November 20, 2003
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GEORGIA
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to the 2003 UBS Cup and the captains' picks. Tony and Arnold will be alternating the picks. We'll have the toss of a coin, kind of like a football game. Since Tony is the visiting team, if you will, for the rest of the world, we've decided to let Tony call the toss of the coin.
TONY JACKLIN: Heads.
MODERATOR: Tails it is.
TONY JACKLIN: Carry on. You were always lucky, Arnold (laughter).
MODERATOR: The captains, as you know, will play in match number one each of the first two days.
ARNOLD PALMER: So I understand, I am going to pick a player, and then Tony is going to pick a player, is that correct?
MODERATOR: For match number one, then we will alternate. Then Tony will pick first for match two.
ARNOLD PALMER: All right. My pick for tomorrow will be Rocco Mediate.
MODERATOR: Rocco Mediate paired with Mr. Palmer at 9:30 for match one.
TONY JACKLIN: I'll be playing with Nick Faldo.
MODERATOR: Tony, you'll pick two players now for match number two.
TONY JACKLIN: Carl Mason and Bill Longmuir.
MODERATOR: 9:45 tomorrow, Carl Mason, Bill Longmuir.
Arnold, your two picks for match two?
ARNOLD PALMER: Will be Scott Hoch and Hal Sutton.
MODERATOR: Arnold, the first pick for match three.
ARNOLD PALMER: Do I have to hurry?
MODERATOR: Al Geiberger is not here.
TONY JACKLIN: Good try, though.
ARNOLD PALMER: Match three will be Floyd and Hale Irwin.
MODERATOR: Match three, Floyd and Irwin, 10:00. Tony?
TONY JACKLIN: Against Langer and Colin Montgomerie.
MODERATOR: Match number three, 10:00 tomorrow.
Match number four, 10:15, Tony with the first pick.
TONY JACKLIN: Barry Lane and Ian Woosnam.
MODERATOR: Match number four at 10:15, Barry Lane, Ian Woosnam up against?
ARNOLD PALMER: Mark O'Meara and Stadler.
MODERATOR: Craig Stadler, Mark O'Meara, 10:15, against Barry Lane and Ian Woosnam.
Match five at 10:30. Arnold, you're up first.
ARNOLD PALMER: Faxon and Lietzke.
MODERATOR: Brad Faxon, Bruce Lietzke, 10:30, match five, up against?
TONY JACKLIN: Against Des Smyth and Roger Davis.
MODERATOR: Brad Faxon and Bruce Lietzke against Des Smyth and Roger Davis.
Tony, how long will it take you to pick your last two?
TONY JACKLIN: Romero and Fernandez, obviously, that's all that's left in the final match.
MODERATOR: The last match at 10:45, match six, Eduardo, The Cat, Romero and Vicente Fernandez against Watson and Strange.
Some comments, captains, on your own golf today, golf course, thoughts on tomorrow, what you're going to tell your team tonight.
TONY JACKLIN: Well, the golf course is spectacular. It was a spectacular day today. I mean, by any standards, it was idyllic. I enjoyed myself. I played okay for me, considering I'm not playing a lot of golf.
I'm looking forward to a good contest. I mean, what I'm going to say to my team today, all these guys are too old to lecture, they all know what they're about, and we're just looking forward, I think all of us, to getting at it and doing our best. It's as simple as that.
We've got no preconceived ideas about anything. We just want to get stuck in and see how we go.
MODERATOR: Mr. Palmer?
ARNOLD PALMER: First of all, the venue is fantastic. I agree with Tony. The golf course is excellent. How can you beat today? Conditions were pristine. It was a perfect situation and a pre-op for the tournament, which will start tomorrow morning at 9:30.
What will I say to my guys? I don't think I'll tell you.
MODERATOR: Questions from our friends, Ladies and Gentlemen?
Q. Arnold, can you talk about the way Bruce Lietzke has been playing coming into this event the last year or two?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I have talked to Bruce a little bit. It is allowed he hasn't played in about three weeks. When he comes on after having not played for three weeks, he plays very well. I'm hoping that that is the case. I think everyone here knows his record. He's spasmodic as far as playing tournaments is concerned. You don't know when he's going to be here, when he's not. It seems like taking time off has helped, so that's what I'm rooting for.
Q. Arnold, how has this tournament progressed from this point maybe from your initial expectations when it first began at Kiawah, and where do you see it going in interest and importance on the golf calendar?
ARNOLD PALMER: I have some thoughts about that. I think it's obvious that the progress that we have made is substantial. Of course, Bill Jones and the people here have made it really pretty inviting to come here, play these matches.
I suppose another very important factor is the enthusiasm of the players. As you know, I played golf all my life, in tournaments, I've been around these people all my life. It's really kind of encouraging to see a group of older players, and I don't say they're old-old, but they are the senior guys on the tour so to speak, and the enthusiasm that I have seen with them here is very encouraging. I like that.
I think we're looking this year now, we're here, and I think we're looking to the future, future venues.
Q. Do you think there's any possibility of making this a permanent site for this tournament?
ARNOLD PALMER: I have no idea about that. There's a lot of us that wouldn't mind that, I can tell you (laughter).
TONY JACKLIN: Me for one, whether I'm involved or not. It doesn't get any better than this.
ARNOLD PALMER: This is absolutely the height of it. There have been rumors and conversations about moves to maybe other nations, other countries. I don't know where those are. As you have suggested, this is not bad.
Q. Have either one of the Ryder Cup captains talked to you about being a captain, things you've experienced, kind of picked your brain, since they're going to be The Ryder Cup captains next September?
TONY JACKLIN: I've had no discussions with anybody.
ARNOLD PALMER: And I have not either.
Q. As it relates to your enthusiasm for this event, and relative to the events you still play, both on the PGA TOUR and The Champions Tour, how do you feel about playing an event where it's a team format, what you do counts in this event, and you picked up a couple of points here in there in this tournament? Does that give you enthusiasm for playing as well as being the captain?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, of course, my enthusiasm is always pretty strong. I'm getting to the stage where it should start dwindling a little bit. It's difficult sometimes to maintain the pace that you have to maintain to do these things.
But I'm certainly pleased with the event, and hopefully I can contribute a little bit to my partners. I think you guys all know Rocco is a young man that I kind of helped bring along when he was a youngster in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He used to come to Latrobe and we played golf quite a lot.
It will be fun playing with him tomorrow and watching him perform. He's done quite well. Having known his history, his family, the whole thing, it's fun for me. I just want to hold up my end. That's going to be difficult. I'm not playing particularly well. This is a long golf course from those back tees for me.
The rest of the team and the rest of the guys, I know them all. They were my kids almost. I've had them with me off and on for a lot of years. So my enthusiasm's there. I just hope I can organize them well enough to hold Jacklin and his team off.
Q. Tony, you said you haven't had any discussions with Bernard. Would you be more than willing to offer advice?
TONY JACKLIN: Of course. But Bernard, you know, is a very experienced individual. I think we all need our space. He needs obviously to do things his way and put his stamp on his captaincy.
But I'm there, as I always am, for any of the guys for guidance or help or advice. But I think in the majority of cases they're more than capable, and they need to put their own stamp on the captaincy. You know, that's just the way it is. You work through your career, if you're fortunate, to be honored with the captaincy. It doesn't go to anybody who hasn't put the time in and have the experience.
He's a pretty well-rounded guy. Obviously, I wish him well. I shall be looking closely at how it goes for him.
Q. (No microphone)?
TONY JACKLIN: I don't know. I do believe every situation is different. The world turns; nothing stays the same. What works one year doesn't necessarily work the next. We're dealing here with golf, match play level, we're dealing with individuals. We're all different.
You know, the mix is incredible when you start to look at it. And it constantly changes. You have to keep your finger on the pulse of those changes. That's why I don't believe you can have a captain in a Ryder Cup that's too out of touch with the players of the modern day. I think we're all cognizant of that fact.
It's just the way it is. Nothing stays the same. That's the way it needs to be.
Q. Bernard and Hal said that they thought the art of captaincy was overrated, that essentially it was down to the players. As two former captains, how do you feel about those remarks?
TONY JACKLIN: Well, I played against Lee Trevino in '85 who believed there was no purchase in pairing one player with another any more than another. I've always been of the mind that if players get along and they have similar likes and dislikes, they need to get along, if they do get along, you're liable to get the best out of them, as opposed to, you know, just sticking guys together from different ends of the spectrum. It's been my experience that you get a better result from trying to match them up a bit and keep guys with similar outlooks together. That's just me.
In their cases, neither of them have done it yet, so they're going to be making light of it. Until you're in the seat, in the hot seat, have these decisions to make, of course the players do the playing, there's no question about that. The captain has to keep his finger on the pulse of the way things go, ebb and flow, morale of the team can change with a putt. We've won Ryder Cup matches on the strength of one putt being made or missed at the critical time. Anybody that knows match play knows this is what happens in match play. You have to take the moment sometimes and run with it.
All these nuances come into play. Okay, we can all sit and say the captain's role is not that important, but there are moments when leadership is required. You guys more than us from now will be watching for that in these matches.
You know, I enjoy observing and seeing how different individuals do their job. I learned my trade by watching and listening. I don't hear so good these days, but I still try. We'll see. I wish them both well, obviously. There's more to it than meets the eye anyway. I'm sure they'll both do very well, indeed.
I think it's a huge responsibility essentially to keep the balance of what we're about in the business of golf today. Arnold has shown that responsibility for many years in guiding the players that he's leading this week. I think to some degree maybe I've done similar. We've all got a huge responsibility to the game to see that we track it on the right course. It's down to Bernard and Hal to do what Curtis and I think Sam Torrance did in the last Ryder Cup very well.
We shall look closely, but I've got know doubt they'll shoulder their responsibilities very well.
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I agree with Tony a lot. I think the captain can be a part of the team as much as any member of the team, and it's important that he is. I think the confidence that a team has is very important, and I think the captain can instill that confidence in them.
Putting the right players together. Some of these guys, even though they're not bitter enemies or anything like that, but they prefer to play with different people. That's what Tony is saying, and I agree with that. It's important that you put your guys in the right situation.
I think the first UBS was kind of indicative of this whole conversation, and that was, if you recall, Gary and I were playing, and my team was having a terrible time, they were getting beat up on us pretty good. This was reported to me after it was all over, but they looked up on the board and they saw that I was picking up on Gary, and it incited them to really come on because we were losers. We were going to lose that match. They saw that.
Six or eight guys came up to me afterwards and said, "We saw what was happening. We were embarrassed. We had to come on the best we could." I think that's kind of the way they feel.
But just letting them know how important each one of them is is one of the most important things the captain can do. Again, I can say, like Tony said, the captain can do those things, but the players have to do it, they're the guys that are going to win or lose. The captain can kind of just hang around and let them do their thing, and they can win, but he can enhance the possibility of winning.
Q. Do you want to do this again next year, UBS Cup captain?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I'm trying to get by this year.
TONY JACKLIN: One at a time (laughter).
ARNOLD PALMER: I don't know. I suppose if I'm still -- if I get up in the morning, am still playing golf, I may want to do it. I hadn't thought about that yet. There are enough other things that I'm sort of facing right now in my life that I have to think about, so I'm putting a lot of time in on those things.
But certainly if the opportunity presents itself, I will consider it.
MODERATOR: Three-day format like this, how important is it to get off to a fast start?
TONY JACKLIN: Well, I mean, I like to get off to a fast start. But, you know, I would never count my chickens either. It's a long dance, as Roberto Divincenzo told me years ago, it's long music, and you can't win it on day one.
I think when all is said and done, all of the festivities prior to an event like this are put to bed, it's just nice to get out there in the competitive mode the first day and feel things out. Whatever happens tomorrow obviously is of import, but it's not going to be the be all and end all of the event.
I'm certainly just looking forward to getting out there and playing golf, getting the feel of it all.
MODERATOR: Arnold, same question?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I think it's important that you are aware of your position first day onward. If you fall behind, you've got a problem, particularly in a field like we've got here. The players, you go down the list, I'm probably the weakest of the whole lot. The rest of them are very equal, both sides.
Take the international team, US team, you match these guys head for head, look what they've done on The Champions Tour or what they've done on the regular tour. You see a lot of guys that are really playing awfully good from both sides that will make this match a very difficult situation, which is what we want. We want it to be a tough match, we want it to work out very well. Of course, we want to win.
The important thing is that we have a lot of competition before us, and we'll see that in the next three days.
MODERATOR: Thank you Arnold. Thank you, Tony. As Bill Jones said this morning at the opening ceremonies, "Let the competition begin."
End of FastScripts.