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 10, 2009

Fred Couples

Greg Norman


CHRIS REIMER: We welcome Captain Couples and Captain Norman. An exciting day of golf, a lead for the U.S. Team going into the final day. Maybe open with a few quick mentions of how the day went for each of you.
FRED COUPLES: I thought the day was a tough day first of all playing golf in that weather, 36 holes or 35 holes or 34 holes for a lot of these guys, I give them a lot of credit. Like we were talking here last night about the last few holes, how Greg's team did their jobs, and today, by great, great play, our guys made a couple flip arounds there at the end to turn it into our favor. And then we hung on for dear life in best-ball this afternoon.
So for us to be up, that's a huge, huge part of this whole thing is to be ahead going into Sunday.
GREG NORMAN: Absolutely, Freddie is 100 percent right. I think the momentum changed to some degree, not like it was a severe momentum change, but 17 and 18 this morning, to turn a 1-down into a 1-up victory was a very impressive performance. We feel like we are still close enough. Obviously we have to win eight matches out of 12 which a lot of people are probably going to say that's a tall task but it can be done and it has been done. My players are still very upbeat about it. They want to go out there tomorrow and just win their one match, whatever that match is. And the rest will take care of itself.
So if we can get eight guys in blue on the board, then we win The Presidents Cup.

Q. You guys both look pretty fried right now. Is it harder playing or captaining in one of these events, both physically and emotionally?
FRED COUPLES: Well, at my age now, I don't want to play in this thing. But to captain, it's exhausting. Like Greg, we were talking on the 12th or 13th hole, our bodies have been like this for six hours and my whole body hurts just from trying to stay warm.
I don't believe I sat in the cart one time today. Although, I guess they caught me texting someone trying to find them and Jimmy Roberts, I was sitting in a cart, so I guess that's kind of a fib.
You know, we watch these guys. I've played in this several times, Greg has played in it several times, and now it's their time. They are putting on a great show, there have been a lot of incredible shots played, very few poor shots, and great, great, great golf.
GREG NORMAN: I'm pretty much the same way. It's very -- I'm a little bit more warm. I was very much into the matches today. I kind of followed my players a lot and I was trying to walk with them, like Freddie does, walk with them as much as you can to get them going. I think it's probably more brutal sitting on the sidelines in cold weather than when you're playing because when you're playing, you really don't think about the cold. But at the same time, this is probably one of the toughest conditions, the golf course turned out went from a fairly short, easy golf course to a long, brutal golf course by the end of the day.
So Freddie is 100 percent right. These guys did a phenomenal job. From my perspective, would I prefer to be playing? Yeah, I'd prefer to be playing.

Q. What did you tell Stricker on that screen when he made the bomb? You were on TV saying something to him. And a quick comment about Tim Clark over the course of the three days.
GREG NORMAN: Well, Strick, I just said, "Enough's enough", basically. I didn't say those exact words, but he putted so impressively well. Every time I watched him, he was making putts, so I didn't even watch him. I figured I'd just leave.
And as for Tim Clark, he's my pit bull. There's no more gutsier player than Tim Clark. He actually remind me of a modern day version of a Corey Pavin. Corey was always such a tenacious player and I never thought there was a shot he couldn't hit, even though he was probably one of the shortest guys in the field. And Timmy is not short by any means, but he's just a gutsy guy. He wants the bit between his teeth.
Going down 18 today, this afternoon, I had to pull him back, he was just racing. His system was firing, I said, "Hey, slow down, come back here with us, and you're going to get there before anybody else gets there." He's very excited about playing, and he loves being in the position, and he loves his 11 team members, and he wants to put up the best thing for them.

Q. You matched Tiger against Y.E. Yang. Did Tiger ask for that, and can you run us through the thought process with that pairing?
FRED COUPLES: No. Actually I guess it's the way it worked out. Greg had put Y.E. down there so I did match him up, but to be quite honest, we got down to really only two more pairings, because the Cabrera/Furyk, I guess if I'm explaining it right, was a left over 12th pairing and it's probably one of the best ones.
What happened is we were trying to get all those guys to play early, and in our opinion, they -- meaning Greg and Frank, threw us for a little loop because we thought they would be going with -- again, I said this outside, it sounds really wrong to say, but their guys who were playing better, and I don't know if Y.E. is playing better than Camilo or not. But we were looking at different names, like a Cabrera, Goosen, Singh, Yang, Clark, and they put him on the end and it became a numbers game. And really we put Kenny Perry up against Ryo because Kenny -- because it would be nice to play him, because he's the oldest and he's the youngest. Other than that, that's just the way that really worked.

Q. Years and years ago it seems now, you requested the idea of having a Presidents Cup because the people out of Europe didn't have a Ryder Cup to play against the U.S. Team. Has it become what you hoped it would become?
GREG NORMAN: I think it's getting there. It doesn't have the history and the nostalgia, but each year that goes by, yes, when you have the players of this caliber in here, and like Freddie says, seeing some of the shots that they hit out there over the last couple of days. It would be good if the International Team stepped up to play a little bit more consistently than what has taken place over the last eight years, but it will take time.
Ryder Cup was really a non-entity for a long period of time until all of a sudden in the late 70s, early 80s, it got a huge boost by incorporating Europe into the mix. You guys probably know that date better than I do. So that's when the whole history of The Ryder Cup started being brought up, and over a period of time, there is a lot of history there.
So now there's also a great competition in that event. There's great competition here, but just we come close, but we just haven't been able to hoist the Cup above our heads as often as we would like. So there's going to be time, there needs a few more events, whatever it is, 20, 15, I don't know, but you do need to have history behind you to really create some sense of being, I guess, with an event.

Q. Can you give us some insight into your thought process behind your match-ups, for example, why did you pick Adam Scott to play Stewart Cink, and was there any one that requested to play early or late or any specific player?
GREG NORMAN: Well, I asked Camilo, Adam Scott if they wanted to go out first. I thought I wanted to get two good players, and I think they go under the radar screen a little bit because Adam was one of my picks. I thought both guys are hitting the ball well, and Camilo had a rest today. Camilo had a rest today because he got hit on the foot by a golf ball by one of Freddie's team members yesterday. So we wanted to rest him a little bit. You know Zach hit him on the fly, on the outside of his left foot.
So he's ready to go now and he wanted to go out first, so we put him out first. And then when Freddie put up Stewart Cink, I thought Adam matches up very nicely with Stewart. So you play in your mind how the players play, and I thought that was a very good match up for Adam. And he wanted to go out reasonably early, as well, so that played out well.

Q. Did anyone want to go out late?
GREG NORMAN: Yeah, Vijay asked to be out late. He wanted to have a bit of a rest. Angel, he wanted to play late. Everybody else was, when it came, it came. It didn't bother them.

Q. Just wondering why or how much consideration you gave to front-loading your lineups and in the final analysis, why you did not.
FRED COUPLES: Well, I would never -- I love my team to death. I have a lot of respect for Greg's team. When I sit here, however you look at it, if Greg looks at my team and thinks we are going to front-load I would front load with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and everyone else seems to be top-top players.
If I look at Greg's team, you know, I can't single out anyone who is playing poorly, and I can't single out any of my guys who are playing poorly.
It became, just like he said a second ago, kind of similar games. Hunter wanted to get out early. He did not play this afternoon. So we thought it would be best for him to bounce right back out there. And then we got on this little fun tug-of-war where we just then matched up guys and all of a sudden we got what I consider the meat. When you put Ernie Els and Ryo and Tim Clark and Yang and Vijay Singh and Goosen and Cabrera we started matching up and then we got the thick of our guys in there. And Kenny Perry, Johnson, Woods, Glover, Mickelson and Furyk, that's how we matched up.
GREG NORMAN: And myself, I don't believe in front-loading or end-loading. I'm 100 percent believer in what Freddie just said, match up the players for their capabilities. We are going to get second guessed whatever we do anyway. We don't make the right decision whatever we make.
But in my opinion, I just go on what I think how the players -- I know my guys so well now. I know how they are putting, I know how they are thinking, I know how they are driving the golf ball, and that's the beauty about Freddie and I, being in our shoes right now. And however it plays out, it will play out. If we get beaten, you know, Freddie is a hero. If we beat Freddie I'm a hero and the players are heroes. So we just do what we thought was best.
To be quite honest, today was probably -- yesterday's lunch time drawing and this afternoon's, I enjoyed the most because you can actually understand each other's process and it's not like stacking. We have never done that, actually, this whole four days.

Q. Just wanted to know what you saw from Anthony Kim today, he struggled yesterday and you sat him down this morning and he came back, at least a strong finish; you seem particularly happy with him after the match.
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, he and Jim Furyk played yesterday and it got a little bit rough at the end and they ended up having a tough match and then today they came right back and they got up early and they held the lead, and then they hung in there. And AK, I believe, birdied 15 to top Cabrera had a very short birdie putt on 16. Cabrera drove it on 17 and AK made a birdie and on 18, Furyk hit probably the best shot he's hit all week.
So you know, AK is a tough, tough, tough competitor. You know, I don't consider anyone -- I mean, I put Stewart Cink out there with Lucas Glover. They haven't gotten a point yet. And when they came in here, they were probably the two best guys that paired up. Same ball, same kind of attitude, and they haven't gotten a point.
It's very hard to say go figure any of this stuff out. Whereas AK, we thought we would go with Phil and then Phil found a guy that he felt comfortable with, so we shook that lineup this afternoon and AK went again with Furyk and they played phenomenal. That was a huge win.

Q. Firstly to Fred, so are you saying that there's no -- it's just a complete coincidence that Tiger and Yang are playing? With the PGA thing, it's just --
FRED COUPLES: Well, it's not now, but when Greg but Y.E. Yang down there, if you look at other guys that we had involved, there were only two more picks to really be made. Lucas went as a guy on, you just put out, and then Greg matched him with Vijay. Then after that, you know, I didn't want to make it look like I just threw Tiger Woods into the match because he fit in at 11th or 12th. That's how Jay and I looked at it. And I don't know how long it took us to do it, but then we finally said, why not, and that's how it came out.
But if that was the case, I would have said it in a second and a half and we would be almost halfway home eating dinner. (Laughter) But that's not how it worked out. But we have talked to Tiger every day about the matches. Today, he said, put me out early. And obviously putting him out in the eighth match is not early. It just didn't come out that way.
FRED COUPLES: That is early. 10:38 is an early tee time for the eighth match.

Q. As you look back on it, in the four-ball, it's a tie; and in the alternate-shot, again, the three points that you're behind, that's where it came from. Are there any of those matches where you look at and a lot of them are close, you won them yesterday, and Thursday, not so much today; do you look back on any of those as defining moments in any way?
GREG NORMAN: Well, the defining moment today was when Woods and Stricker turned around a 1-down with two to go with Tim Clark and Weir in the morning in alternate-shot to end up winning. That's what the difference is.
If they keep the lead, if Tiger doesn't make that putt on 17, and Weir makes the putt, it's all over and we go into tomorrow behind one point. Don't over-analyse this whole thing. It was just great golf by Tiger Woods making the putt on 17 turning the whole thing around and he obviously hit a phenomenal shot on 18, but there was one, two, three, four strokes in the whole three days made the difference between three points and one point.
CHRIS REIMER: To finish up, maybe some comments on that finish by Tiger, 17 and 18 this morning.
FRED COUPLES: Again, Greg just hit it right on the button. Tim Clark is one, one fine player, and I believe Greg, yesterday, when we were sitting here said, "Mike Weir and Tim Clark wanted to go out against Tiger Woods. " I think. That was probably the match of today.
If anything, our guys have won a lot of close matches, even though it doesn't seem like it. And Greg's team, besides Tiger and Stricker, has put a whooping on a lot of 4 & 3s, where we have won a lot of 2 &1s and 1-ups. So they have been phenomenal golf, and I have watched four straight days now. So our team is primed and ready to go up against Greg's 12 guys tomorrow, and like he said, I believe we have to win less matches than their team does.
So we are in better shape because of Tiger's and Stricker's flip-around there against Tim Clark and Weir, no doubt.
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you, gentlemen. Good 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