November 14, 2001
GORDON SIMPSON: Welcome to the EMC2 World Cup. You've been here before. Mike, last year you played in Buenos Aires, and Ian, maybe if you could start off and tell us about how you feel about representing your country here this week?
IAN LEGGATT: I'm very excited, especially playing with Mike. It's good, the last time I played was with Rick Gibson. It's the first time we ever played together. I played a lot with Mike in the past and now I'm really looking forward to having a fun week.
GORDON SIMPSON: Mike, you're in pretty hot form at the moment having won THE TOUR Championship. You must be feeling good about this week, as well?
MIKE WEIR: Yeah, I think if Ian and I can put it together this week we have as good a chance as anyone. The golf course is in perfect condition. I think really this event really comes down to the four-ball. Those two days, if you can really gel together well in the alternate-shot format, I think that's what it really comes down to. So hopefully we can play well in that.
Q. Two things, Ian. Where did you finish on the Money List this year?
IAN LEGGATT: 133.
Q. So you had the grind of the season and you're here, and then I guess you're going back to the final stage of Q-School?
IAN LEGGATT: Exactly. It's going to be pretty hectic the next couple of weeks, but I'll have a good break before finals. So that will work out nice.
Q. Obviously, it was a grind at the end of the season trying to keep your card, do you feel -- how is the pressure different this week playing for your country and not wanting to let the country down, as opposed to playing for yourself, trying to make a living and keep your card?
IAN LEGGATT: I think it's a little different for us in Canada. In the past, I think Canada hasn't really had a world-ranked player. So, you know, with Mike being the world-ranked player that he is, it makes a big difference. A lot more people are watching. You're right; there is a lot more pressure playing in a World Cup, than, I would say, three or four years ago when I played. But leading into Tour School and playing for myself, I'm still in pretty good position for next year. We'll be able to play quite a few events. So knowing that I can go to finals, and all I'm really going to do is improve my position, I'm not really losing my card. So it helps a lot for making me feel a little bit relaxed. Tour School is not very much fun at any time, but I think I'm in a better position than a lot of guys.
Q. For both Mike and Ian, how is your game style? Is it kind of similar, distance-wise, shot-wise?
MIKE WEIR: Yeah. I think our games are fairly similar. You know, Ian is probably a little longer than I am, but I think we play a fairly controlled style of game. You try to play the percentages out there and I think that's hopefully where we will complement each other on the golf course the next few days.
Q. You said the four-ball match is more important, what do you mean by that?
MIKE WEIR: Well, I think the four-ball is more important because in the best ball you can really -- if you have a bad hole, you can rely on your partner, where in the alternate-shot, you have to rely on your partner but in a different way. There's only one score really that you can rely on so you can't afford really a mistake. I played with Glen Hnatiuk last year and we were right there: The best-ball days I think we shot 60 and 61 which were close to the lead at the time, but on the alternate-shot days we shot kind of in the mid-70s. So a big difference there. That was really where we got behind. There can be such a big gap between -- you can make up a lot of ground or you can lose a lot of ground in alternate-shot. Teams who really play well in that format really excelled well last year, I noticed, so that's what I mean by that. You know, you can be quite a ways behind, even on the last day since it is the four-ball match on the last day and really you can pick up a lot of ground, where in the best ball it's tough to puck up a lot of ground. You can pick up one or two shots, but in the alternate-shot format, guys can shoot 74 or 75 if you don't get it going. But if you get it going, you can shoot 65 and pick up eight or nine shots. That's where the big gap is or can be.
Q. For the alternate-shot, which holes will you guys tee off and whose ball will you use?
MIKE WEIR: Well, luckily enough, we play the same ball. We both play Titleist Pro V1s. So that is not going to be a factor, which is nice. I think we decided that I was going to be the odd holes and Ian was going to tee off on the even. So just the way it's set up, and I figured Ian so take the longer walks back on the even holes. (Laughs). But just seemed like a lot of the even holes really set up well for Ian and the odd ones for me.
Q. The first point, you were not scheduled to come over here unless somebody else provided you with transportation after the September 11 incident; is that right?
MIKE WEIR: Well, that was the original plan. But it didn't work out that way. So we all flew over commercial over here. And for myself and Ian, it was important for us to come over here and play with represent Canada and it was important for us to get over here. Obviously, after the situation, September 11, myself and a number of other players were a little leery of flying. But I think as time went on, we just felt more comfortable and it worked out okay.
Q. Obviously, you are playing with one of the top-ranking players in this tournament. Do you have any strategies for playing with them? And Mike, do you have any point for Ian that will cover your weak points; and for Ian, do you have any point from Mike that can cover your weak point?
IAN LEGGATT: Like Mike said earlier, both our games are fairly similar. So I don't think -- we know we are not going to be able to compete as far as distance with guys like Vijay and Tiger. So we just play the percentages and we have sort of decided on how we are going to play out here and sort of attack certain areas. So, you know we are just going to play our own game. That's how we both have been successful in the past. We really can't come out here and decide, you know, we're going to try and do things that we haven't been doing the last ten years or whatever. But we are very comfortable with the golf course.
Q. Mike, one of the other players said he thought this course will play into the Americans' hands, but is there any course that doesn't?
MIKE WEIR: Well, I don't believe so. I mean, it plays into anybody who is playing well's hand, really. So I think any team who really puts things together well and gels well in four-ball, as I said. And the greens are in such perfect condition that anybody who gets really hot with the putter is going to have a big advantage out there because if you get a good feel for the pace and the speed of the greens, you can really knock in a lot of putts. And that's what it all boils down to each and every week. So you know it's nice that both David and Tiger hit a long way, but on the other hand, it sometimes doesn't mean a whole lot. You've still got to get the ball in the hole. And the golf course is in perfect condition. So hopefully Ian and I can get hot with our putters.
Q. You've won the Air Canada, American Express, and THE TOUR Championship, is it usually like that, fall events, your golf game gets better during the fall?
MIKE WEIR: Well, that is the way it's worked out lately. You know, it's just coincidence, really, but it's a nice coincidence. I'll take a win whenever I can get it. But I can't really put my finger on why it's happened that way. It's really just coincidence, really. But it's nice to play well in the fall because there are some important events, this being one of them. So hopefully I can continue that this week and Ian and I can both put it together this week, as well.
Q. How often in tournaments have both of you guys played in Japan?
MIKE WEIR: I played one event when I was in college, the Shiseido Cup, in 1992, and that was the only time.
IAN LEGGATT: I've played quite a few. I played the Korean Open playing on the Asian Tour. I think four or five times maybe.
Q. This event has been held in Japan, this is the third time. The first time was in 1957 the named was called Canada Cup. And the Japanese golf fans and the Japanese media people have special thoughts about this tournament because it has been the Canada Cup. Did you know that this has been the Canada Cup before?
MIKE WEIR: Yes.
Q. Can you give a little message to the Japanese fans?
IAN LEGGATT: Well, you know it holds to me personally growing up as a kid, you know, George Knudson won this tournament when it was called the Canada Cup. I think he might have been playing with Al Balding. So as a young kid growing up when George was my hero, you know that was sort of my first touch with world golf outside of what you see on TV as a kid. So the Canada Cup is very prominent for Mike and I when we were growing up because Canada did actually win it a couple of times.
MIKE WEIR: Yeah, the same thing. I think Barr and Halldorson some were the last Canadians to win this event. Like I said, I think it holds special meaning to Ian and I, and Canadian fans, as well, because it started as the Canada Cup. So to be playing in Japan, we were looking forward to such great golf fans here in Japan, and they have been really great fans so far in the practice rounds, out there cheering for everybody and we're really looking forward to putting on a good show for everybody.
GORDON SIMPSON: Good luck getting Canada's name back on the trophy again.
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