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October 3, 2010
GORDON SIMPSON: We are joined by Captain Corey Pavin, and Corey, we are going to get a result tomorrow, come what may, which is good news. It was definitely the Europeans day today, but I would imagine you guys are in that team room ready to come out fighting tomorrow.
COREY PAVIN: Yeah, you know, I'd just like to say that I was really proud of the team today. Obviously we went to sleep last night down in every match. I watched 12 men out there that fought hard and held their heads high, played every shot hard, and we got a couple of matches to 18. I saw guys fighting and not getting quite the result that we were looking for, but we nearly did.
So I was very, very proud of them, pleased with their effort; and I'm sure tomorrow, obviously, they know what they need to do. And they are going to come out firing.
GORDON SIMPSON: Can you put your finger on why the turnaround from the early sessions to this last session of six?
COREY PAVIN: Yeah, you know, it's always hard to figure that out in match play. You get momentum shifts, and things happen. We went out night and it didn't go our way and we came out this morning and things started to turn and shift.
And you have to give Europe a lot of credit; held their ground and did some good things coming in themselves, and they turned some of those matches that were going our way and they turned around other direction.
So got to give Colin's team a lot of credit for their fight and their heart, as well.
Q. With his loss today, Phil Mickelson set the record as having more losses than any player in Ryder Cup history. Can you speak to that? What's up with him?
COREY PAVIN: Well, he's played in the most Ryder Cups in history, as well, for us. He's played in eight, or this is his eighth. So he's played a lot of matches.
I think he's playing hard, he's playing the best he can and he's been in good position. You know, he's had a few 6-footers that were very key putts, and if he makes those, it's a different result. That's the way match play is, just a little of this or that. I've seen Phil make some pretty important putts in his career. He's won 38 times and four major championships. He's a pretty good player.
Q. Here we are, sort of in the dark; what happened to Phil, why is he missing the short putts? Tiger, he's 0-3 in this tournament, Tiger won a couple of matches, is there any way of getting quotes at all from either of them, or do you speak for them?
COREY PAVIN: I speak for the team in general, but I don't speak for them individually. So you know, whatever they have to say, they have to say. I just watch them play and pair them up the best I can, and let them go at it.
Q. You're putting a brave face on it, but you've nearly been whitewashed in these series of matches, 5 1/2 to a halve. Can you possibly come back from this? The guys chins must be on the floor.
COREY PAVIN: Absolutely. Absolutely. We have got 12 of the best players in the world, 12 of the best players. They have 12 of the best players in the world, too. Match play, anything can happen.
And the one thing I can guarantee you, is that Team USA is going to come out tomorrow and play hard and try to win The Ryder Cup.
Q. Where can you hide players like Phil Mickelson in a singles lineup?
COREY PAVIN: There is nobody to hide. But thank you for asking. I appreciate it. (Laughter).
Q. Ben said he had a feeling in 1999; do you got any?
COREY PAVIN: You know, Ben's Ben and I'm me. You know, I just -- I'm going to put the guys out in the order that I think gives us best chance to win. They have to go out and perform and play, and if they do, I think we have a chance.
Q. The Cink/Kuchar pairing has been pretty good for you. Wondering if you could talk about their play and what you saw and why you wanted to pair them together, what you thought would work well and why it's worked.
COREY PAVIN: Well, you know, Stewart and Matt know each other very well. That doesn't guarantee that they are going to play well together, certainly. But they just feed off each other. They are both very relaxed guys. They are the same type of people in general. They enjoy being out on the golf course and they have fun out there.
So they are very like-minded. And knowing each other and being like-minded, I thought they would be good together. You know, I saw Stewart make some putts and I'm sure Matt made his share; I didn't get to see every match obviously because I'm running around, but both of those guys are playing well, for sure. It was a good pairing.
Q. You only need sort of 6 1/2 points to retain the Cup. Does that feel like a long way away or something very, very plausible for your team?
COREY PAVIN: I think it's very plausible. Is it an uphill battle? Yes, of course, because we have to win more points than they do in the singles.
I have a lot of confidence in the guys. I liked what I saw out there today, even though the results were not what we wanted. As far as I know, the event is over tomorrow. Ryder Cup is over tomorrow, not today.
Is Europe ahead? Absolutely. It's nice to have a cushion. Can you come back from it? Absolutely.
Q. There was a pivotal little 15 minutes there where there was an American flag on the board for the first time since the first hole of the Kuchar match, and then Dustin Johnson 3-putted 14, they make a putt and Ross Fisher makes a putt from the same place and a few holes later Phil 3-putts the 14th again. Did you feel that you were clawing your way back and they took it all away from you?
COREY PAVIN: Yeah, that's what I saying earlier. We were making good head way, and that's what I say, I give Europe credit for being tough and holding off a lot of that stuff. That's what match play is all about, ebbs and flows.
We were going good, and just changed a little bit for us. So if we could have finished those matches off, obviously we would be in a better position, but that's Europe's job is to try not to let that happen. So they did a good job. I think our guys did a good job, and tomorrow we are going to have at it again.
Q. Just as a follow, what's your singles strategy? I haven't seen the singles.
COREY PAVIN: I think we'll wait for the pairings to come out, and then I'll tell you all about it.
Q. Obviously you have to put a very positive spin on what's happened, if you can; can you take us into the locker room, is anybody taking doors down or arguing with themselves?
COREY PAVIN: No, I went in the locker room and I saw guys that battled hard. Were they disappointed with what happened, with the results? Yes. Are they down about it? No. As I said, these guys know that there's more to this tournament, or more to play in this tournament. So you know, tomorrow, there's 12 points out there tomorrow. That's a lot of points, and you know, I know that Team USA is up for it, and we are going to go out there and have at it, give it our best shot.
Q. Colin said that he had a certain pairings list put together, thinking that they were going to be 8-8, and he then completely changed his pairings; do you have a list and did you have to change with the result? And is there a reason why you have not made Tiger or Phil available since the event this week?
COREY PAVIN: You know, I left it up to the players to do whatever they would like to do. It's their choice to talk or not to talk. I'm here to talk to you every day as the captain, and I just gave every player the option to do as they wished with media.
Q. Did you change your pairings because of the result?
COREY PAVIN: No. We did the singles last night and did not change.
Q. There was a noticeable effort from Europe in this last session, not just to play well, but to show a lot of passion as ordered by Colin Montgomerie. Did you not feel that there seemed to be some lack of passion with some of your players compared to the European players?
COREY PAVIN: I didn't see that at all. You know, I saw my guys out there -- I'm sorry, I saw Team USA out there playing hard, pretty excited about putts that went in and under control. That's what I want to see out there, emotional players under control.
Q. Obviously at Valhalla two years ago, the crowd was a big thing for the Americans; here, it's been the opposite. Can you talk about how much the atmosphere perhaps helped Europe do what it's done today?
COREY PAVIN: You know, that's what I've been saying all along, is that it's a lot easier to play on your home ground. You know, things go well and the crowd is loud and it's very encouraging.
I watched our guys make putts today, and it's quiet applause, very quiet.
It's a different type of feeling. You're still fired up about things, but it's different. Everybody understands it, and they are still fired up. But when you have the crowd going crazy, it's easier to show more emotions because the crowd is with you and you can kind of egg them on a little bit, and it's fun.
The Europeans were having fun today. They had a great time. When you're doing well, it's easy to have fun.
Q. Did you feel the halve you got in some sense was for show, but in some sense was that psychologically destructive because it was the match --
COREY PAVIN: Like I said, there were three matches coming down the stretch I thought could have gone different ways for both sides. Those are important matches. All of the matches are important. But when you come down to the last few holes, and results can change with that, those are big swings.
But as I said, I was really proud and pleased with the way Team USA played today. They played hard, they hung in there and did not see one single head down, and we are going to play that way tomorrow.
Q. The European Team mentioned how they were lifted by the crowd today. They might not have that size of crowd tomorrow. Does that work in your favour?
COREY PAVIN: I think there's going to be a lot of people out here tomorrow, I would think. You know, I don't know what the tickets -- what the rules are for the tickets. But if I was a golf fan, I would want to be out here watching tomorrow. It's going to be exciting tomorrow.
Q. Can you give us an insight into what you're going to say to your players tonight to try and turn this around?
COREY PAVIN: I could. (Smiling). I'll talk to them. We'll have a little chat. There's not much to say. I mean, these guys know what they need to do.
So, as I said, I could.
Q. 1999, it was Governor Bush leading the Alamo; is there anything like that going to happen?
COREY PAVIN: As I said, I don't think these guys need encouragement. They have all of the motivation in the world to come out and play their best and try their hardest. There's many, many reasons for that. I've watched them do it for three days now, and they are going to do it tomorrow again.
Q. There's nothing planned like that?
COREY PAVIN: No.
Q. What were the three matches that you had identified as the key matches?
COREY PAVIN: Well, I think the last three matches, you know, were the matches that were the closest. And you could see different things could have happened with those.
Q. Is that including Phil's match?
COREY PAVIN: I think that's one of the last three, yes.
Q. Colin actually had some kind of motivational discussion with his team sometime yesterday that seemed to be team-only, not even caddies. Clearly he felt like even with the best players in the world, they needed a little get-up-and-go. Do you think there's anything you can that say to your guys that can change their attitude going into tomorrow?
COREY PAVIN: I don't need to change their attitude. They have a great attitude. As I said, they are playing hard. They are playing as well as they can, and that's all you can do when you go out there and play. They are playing with passion and pride, and they will do that again tomorrow.
Q. If the pairings are two minutes away, can you tell us what they are?
COREY PAVIN: I don't know what the pairings are. I only know my side. Is that your question? (Laughing).
COREY PAVIN: We'll just wait for them to come out. I'm kind of interested to see them. I'm anxious to see how they match up. I'll just sit here in quiet for two minutes. (Laughter).
Q. Is that possible for us?
COREY PAVIN: It's possible for me. Should we have a contest to see who could be the quietest? That's a game you play with your parents when you are in the back of a car; the quiet game.
Q. The greens are slower than the Americans usually play, and the Europeans know how to putt them and the Americans are leaving them short, is there any truth in that?
COREY PAVIN: I've seen both sides leave them short. The matches that I've watched, you know, you've seen a lot more on television than I've seen driving around there. But I've seen both sides leaving putts short. It's funny, you're nervous. Obviously everybody is nervous playing, and a lot of times when you're nervous, the first thing to go is your touch.
I'm not going to single anything out, but I've certainly seen both sides leave putts short. I think with all of the rain and moisture, they are probably slower than they want them. It's not that they are slower; they are not lightning.
Q. It's been almost two years since you've been captain, you must have dreamt very often about winning the competition; did you ever dream about being three points behind going into the singles, and what do you feel now compared to how you were feeling leading up to this before you came over?
COREY PAVIN: That's a good question. You know, my thoughts for the last two years are basically to do everything I can to give Team USA the best chance to win, and that's where my focus is.
These guys go out there and play. I felt like -- I feel like I've done a reasonable job, and you'll have to ask the players about that.
But that was my focus. That's what I wanted to accomplish. So it wasn't about a result, per se. And obviously I'd like to be sitting on the 18th green and in victory with the team. But, that's not the way I've been looking at it. I've been looking at it as doing the best job I can for Team USA.
Q. While we're waiting, would you prefer as a Ryder Cup player and now captain to be playing the event over four days with less time during the week spent on dinners and build ups and waiting to play; what about a Thursday to Sunday event? What do you think of that?
COREY PAVIN: Well, I think that I don't make those decisions. I think that, you know, this is kind of been the way it's been for a long time and it's kind of neat to have it condensed like it is in three days. It's pretty exciting.
But that's not for me to decide. I can have input into it behind closed doors, but it's nothing that I truly wish to share at this moment.
Q. Not to belabor the Phil point, but ten wins, 17 losses, and six ties in 33 Ryder Cup Matches. It's not the record you would imagine from a guy that's been No. 2 for, you know, pretty much most of the last ten, 15 years.
COREY PAVIN: You know, Ryder Cup is interesting stuff. You can look at players over a history and be amazed at some of the things you see. I've seen great players lose matches that you never think they would. I've seen players that you wouldn't give much chance do some amazing things.
Ryder Cup is very interesting. Things just seem to come out a little bit differently than you expect. It's match play. You play with partners. It's different. So you know, to me, more the question is, are these players playing their hardest and playing their best. And you know, I always see everybody playing their hardest and best, and that's all you can do.
Q. At the start of the day, you were trying to get in all of the matches. How much of a body blow do you think it was to the team when Lee holed that long putt at the 10th?
COREY PAVIN: I didn't think it was that big of a body blow; but at the same time, I think Zach made a long putt on No. 8, I believe.
But that's the way the matches are. Things happen. Putts are made. Shots are holed. Chips are made. Putts are missed. I mean, it happens all the time.
So what I saw was steady progress today by Team USA. And that's what I wanted to see. I wanted to see these guys fighting, grinding, playing hard, and that's what I saw all day today.
Q. The crowd seemed to be behind the European revival today; how difficult did your guys find it to be out there with that largely European crowd?
COREY PAVIN: I don't know how they thought about it, but I thought it was quite fun. I enjoy that atmosphere personally. I enjoyed it long ago when I played over here, and it's something I always thought was a pretty special time.
So I'm sure that every one of the guys on Team USA wanted to make putts to not hear that.
Q. You probably know this; that Monty ordered a re-designed Jumbo scoreboard to show more of the results. What did you think of that?
COREY PAVIN: I think it's great. You know, more fans can see what's going on. You're talking about the boards on the course, right? And being able to watch it on TV, in essence? It's great. I stopped and watched it a few times to see what's going on. It's nice for the fans to be able to sit in one spot and watch what's going on and then see live action, as well. It's a pretty good idea.
GORDON SIMPSON: Hot off the press is here.
COREY PAVIN: You don't mind if I take a minute, do you? (Reading over singles matches for Monday.) Okay. Do you want me to just read them off?
The first match off at 9.05 is Lee Westwood and Steve Stricker.
9.17, Rory McIlroy and Stewart Cink.
9.29, Luke Donald, Jim Furyk.
9.41, Martin Kaymer, Dustin Johnson.
9.53, Ian Poulter, Matt Kuchar.
10.05, Ross Fisher, Jeff Overton.
10.17, Miguel JimĂ©nez, Bubba Watson.
10.29, Francesco and Tiger.
10.41, Edoardo and little Rickie.
10.53, Peter Hanson and Phil Mickelson.
11.05, PĂˇdraig Harrington and Zach Johnson.
And who can tell me the last one? Mahan, right? McDowell, very good. It's hard to remember 12 names, isn't it? (Laughter).
GORDON SIMPSON: Some quick questions then.
Q. Why is Tiger going so deep in the lineup?
COREY PAVIN: I think that's a great spot for him. You know, if the matches go well, to start off, I think the 8th slot is a very important slot. I mean, they are all going to be important slots tomorrow. But I think having Tiger there gives someone that I can put in that spot that I feel like is going to have a great chance to win his match, and end up being an important spot possibly.
Q. Can you run us through your rhyme and reason and rationale of the order, what you came up with?
COREY PAVIN: Well, we basically sat up last night and said, 12 we wanted to win 12 points, what order do we put the guys out in. So that's what we did. (Laughter) How's that for reason?
Q. So it looks like Colin is going with all of his sort of top to bottom, strongest down, with the exception of putting McDowell in the anchor match. Did you anticipate something like that, or did you not even think about what he may have been thinking; that he wanted to get early points?
COREY PAVIN: Well, you know, I wanted to go out and obviously, as you can see, that I've put experience out, certainly, in the first three guys. I want to get on the board and get going. I would have done this -- as I said, this is a pairing I would have done no matter what the situation was.
So I put experience out for the first, and I've put guys that have been playing very well lately in the next few spots -- gosh, quite a few of the next few spots. And I finished off with I thought guys that can handle pressure of a Ryder Cup win on their shoulders. The last three spots in particular, 10,11, 12, I feel that Phil, Zach and Hunter are good people to have in a very high-pressure situation that could develop in those slots.
Q. It looks like Monty had the same idea, at least front-loading up top, and then falling down from there. Is this a theory that you think in times before, you've always questioned the singles and how captains have done it on both sides; do you think this is the best theory, to front load when you're in this situation?
COREY PAVIN: Well, it's funny the way you ask that, because we're in exact opposite situations, and we did the same thing.
So I guess your question is, in any situation, do you think this is the best way to do it. Is that what you're asking? I'm just trying to ask for clarification.
Q. I understand. I think it's just interesting that you both did the same thing pretty much?
COREY PAVIN: It is kind of interesting, isn't it? (Laughter).
It is similar, I agree.
GORDON SIMPSON: I'm afraid, everyone, we have to wind it up.
End of FastScripts