home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 9, 2009

Justin Leonard

Hunter Mahan

Steve Stricker


DOUG MILNE: We would like to welcome three successful gentlemen to the media center here of The Presidents Cup after the second day. Each of you guys helped the American Team maintain the lead after the second day. We are joined by Justin Leonard, Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker.
Guys, if you would just start with a couple of comments on the day. Justin, we'll start with you, just kind of how you're feeling as you're heading into Saturday.
JUSTIN LEONARD: It was a good day for our team. I think at one point we were up in five matches, so we are probably wishing we would have got another point or so out of it. But still, it was a solid afternoon, and we got a lot of guys that are playing well. I think we are all looking -- tomorrow is obviously a big day with ten points available, and so hopefully we are hopeful to have a good day and see if we can have a cushion going into Sunday.
HUNTER MAHAN: Had a great partner today in Zach. I think we both played well when we had to. We hit some great shots when we had to. This course is set up very well for match play, so you can't take a hole or a shot off, and you've got to stay patient and focused at the same time. It's been a lot of fun, been a great challenge, and, you know, we have got a lot of points left we need to get, a lot of points available, so we need to get going and keep doing what we are doing. Everyone is playing really well, so it should be a good two days.
DOUG MILNE: Another good day for you and Tiger, Steve.
STEVE STRICKER: We got off to a decent start today and just held our own there for a while. We didn't make a ton of birdies, but we made enough to have the momentum and have the lead.
We kind of ham-and-egged it pretty well with each other today. One guy was out of the hole a lot of times and the other guy stepped up. That's always good when you can rely on your partner and vice versa.
Like Justin and Hunter both said, we have a lot of points available tomorrow and it's a big day tomorrow. I think it's key for us to get off to a good start in the morning and win the morning round, and get a little momentum headed into the afternoon tomorrow.

Q. Justin, you mentioned it; you guys are leading, but does it feel like momentum swung their way?
JUSTIN LEONARD: You know, the fact that they won a couple of matches on 18 today, I'm sure they want to feel like momentum is on their side. But, you know, we did halve this afternoon, and as I said, tomorrow, with five matches, ten points available tomorrow, five in the morning and five in the afternoon, we feel pretty good about the pairings that we are putting out.
And like Hunter said, everybody is playing pretty well. So go out, focus in the morning and try and get a lead in the morning and build on that momentum in the afternoon.

Q. I'll go with Hunter on this one. What's it like when you have Phil going out first, he's playing very well, and then at the end you have Tiger and Strick who are doing very well, too, you almost have two points before you start. And can you talk about the significance of the pink ribbon today almost everyone is wearing.
HUNTER MAHAN: The pink ribbon is obviously for breast cancer awareness. Obviously Amy Mickelson is going through that, so we are just doing our part, a little sign to her that we miss her and we wish she was here.
Whenever you have Phil and Tiger on a team, it's a good thing. I know Tiger is playing great and I know Steve is playing great. I know they make a great pairing.
Phil is swinging it awesome right now. I think he's got -- his short game is as good as ever. I think he's got a lot of confidence in it. Any time he feels like he can make putts out here, he's dangerous. I think he likes to be out in front. You know, he wants to set the tone for everybody; and Tiger is the best leader in the clubhouse. He's the guy you want at the end of the round. So I think they are positioned perfectly and they are playing great, so it makes it easy on us.

Q. Steve, could you please describe, what is the feeling, if any, between you and Tiger; you're playing so well, you're having a good time obviously with the smiles. What is the feeling of that? Is there something mystical going on or something like that?
STEVE STRICKER: I don't know. I think we enjoy each other's company while we're out there. Obviously he's playing great. I'm trying to help out as much as I can.
It's tough, though, when you've got the best player in the world and he's such a great iron player. You know, you just kind of don't want to get in his way at times, you know. I found myself a lot of times just making sure that I hit it on the green 20, 25 feet and just giving him the opportunity just to fire right at it like he normally does.
It's been a lot of fun. It's been a great experience. I'm very comfortable with him out there, and I think he's comfortable with me out there. So I think that's why we are having fun and playing well on top of that.

Q. Justin, you obviously put yesterday's hiccup behind you. How did you do it, and are you more equipped to do it than you were, say, earlier in your career?
JUSTIN LEONARD: Well, to answer the second part first, I'm way more equipped to come back from a disappointment like yesterday at this point in my career than I was early on.
And you know, I was pretty disappointed in myself yesterday afternoon, and it took me a little while to get past it. I went and hit a few putts at the putting green. And then sat in the locker room for a few minutes.
Actually, I was worried that everybody was going to be worried about me back in the team room. So I had Fluff go in and pour a few shots at the bar for me, of water, and I walked in, and I slammed the door to our team room, and threw my stuff down on the floor and went straight to the bar and hammered five shots of water. And I did chase it with a beer, which the beer tasted a lot better than the water did. (Laughter) But just to kind of let everybody know that I was okay.
I think a few of the girls were a little nervous for me when I was doing that, but my wife said she was just kind of rolling her eyes. She knew exactly what I was doing.
I was obviously disappointed right after play, but you know, I had to get past it and come out today. And Phil was a big help, and we talked a little bit last night about strategy and kind of getting me -- helping me stop thinking about yesterday and start thinking about today's match. And it was nice to come out and play well and help him on a couple of holes and win our match.

Q. I think last time around in alternate-shot, the U.S. side won all but a half a point, and pretty much all of the other formats, it was pretty much straight-up. So I was just wondering whether that would put any more emphasis on tomorrow's first session, since that seems to be where you establish some of your leverage and why there might be an edge there, since they don't play this as often as you do every single year for you Ryder/Presidents Cup veterans.
JUSTIN LEONARD: Why am I spokesman? Whose answer do you want?

Q. Jump ball, man.
JUSTIN LEONARD: (Throwing down microphone in jest. ) (Laughter).
STEVE STRICKER: They are all important. Obviously tomorrow morning is important for us to get off to a good start. History is showing that we have done better in the alternate-shot, but you know, it's still -- you can't rely on that. You can't rely on history and what we have done in the past. We have to think about what we need to do tomorrow and go out there and concentrate on the task at hand and try to win as many points as we can. So we can't really rely on what's happened, and we've just got to go forward and play hard right out of the chute tomorrow.

Q. Do you sense anything different about this year's International Team? Do they seem any more, I don't know, resilient, than in past competitions?
JUSTIN LEONARD: You know, like every year, I see the best 12 players that they have to offer. And when you're going up against guys like Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, Adam Scott, and Angel Cabrera; I'm not going to sit here and name their whole team, but I might as well. You know, it's pretty daunting.
I think that they are obviously trying as hard as ever to win, but you know, Greg is doing a very nice job of teaming those guys up. You know, they are certainly here and ready to play, because they are playing some great golf.
But you know, I still like the team we have got going up against them, and through 12 matches, we are up by a point, which, it's a lead, but it's a very small lead.
So I do think those guys are playing well and playing comfortable, and you know, it looks like it's going to be a very close match throughout the weekend.

Q. Also for Justin. Could you just run through those two big putts you made at the end, the situation of the putts, how difficult they were, and if you guys talked about them at all.
JUSTIN LEONARD: Well, you know, I was playing with Phil, so of course we talked about them. (Laughter).
You know, we were actually sitting on the bench over there on the tee after we both hit and we both hit good shots inside 15 feet or so. And as we were walking up to the green they were both in the bunker and we were talking about, we had just gone 1-up and there was a chance to, as long as they didn't hole a bunker shot, assuming one of them didn't hit it close, we need to make one of our putts in order to go 2-up and take control of the match.
We kind of talked about that for the 170 yards it took us to get to the green. You know, Phil, a couple times I had him help me read putts, and we both agreed on what my putt was going to do. I mean, the thing is, he did have a 12-footer or 10-footer right behind me, but it was nice to make that putt.
And then 16, to kind of redeem myself a little bit there from yesterday, hit a good wedge in there; and again, we read the putt together and saw the same thing. It felt really nice to make that.
DOUG MILNE: We appreciate your time, and best of luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297