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November 18, 2001

Arnold Palmer

Gary Player


Q. Arnold, why don't we talk about the big start this morning with your match.

ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I think that the match was fun. We both made a lot of mistakes. I guess you could say I made fewer than Gary. And he was very gracious in a couple of instances and let me get a few up and maybe a few too many. And of course that was the, as it turned out, that was the bottom line in the whole thing. I think that what I saw and feel so good about is the way that the matches and the rest of the world team and our team intermingled and really, the fellowship was fantastic. And I can't tell you how important I think that is. And of course then to see a competition as keen as this was, and the guys were having fun together. They were laughing and they were enjoying themselves. But when it came down to the final guns, it was about as keen a competition as you could ever get. And you think the matches that were the result of the last two putts, the 17th and 18th holes, and that's kind of what we're looking for in these matches, to create a camaraderie with good clean competition. And I guess I've said enough about that.

Q. Gary your comments on matches today?

GARY PLAYER: Well, I feel it was a very, very exciting match. And being out there and watching the score board and it came down to the last two putts. I mean, Calcavecchia had about a 6-footer at 17 and Raymond has about a 15-footer at 18. And if they hole them they win. Which they did. And if they miss them, we win. So you're talking about something really, really close and exciting. And I think above all is the, you know, to get sponsors for golf at this time that we live in is not easy. And so for a sponsor to be so happy as they were makes us feel good. And I don't think you could have a more exciting match than we had. And the golf course was great. Just everything was just unbelievable.

Q. Arnie, does this in any way in your mind send a message to the Ryder Cup, the direction it's going as far as its intensity?

ARNOLD PALMER: I hope so. I sure do. I think that I saw Sam Torrance and Curtis Strange and I saw them swallowing hard. Because they saw something that they both enjoyed. They participated in it. And I'm sure that they are both hoping and praying that the Ryder Cup will be conducted in the same fashion as these matches were.

Q. Arnie, you talked earlier this week about how you didn't know that your game was at the level of some of the other people right now. Do you think the way you played and way you won this match today kind of rallied the rest of the team towards this come back?

ARNOLD PALMER: Well, the competition, you know, is a competition. And if that, as a matter of fact, had something to do with the way my team performed today, I thank goodness for that. Boy, they sure came through. I was almost resigned, when I looked up at the board coming up to nine it looked like it was a wash. We were gone. And that was fine. As long as everything worked out as the way it did, I'm not talking about the results, I'm talking about the total show and all the things that I said earlier. So, yeah, if Gary had done the same thing and the results were in his favor, I think that's what we're looking for. I think that's what we wanted to see happen.

Q. I would like to ask both captain's if you think this event has a long term future and if you would like to see it come back here one day if it does.

GARY PLAYER: Well it certainly does. I mean according to the Golf Channel and other people they said it was a very, very good rating. And if it was, which I would assume it was, being so close, this has got a different flavor to a normal tournament. This is what spectators want to see. And they really got something very exciting. I would imagine that the sponsors would like to play this, being an international company representing 43 countries, they would like to see it played in different parts of the world.

Q. Could you both tell me, what was the most touching thing that either of you have said to you about the spirit of the match?

GARY PLAYER: Well, I tell you what, I heard one man saying, he said there were three things he noticed. He said, 'I never saw a bunch of flag waving people with different flags and introducing that to golf.' Because that never ever applied to golf. When Arnold played the Ryder Cup and Jack Nicklaus in those things it was a different Ryder Cup as we know today. And he also said he never heard one player say, well, he hates anybody. Whereas, the TV commentators, they were saying this guy hates that guy, this guy hates this guy. This guy is a slow player. And this guy, this guy. You never heard anything. And this is what this man said. He said, this has been fantastic, because I was sitting at number 16 green waiting for teams to come through and he said, I pulled for both teams. And he said, I never saw or felt anything that was out of place. And he said it's very different to what he had seen. Which is great that he noticed that.

ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I think the fact that the competition was as tough as it was, now, you know, that's what we're looking for. We're not looking for harassing and any of that stuff. We're looking for competition. And something that I think that 24 players went away from here, 12 of them lost, 12 of them won, but they all can go away saying that they're proud of what they participated in here. And it was a joy to be a part of the entire program. And that's the name of the game. And it doesn't, it doesn't do any good to start a rivalry that is not in, kept in good conduct and good fashion. And I think that we saw a competition here that was as tough as you could get. And we saw camaraderie on both teams. And that's just what we wanted to see.

Q. Gary, not a whole lot of people over on this side knew a whole lot about Des Smyth coming into this weekend, but he went 3 and 0. Does that surprise you?

GARY PLAYER: You know, I heard that for 20 years now. I never heard of this guy, never heard of that guy, never heard of this guy. The world is a big place. The world is a big place. And there are so many good golfers that have never been heard of in the United States that you still have never heard of. And just a lot of players all around the world. Golf, I mean they got two players in China you never heard of either who can play like crazy. I just saw them the other day. They can really play. So there are lots of players you haven't heard of in the world. But if you follow golf closely you'll see their names in the tournaments that they participate in. I heard that about Bernhard Langer, I mean I heard it about player after player after player. And they said the same thing about Bobby Locke, who came here never heard of him. He came over here and won 7 out of the first 11 tournaments and he beat Hogan and Snead and all those. Arnold knows. Golf has progressed internationally just as it has in the United States. And the majority of the golfers in the world come from around the world. So golf is a very big sport around the world. And as we have seen, I mean in the major championships how many players from the other side of the pond have been winning. And this is healthy for golf. This is really, I think the American people want to see the best play the best. And I think it's very encouraging for golf. I think it's very, very encouraging for the game of golf.

Q. Any last questions here? Thank you gentlemen.

End of FastScripts....

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