for 12 years now and got to know the guys quite well now, over the sort of last 12 years and there's been a few stories about the Ryder Cup. I think subconsciously we are making an effort to not go that way, you could say. You phrased the word, you said "ugly" and there's been a few horrible things happen to both teams and their wives and their family members, and so I think we as the Presidents Cup team or people, also the officials and other people around us, both the American team and the international team are trying to consciously make an effort not to go that way, down that path. That's all I've got to say, really. That's it.

Q. Stuart, kind of a two part question here, I wonder if you could expound a little bit on the differences of not the home course, but the home soil advantage, given that we're in the United States and you have a United States gallery; whereas last time, you were in South Africa with an International Team with six or seven different flags playing under one, is it more of a distinct advantage for the U.S. more than it is for the International Team since you don't go to one specific country?

STUART APPLEBY: Well, if we went back to Australia, which I think obviously there will be plans to do that in the future and we went back to that golf course you'd have to say that we have the advantage because our record shows that and we'd feel that advantage, just the way we know that golf course.

So, yeah, they could have the same thing. You can talk about on paper, it is played on grass, all of those cliches have been mentioned, but once the tournament starts, it's just about how rhythm of a match goes, momentum, just all happened in the first two or three hours of the match and that can sort of set up the week. It just depends on your interpretation of the event. We can be down a few matches and you can think, oh, well, gee, or you can sit there and go, right, we've got to tough it out.

You guys print whatever you need to print, but once the tournament starts, it's just about what the players are doing and thinking and how they are performing, that's about it. They have an advantage that they have won here before, so emotionally they know they can take it from A to B and win.

Q. Secondly, how much of that is a rallying point for this team, the fact that you have never won at RTJ?

STUART APPLEBY: I think you can totally look at it, well, we have no chance, or you can look at it, well, we have to prove something here and narrow the gap that's been proven the Americans have here, we can do that. So it's just totally your interpretation and what you're focusing on. But you're right, you can look at it either ways.

Q. For the guys who were in South Africa, just for the record, would you guys have stayed and played the next day, and secondly, what do you think about the concept of a draw, do you think somebody should win or is it okay to have a draw?

STUART APPLEBY: I was for continuing or finishing the next day, going back to the time, saying we should go and play Monday. That's just from my point of view. But there's a lot of logistical things that come way beyond whatever I thought or ten other guys might have thought and I guess that's where we finished. I think the tie was fitting and I think it's good to break that tie, highly likely that tie is going to be broken this week and I think it's a good story from then to now.

PETER LONARD: I would have been back on Monday, had another go. Would have saved me a big headache Monday morning anyway. (Laughter) Would have just gone on the plane and gone home, would have been fantastic by the time I got back to Australia rather than feel like crap, so I'm all for the Monday finish.

ADAM SCOTT: I would have gone back and played on the Monday, too, but looking back on it, it was kind of a fitting end to a great week down there and it provided a big story for this week. You know, it was a fantastic event in South Africa, and I think, you know, now this tournament has got a great chance to kick on and hopefully there are no more ties, because I think there should be a result.

IAN BAKER FINCH: I would just like to add something to that, a tie where both teams share the Cup a year each is way better than whoever had it before, retaining it, I believe. It was disappointing that we could not go on, television started very late there and we went into the dark, and I know Ernie when we were told we were going to draw and therefore forfeit the Cup, he said let's go, he wanted to go to that 18th tee again even though it was dark.

But Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, the great champions that they are and the great Legends in the game I think came up with a pretty good solution there with Tim Finchem to make it a draw rather than be the way that the Ryder Cup goes; that the U.S. would retain the Cup. So I think that was a very fair decision.

But everyone there was coming back to play the next day, whether it be 12 singles matches or just Ernie and Tiger or whatever it was, we were all back there.

Q. Everyone on the American team?

IAN BAKER FINCH: Everyone on our team. I didn't ask the American team. But everyone back on our side, definitely wanted to come back. But the logistics of where it was and the chartered flights, etc., didn't allow for it.

STUART APPLEBY: There was no doubt, when Finchie says that I remember coming to Gary, someone said, you know, look, they are saying that if we leave it as it is, they retain it. And all of us are like, let's play, we have nothing to lose; the absolute perfect bet to make, nothing to lose and that's why we wanted to push it. And they sort of went back, literally you could not have seen a tee shot five minutes after they putted out. It was dark. It was dark. So it was fitting in the end.

Q. For you guys who were there last time, there is the general feeling that this event came of age, the intensity of the matches that last day and seeing Nick Price unconsciously snap his club on the 18th green, a guy that doesn't usually do that, when you saw that, did you kind of think, that, hey, this is really upped itself to that kind of level of the Ryder Cup?

STUART APPLEBY: Well, Nick was as instrumental to me that year in Australia as Ernie was to Adam in South Africa. He was an amazing player to be with and partner and he gutted it out to try to get in this year's team.

I was with him in that putting situation, and he's very competitive, Nick; very competitive, and that's the type of guy you want on your team. He was emotional. He apologized for his putting break, but it was just a thing that he wanted it so bad. That's the gentleman that he is, he wasn't sulking about it, just let it out. And that's what this tournament can get you to; that you want it so bad and there's only so much that you could control. Everybody else is out there trying to do their own thing, and you just try to add it all up and win matches, and I could see that in Nick's eye. We've had a lot of good conversations during matches that I'll never forget.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Gentlemen, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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