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October 10, 2009

Jim Furyk

Anthony Kim

Sean O'Hair

Tiger Woods


DOUG MILNE: We are joined this evening by successful group of Americans from the 2009 Presidents Cup after Saturday's matches, Jim Furyk and Anthony Kim won 2-up, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, another convincing win, 3 & 2, and half of the Sean O'Hair/Phil Mickelson team who earned half a point. If we could get just a couple of quick comments on the day and then we'll take a few quick questions. We can start down with Anthony.
ANTHONY KIM: What was that?
DOUG MILNE: Just a few comments on the day.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, it was obviously a good match, Jim and I really never had control of the match because he was playing by himself for 14 holes. It's pretty tough to play against two guys on the International Team. He played great, and I made a couple birdies at the end to help us out a little bit, but really I was on his shoulders all day, and fortunately he gave me an opportunity to hang in there and make a couple putts at the end.
JIM FURYK: We just hung in there. We were up early, they got it back to even at the turn, and we just kept chipping away on the back nine. I was able to make two or three birdies and AK had great timing. He topped Cabrera on 15 and 17 and made some really clutch putts and that's the reason we were able to win the match.
But I thought the big boost was this morning. You know, Tiger and Strick, flipping their match from 1-down to 17 tee and winning a point and Hunt and Stu being able to come in with a push. We were looking like we were going to lose this morning and we ended up flipping it and winning it. It was a big boost especially for my group going out early in the afternoon and seeing those guys turn this morning around was a big boost.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I agree with Jim there that it was a good day, just because of the fact that we kind of got a little momentum, Tiger hitting those great shots down the stretch in the morning round and flipping that match around when it looked like we were losing. We actually come out of there with a victory, and you know, just the ability to get some of that momentum and increase our lead, it was a big deal and we've still got a tough day tomorrow.
It's going to be -- it's still going to be tough and we've got to keep grinding it out and keep moving forward.
TIGER WOODS: Well, today was a pleasure to watch Steve play. I mean, I was a cheerleader most of the day. We paired up well.
I think that Stricks and I were talking about earlier that we were reading the greens really well together as a team, and granted, he was hitting every putt exactly where we were looking and we happened to read them right. That was fun.
You know, this morning was big for us. I thought that we were playing well enough to win that match, but unfortunately we were down and just thought that if we could just somehow flip it and get momentum on our side. Came late, but it came eventually and then we went out this afternoon and Stricks just put on a show. It was just an exhibition on how to putt.
SEAN O'HAIR: Today was great, playing with Phil both matches and felt like it was a nice pairing for me. We got along nicely out there and had a lot of fun. He did a good job just kind of coaching me through today and getting me loose so I can just kind of play my game.
You know, I played solid this morning, but I played really good this afternoon. You know, Phil played fantastic this morning and really made a lot of clutch shots coming in today for a match.
So it just was a fun day, and a lot of the other team members, they just made a lot of nice, clutch putts, and these guys to the left of me played fantastic. Jim, he always plays well, so what else can you expect. And it's just fun to be a part of this team and a part of The Presidents Cup.
So I've had a lot of fun the last few days.

Q. For Tiger, your second shot into 18, you rarely showed more emotion than after that one, you seemed pretty fired up. Can you give us the specifics and why it meant so much to you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I had 218 front and it was actually a perfect number with the wind coming off the left like that. I knew that 3-iron, I couldn't hit it long. It was a perfect number for me to carry it right to the front edge. And when I hit it, I just tried to bleed it off the left edge of the green, and it came off perfect.
So I just remember walking after it, because it just -- I could just see it flying out there and falling a little bit to the right. And I hit it well enough that I knew this was going to land just short, and from there, I knew that it couldn't be more than 20 feet away.

Q. You were pretty fired up; is there --
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, well, I made a putt on 17, which helped. Then we get to 18, and they were over to the right edge of the green, and that's a pretty tough shot to that flag. And any shot on the green there gives us a putt at it and then as well as he's putting, I like our chances.

Q. Steve out there, after you guys won, was talking about the genesis of this pairing and how in Montréal he kind of started joking about it and he said you dodged him there and faked the knee injury to get out of playing with him in The Ryder Cup last year. Can you recount your conversation with Fred that led to this pairing and maybe why you and Steve click, not just golf-wise but personality-wise.
TIGER WOODS: We have been talking about this for a long time. Stricks and I have been friends for a very long time, and our attitudes and how we play the game are very similar.
I've paired up well with Stricks and I've played well with Jim over here, and I think that our attitudes are very similar to how we approach. Only difference is I hit the ball a bit further than these guys, but our attitudes are the same. And on top of that, how we read greens is very complimentary. We see it the same way, and that helps as a pairing.

Q. For Tiger, when you play these things and you know you come up against, let's say, Weirsy and Tim Clark, and then this afternoon, with Y.E. Yang, do you get a little bit extra motivation knowing that Weirsy last time beat you and Tim Clark beat you last time in The Match Play, does that pump you up just a little bit more than you normally would be; and secondly, the first few days, five of the matches that went to 18, they won four of them and today you guys managed to turn that around, and maybe talk about the bigger picture of having a three-point lead as opposed to it could have been maybe a one-point lead going into Sunday.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I never really looked at it as extra motivation. You know, I just looked at it as trying to get my game organized to go out there and play, because I wasn't exactly swinging the club or putting the way I wanted to. So I didn't care who we were playing against. I needed to organize my own game first in order for us to play well and beat whoever we are playing against.
But as far as flipping 18, I think that's pretty indicative to how -- whoever wins Cups. I've been a part of losing Ryder Cup teams and winning Presidents Cup teams, and it's basically who wins the 18th hole more that particular week. It's amazing how it can turn an entire Cup around just by having a guy win one match going into 18 or halve a match or something like that. It can turn the tide of an entire Cup.
So we didn't do very well the first couple of days, but we did really well today.

Q. Phil has had success with three different partners this week. Can you talk about what makes him a good playing partner and how he gets guys to believe in themselves out there?
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, right now I think Phil is just hitting it very long, very straight and he's putting it straight. So that takes a lot of pressure off the playing partner to where you feel like you have to play well. Definitely this morning, I felt like basically I could hit it anywhere and I was going to be fine.
By feeling that way, all of a sudden, you start hitting nicely, and you give him a few nice shots, whether it be you hit a long drive and you kind of give him -- put a wedge in his hand or you give him a nice opportunity on the green, and that's kind of his forte.
And I think he just made me feel very comfortable, which is nice, and I don't know if he's done that with other players; I would assume he does. And just when he gets hot, I think it's just nice to feed off of somebody like that. You know, he just gets on those runs where every putt starts to look like it's going to go in and he gets a few of them to go in. For instance, the putt on 14 today, this afternoon, was huge. That was to stay tied with those guys going into finishing stretch there.
And so it's just nice to have a partner that you can rely on when you need to, because it's hard under that pressure to basically pull every shot off. I mean, you're going to have your holes where you're going to hit a nice shot or a nice putt, but not every hole. And Tim Clark, he just had a fantastic day and it was nice to have a partner that I could rely on to kind of -- whenever I was hitting a bad shot or whatnot, and he was right there to kind of pick me back up.

Q. We all remember Brookline in '99 as the benchmark for comebacks. Can you talk about the team's position going into tomorrow and how safe or not safe a three-point lead is?
JIM FURYK: Never safe. You end up playing the first four sets of matches to try to put the team in position, and you know, it's kind of been -- we had an opportunity on Friday to pull away and they were able to flip the matches around and keep them close. They had a chance to maybe even pull ahead this morning and these guys, as I said earlier, flipped them around and actually gave us some more distance, and I think we halved this afternoon, is that right, 2 1/2-2 1/2.
We are in a good position, being three points up, but if I'm correct I think we need five points to win the Cup. They need eight -- where are they at? They need eight, and we need five. So we are in good position. But yeah, I think we were four down at Brookline; it's possible. I think we want our guys out there -- we are going out early to set the tone and make sure they don't get any momentum going.
I think we all like our position, but we still realize that you have to play well tomorrow and you have to get the job done.

Q. For Anthony, regarding sitting this morning, what was the conversation like with Fred? Maybe when he told you you were sitting down; and also, how rewarding was it to play as well as you did down the stretch in your afternoon match?
ANTHONY KIM: I didn't know I was sitting until I looked at the pairing sheet. I was on the phone or something in the team room and then I looked and saw my name wasn't on any of the pairing sheets. So I figured that out pretty quick.
You know, of course everybody wants to play. And I told Fred at the beginning of the week, if you need me, I'm here and I'd love to play five. And if not, if you need to sit me, then you do. And that's his job as a captain. He's done a tremendous job so far. And we are up three points and really there's not much more you can ask from him.
But I was disappointed. I wanted to play five, and I feel like I'm just starting to turn it around in my golf game, and it's been a tough year for me. But I'm starting to turn it around. I feel, obviously, like I helped a little bit more than I did yesterday when Jim had to play by himself. But it was rewarding to go out there and get a point and hopefully I can play a little bit better tomorrow and score another point for the U.S.

Q. Can everyone but Sean explain a little bit about Fred's style as a captain versus the other captains of the teams you've been on? We all anticipate that he would be a little bit more laid back and looser, but we don't know that.
JIM FURYK: Yeah, Fred's always loose. I think he's nervous. I think he's human, just like everyone else. He just has a cool way about him. He always looks nonchalant about things.
I've said it all along; playing on a bunch of these teams, you expect each captain to kind of do things within their own personality. He wouldn't be Freddie if he looked nervous or he looked tight or acted any different than what we are used to. He's a great guy and everyone loves hanging out with him and I think he's done a good job.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I agree. He may look nonchalant, but deep down inside, he's very competitive and wants to win this Cup just as much as any other captain has that I've been a part of.
It's been fun to be around him and Michael and Jay Haas and obviously all of the rest of the guys, but don't any mistake; I mean, he really wants to win and he's very competitive. It's just the way he goes about it, and it's been a lot of fun.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, absolutely. Just the way his demeanor in which the media has seen him, certainly it's not what we see in the team room. He is very competitive. As these guys alluded to, he seems like he's pretty nonchalant how he goes about things, but that's far from the truth. He's very competitive and he wants to win this, and he takes great pride in the amount of detail in which he puts the pairings together and how he goes about it with Jay and with Michael and it's been a lot of fun to be a part of that. And listening to these guys talk, and especially Freddie; he's really into it. I was surprised at how detail-oriented he really is and how focused he is about how he goes setting the pairings.
ANTHONY KIM: There's not much more I can say than what these guys just said, but I think he's treated everybody like an older brother, and the conversations are pretty relaxed. You know, you get out here and you lace your shoes up, you'd better be ready to play or you're going to sit. I know that firsthand. But obviously he's done a great job, and out here, since I've been on TOUR, he's been very helpful and very nice, and nothing has changed since we've been here.

Q. You've played with Ishikawa now a few times, British Open, as well, just wondering what you think about his game, and if you can compare where he is at 18 to maybe where you were at that stage of your game.
TIGER WOODS: He's by far much more developed in his game than I ever was at 18 years old. I was longer than he was, but I certainly did not have the ability to hit shots like he does.
It's quite remarkable what he's done, and the poise in how he goes about it. To win, what, four times this year, on any tour, is quite remarkable. And at his age, 17 now, and now he just turned 18, it's unheard of. I don't think it's ever been done. And for him to go out there and carry himself the way he has this entire Presidents Cup; it's been fun to be a part of and watch and how he competes. I watched it at the British Open for two days, and I knew from just listening to what people have said, that he has talent; but certainly did not realize how talented he really was until you actually get a chance to play with someone.
And the way he's able to control his golf ball, the way he's able to putt and chip is far better than any 18-year-old that I've ever seen.
DOUG MILNE: Gentlemen, thanks for your time and good luck tomorrow.

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