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October 8, 2009

Phil Mickelson

Steve Stricker

Tiger Woods


DOUG MILNE: We would like to welcome most of the two teams that earned points today. Tiger, very convincing point with Steve, 6 & 4; and Phil, you guys earned the first point for the American Team.
At this point I think we'll just go ahead and open it up for some questions instead of general comments to start off.

Q. Can I just ask all three of you, it looked to us that Retief had conceded that putt to Justin on 18, and it seemed confusing. I think Justin looked like he thought it was conceded, too, and then he went and putted. Were you there? Did you have any sense of whether that putt was conceded?
TIGER WOODS: I was in the team room watching, just like most guys.
STEVE STRICKER: I was up there by the green. I was a little confused by the whole thing, to tell you the truth. It looked like he was going to give him the putt. Obviously he didn't.
We talked to Jim Furyk on the inside there, and nothing was ever conceded, but from everybody standing there on the side, it kind of looked like he was going to give it to him.
Other than that, we don't know anything, really, what was said there.
PHIL MICKELSON: I was just doing stretches, so I didn't see what was going on. (Laughter).

Q. Are you aware of some of the other sports figures that were sort of hanging around the periphery today; you've seen Jordan all week, but you had Bonds, Jerry West, guys like that. Do you find it flattering or unnerving to have that type of firepower watching you play?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's good for the game of golf, the great sport figures have all come out here and supported golf. And I think it couldn't be anymore positive than that.
PHIL MICKELSON: It's cool to have those figures out supporting the game of golf, and it's cool that we could have somebody like Michael Jordan bring a lot to the table for our team. And even though he has not played the PGA TOUR, he brings a lot to the table, and I think that shows the extent or the reach that golf is starting to get, starting to have.

Q. I think you hit less shots today than you normally would playing nine holes. Can you just talk about your match, how well it went, and just the unusualness of alternate-shot, where you're just not used to standing around as much as you would.
TIGER WOODS: Well, it kind of -- the nature of this golf course and how it fits and who tees off on odds or evens, and if you hit greens in reg, there's a stretch there that you're not going to be putting a whole lot.
And I think that during that stretch, the only green we missed was I think that one green I was supposed to putt on. Other than that, we had Steve putting on every hole, which, trust me, it's a pretty nice feeling to have Steve putting for us. I only hit four putts today, and granted, Steve only had to hit like about six putts and made them all. (Laughter).

Q. For Phil, but Steve and Tiger, if you guys want to join in, please do; Phil, can you talk about the strategy of 15, particularly whether it's foursomes or fourball, whether you're up or you're down, how you approach that shot?
PHIL MICKELSON: I approach it similar to whether I'm ahead or behind. Basically I try to tee it really high and rip at it. Doesn't matter if I'm ahead or behind.
TIGER WOODS: (Hanging head, stifling laugh).
PHIL MICKELSON: It makes the fairway wider because you have more to carry. I just try to rip at that thing.
Steve, do you play it that way, too?
STEVE STRICKER: I don't play it that way.
TIGER WOODS: We didn't play that hole.

Q. What happened on, I guess it would have been 6, the hole where both you and the other side were in the trees --
PHIL MICKELSON: We won it 1-up.

Q. Just how much misadventure that hole was; and second, how the course played today, how it impacted the matches.
PHIL MICKELSON: The course is terrific. It's really a wonderful golf course and it's perfect for this event. You have a lot of birdies, you have a lot of bogeys and a lot of changing of holes as you saw today.
As far as No. 6, I didn't go back to the tee. I thought I would wait down by the fairway. Next thing I know the ball is hooking over my head and is falling straight down in front of me about 180 yards off the tee.
Our opponent hit one over there to the right and that hit a tree and it came back on the cart path 70 yards, and they went 165 off the tee. (Laughter).
So we had a couple hundred left, over a couple hundred left into that hole, and I didn't have a swing, I didn't have -- to go at the pin or anything, or a shot, and I played it up the other fairway and left Anthony a 50-yard pitch shot right up the green. Not the easiest shot, though. And they hit a few more trees. (Laughter).
But when it was all said and done, we had about 5-footers for bogeys. We made ours, they missed theirs and we won the hole 1-up. (Laughter).

Q. We'll find out tomorrow's pairings soon enough, but safe to say you guys were all pretty comfortable, the players you were with today and will we see that again over the next couple of days?
TIGER WOODS: I think we are very comfortable with the pairings and what we've done. Not going to tell you what we're doing now, but I think the guys are playing well and I think that's the most important thing is that the guys are playing well.
You know, we are all looking forward to getting out there and trying to win our points.

Q. Phil it took you and AK a little while to get rolling there. You mentioned on NBC that it was the wedge shot. What was that like while you weren't playing well, and then did you say anything, how did you guys work that out to where you got four birdies in a row?
PHIL MICKELSON: We didn't play the best the first ten holes, obviously. We fought to keep it in the match. We had some fortunate breaks. And neither team played our best early on.
We felt like at 1-down, if we could just get one little spark to get the round going, that's all we needed. So on that tee box there on 13, instead of trying to drive it, which I could have gotten very close to the green, but also put us in a very tough spot, I felt like -- and we both felt like, if we just gave him a chance with a sand wedge to hit a shot, that would be the best way to go about doing that.
And I put one in the fairway there, and he had a short little sand wedge, and he knocked it three feet. And we just needed a break, just a little something like that to go our way, and the putt was a non-issue, just a straight-in putt and got us back to even and gave us some momentum heading into the next three holes where we ended up birdieing as well. But sometimes you just need one little shot, one little spark to ignite the round, and that certainly did it for us.

Q. For Steve, for whatever reason in the past, it's not always been the easiest thing for Tiger's partners in these events. I think this is your first time playing with him. Can you talk about what that was like and how easy or difficult it may have been?
STEVE STRICKER: Well, we have been playing the last month and a half together. (Laughter). So I think that made things a little easier.
I did, I felt a little extra pressure going out today. I was comfortable -- it's kind of confusing, I guess, what I'm going to say. I was comfortable having him as my partner, but I wanted to make sure he was comfortable having me as his partner, just because I didn't want to feel like he had to hold up my end as well as his end.
But I think what was good is we got off to a good start. I made a good putt at 1. Hit a good shot in on 2, and he made the putt and we got off to a good start. I think that just calmed me down and felt very comfortable with him out there today.
It was a lot of fun. We had a good time. We did a lot of good things.

Q. What was your point of view when the cell phones kept going off over Geoff's putt?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, that was a little awkward. And then for the guy to say what he said right before Geoff hit the putt was not really what we wanted to have happen.
It was unfortunate. I mean, the cell phone went off I bet seven times -- five times over --
TIGER WOODS: (Holding up five fingers).
STEVE STRICKER: But it went off two times before that. And it seemed like every time he got up to putt, the person was calling this guy. And for the guy to yell what he did was unfortunate. And Tiger did a classy thing and apologized for that, not that he had anything to do with it, but we hate to see stuff like that happen, and it was unfortunate that it did.

Q. Tiger, did it feel intentional at all do you think?
TIGER WOODS: No, it was not. It was one of the marshals had a cell phone and it kept going off.
You know, just the only part that was intentional was the guy yelling out, which was absolutely uncalled for. And this is not what golf is all about. This is not what this team event is all about.
You can hear some of the guys in the gallery actually get on this guy about sportsmanship, and actually I thought that was pretty cool is that the rest of the gallery was pretty upset about the whole situation.
You know, we all felt bad for Geoff because that's not the situation you want to be put in, and unfortunately he was in it. He handled it great and was a class act through the whole process.
DOUG MILNE: Congratulations, gentlemen, and thanks for your time.

End of FastScripts

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