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September 16, 2011

Thomas Bjorn

Nicolas Colsaerts

Raphael Jacquelin

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Pablo Larrazabal

Matteo Manassero

Alexander Noren


Q. Half a point, fair result in that match?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, I think we are probably more happy than they are, and it was a hard-fought battle. Got a little bit lucky, they gave us the 9th hole and that kind of gave us a little bit of hope. But when it came down to it, we actually had some really good shots and started holing a few putts, and that was the difference earlier on.

Q. With every half point being crucial, how much pressure do you feel coming down the last hole when the match is in the balance?
RAPHAËL JACQUELIN: You could see that on my tee shots, a little bit more pressure at the end. But, yeah, starting to hole a few putts, so just trying to give us a chance on the weekend. I think we fight very well and it was pleasant to play with Thomas. I enjoyed it. Half a point is half a point. Better than nothing.

Q. Were captain last time; do you prefer playing or captaining?
THOMAS BJÖRN: You definitely want to play. Being captain in a team is good experience and good fun to do. But when you are a professional golfer, you want to be inside the ropes; and that's what you do for a living and that's the most important thing. I certainly enjoy a lot more playing, but you're at an age where captaincy comes into the equation in your life but I much prefer playing.

Q. Fancy playing with this fellow tomorrow in greens?
RAPHAËL JACQUELIN: Why not? Of course.

Q. Fantastic point for Continental Europe. Much better day today?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Yeah, much better today. We had experience from yesterday and we put it all together today. We did a solid round. We had more putts on the greens for birdies together many times, so I think that was the key, instead of yesterday I missed quite a few greens so we could have so many chances for birdies.
That was it I think. We have been solid all the round, and they come back really well at the end.

Q. Did you feel more relaxed today this being the first day?
MATTEO MANASSERO: I felt better today. It was good to have that experience because it helps you when you go one course another time. That's really important. We knew much better what to do today.

Q. Much better result today?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: Yeah, much better, we played great. I played a lot, lot better than yesterday. Yesterday I helped only a few holes with Miguel, and today I played so much better. The result is there.

Q. Is there less pressure today being the second day?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: A lot of pressure playing the last. That means the captain is looking for the last point there if all the things are tied. We are a great pairing.

Q. And how about that shot at the end, fantastic?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Fantastic, yes to, put the flower on top. Nice, great way to finish.

Q. You were hitting it very close today.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: I hit very good from the greens, from tee to greens, very solid. Good competition today. Very nice.
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: The difference was that I think today, we have been both in play all the time. So that takes the pressure out of you. Yesterday in almost every hole, one was out of play, and most of the time it was me. So today, I put the ball more in play.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Back to the tee, you know (laughing).
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: I helped Miguel do the job.

Q. Quick few words from you about the day?
THOMAS BJÖRN: We came out as a team today, and we wanted to make up for yesterday and to some extent we did that. And that was the important thing. There's a couple of guys that wasn't feeling great after yesterday, and they all got something out of it today.
And all of the team is now providing something, and that was important. It was important that we got Alex and Peter playing and a good win for them and me and Raph, we got that halve and that's vital for where we are right now.

Q. At the worst it's going to be 6 1/2 - 4 1/2, or even better than that.
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, it was a massive day in what we were trying to achieve. Now we're in it.

Q. What was the feeling in the room this morning?
THOMAS BJÖRN: You know, we had a long chat about it yesterday. We were prepared to play and everybody came out with a look in their eyes this morning, and they wanted to be on the golf course, where yesterday it was almost a bit of a holiday mode. We came out today and wanted to play, all of us, and we did.

Q. A great lesson for some of the younger ones about what team golf is really about?
THOMAS BJÖRN: You can't rely on your partner. You have got to go and play your own golf. That's the message that we have been trying to get across. You cannot at any stage try and think that your partner is going to do it for you. You have to play 18 good holes, and there's no way around it.
But we did the job that we wanted to do today.

Q. Greensomes tomorrow is a form of golf that virtually none of us play; is it a difficult format or one that --
THOMAS BJÖRN: No. I would say that it's -- foursomes is the one that's very difficult. There's a lot of hard work in that, and you need people with experience and knowing how to work very hard on the golf course in foursomes; in greensomes, there's a bit -- because a bad drive doesn't mean anything. But two bad drives is a disaster.

Q. Obviously the technical thing where you won't necessarily choose the longest drive.
THOMAS BJÖRN: My theory is greensomes, it's the guy who feels the most comfortable on the greens. Six, seven, eight yards, guys at this level, it's getting guys that putt well, getting them to putt as much as possible.

Q. Nice to finish that one off there.
NICOLAS COLSAERTS: Yeah, too bad, because we were up all day. We got to 3-up. They fought back, two birdies in a row, which didn't really make our task any easier. But it's been great playing with Matteo for the first two days.

Q. Are you impressed with how he's handled it for someone so young?
NICOLAS COLSAERTS: Yeah, today he definitely upped the task, and you can see he's very great.

Q. So mature, as well.
NICOLAS COLSAERTS: Yeah, he's got the total package. When you look at me, it took me ten years to pretty much get to where he is now. So very delighted.

Q. And you did all right, too.
NICOLAS COLSAERTS: Yes, it's all big smiles. These blue shirts are all smiling. We needed to turn things the other way around.

Q. Compare to yesterday because that was some performance, wasn't it?
ALEXANDER NOREN: Yeah, we both played well today. I played in front of him, every time in front of Peter and I played well enough, you know, for him feeling comfortable I think. And he holed so many putts and he made a lot of birdies and he didn't have to putt sometimes. And then I made a couple of birdies and he just kept on going. In the end, I think we played -- both of us played well, and that helped us, even when they came back on 10 and 11 with birdies, or 11, 12, and we still just kept playing our games.

Q. And you really kept it going on that back nine in particular.
ALEXANDER NOREN: Yeah, and then especially that 14, 15, I think birdies there -- well, we didn't get to putt on 15.

Q. Compare it to the first day?
ALEXANDER NOREN: Yesterday was kind of weird. Like we wanted so much, and especially I wanted to play well and I kind of cramped a bit and didn't make any birdies -- well, a few birdies. But didn't let it happen and kind of tried to make it happen, and in golf, it doesn't really happen very much like that.
I don't know, we knew what we had to do today to make it a tournament, and it was a little bit easier today.

Q. I'm sure it's a combination of so many things, but was there something that Jean said or that you told yourself being down yesterday that just got you in a better spirit today?
ALEXANDER NOREN: Well, maybe. Maybe helped a bit that Peter lost as well, yesterday, and today we just said, you know, just try to hit some good shots, because not either of us played any good yesterday. Just hit some good shots and we'll see if we can make some birdies, more than trying to make it so perfect and trying to win the match. Instead, just go out and play, help each other on the greens, because yesterday me and Thomas did everything on our own and tried to play really as your own game and try to put together a lot of birdies. It didn't really happen.
Today, we helped each other on the greens, which was easier. So it was a little bit more relaxed maybe than the first day.

Q. I take it you're enjoying it overall just being part of a team?
ALEXANDER NOREN: Yeah, it's fantastic for me, because you don't play these things too often. You feel more pressure, but also more enjoyment. You feel more than in a usual event when you just play for yourself.

Q. Great camaraderie, and you all gel regardless whether you're Swede, Spanish or whatever?
ALEXANDER NOREN: It's fun to play together and it's fun to play foursomes with somebody, and not just by yourself.
And yeah, it's great. Especially winning games, it's a lot easier than not winning. But all a great group of guys and it's great with the different experiences, as well. Some guys have been in a lot of Ryder Cups and some like me have never been. It's the second team thing I've done as a pro. It's fantastic.

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