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November 18, 2011

Fred Couples

Greg Norman


STEVE CARMAN: Good afternoon, the session for determining the pairings for round three or foursomes tomorrow morning, International Team selected first in round one, and they will select first in round three.
GREG NORMAN: Our first team out will be Robert Allenby and Geoff Ogilvy.
FRED COUPLES: We'll go with Webb and Bubba; Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson.

FRED COUPLES: We'll then go with Billy Haas and Matte Kuchar.
GREG NORMAN: We'll go with Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa.

GREG NORMAN: We'll go with Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel.
FRED COUPLES: All right, against Goose, we'll go with Hunter Mahan -- we'll go with Hunter and David Toms.
FRED COUPLES: And we'll follow that with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson.
GREG NORMAN: We go with Adam Scott and K.J. Choi.

GREG NORMAN: And our final pairing will be Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day.
FRED COUPLES: Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk. Thank you. I'm staring at Frank like, nice job.
STEVE CARMAN: After the morning matches, you get 30 minutes and the players will start the afternoon matches. 7:00 am first tee time.
LAURA HILL: Captains, let's get just a couple quick comments on the results from today and we'll open it up to questions and talk about tomorrow's pairings. Greg, would you like to go first today?
GREG NORMAN: Well from my perspective and my team's perspective, we are extremely pleased with the end result today. We were looking for a long time like being 4-2 again. We are extremely proud of the way Aaron Baddeley bounced back from yesterday. I know he was kind of gut-wrenched a little bit by what happened on the 18th, but to see what he did, holing that 3 1/2 footer for a win on the last hole did him a world of good, did the team a world of good and followed up by Geoff Ogilvy doing what he did and holing the same-length putt, just as difficult, really helped us generate a lot of momentum.
We got a huge amount of confidence in the room right now. Yesterday took it out of us; today, we got it back again, with a little bit more energy and gusto in us this evening.
FRED COUPLES: I agree with Greg. It was a very exciting day. I think I'm proud of all 24 players as a witness to this. It was not much fun out there, I'm sure, for any of them. Obviously there were three teams that won on each side, so they had fun. But it was brutal.
Our team, we didn't lose ground. We still have a two-point lead. So any time, any slot time you can do that in six matches, I think we're fine with all that.

Q. Greg, Ernie is playing with Ishikawa again; what is the thought process behind that, and are you hoping that at this point he's learned enough from Ernie to actually earn a point?
GREG NORMAN: Well, Ernie asked for him actually. Ernie wanted to play with Ryo again. We talked with Ernie about it. We gave him other options. He really -- at the end of the day, he has no problem, he's completely comfortable with him. In the alternate-shot on the first day, they shot 4-under. They got beaten, yes, but they shot 4-under.
I like's Ryo's golf ball. He doesn't have a problem with it. So as far as Ernie's concerned, they played well and were beaten. Today was a tough day for everybody. Ernie, even himself, said, yeah, he's playing beautiful golf at the moment, and today just threw everybody out of whack just a little bit, and Ryo experienced a golf course that he's probably never, ever played before in his life. And he kept his head very, very high.
We asked Ernie, and then we asked Ryo; they both are very, very comfortable playing with each other, and as far as I'm concerned, the two guys ask to play with each other, then you let them play with each other.

Q. You said the conditions were brutal. What was the feedback from your players about how they thought it was?
FRED COUPLES: Well, the feedback was it was a long day. The rounds took a long time because there were very few holes won with birdies, and when you have four guys playing and you've got three, 4- and 5-footers for par every hole, it takes a long time to get through the round.
As far as the golf, when you play, someone is going to win a match. I mean, there can be ties -- I screwed that up earlier. But our guys, they fought hard, and some, they are not going to call it the toughest golf course they ever played; they are going to call it a very tough day.
If you were out there playing a round where you had to keep score, there would not be many scores under par today shot. So anyone who won some of those holes, besides a couple of the holes you could drive or get up near the greens, there just were not many birdies made. And that's the kind of course it is. It's in perfect shape. But it was just a long, hard day.

Q. I wonder if you've had a chance to say anything to Y.E. Yang and Kim about resting them tomorrow morning, and are you planning to play them in the afternoon?
GREG NORMAN: Well, the guys who rest in the morning do play in the afternoon. And no, we haven't had a chance, because we just got off the golf course. We went into our meeting with Tim and Frank and had a discussion with Ernie and Ryo and two other players, and we didn't have a chance. We were asked to come over here and actually were running late.
No, we haven't had a chance. I'm sure they completely understand it and they are fine with it.

Q. You are saying Tiger backed out tomorrow morning, you obviously have seen something in his game. Can you talk about the way he's played the last two days, and not earned a point yet; clearly you're confident in him.
FRED COUPLES: Yes. He laughed about it. Not many times where he doesn't win a point through a couple of rounds. But you know what, we are up by two points, and that's really all I care about at the moment. And I would say Tiger does the same.
He played very well today. Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley threw it all at them, and they won 1-up. I think Steve Stricker can't go five rounds; I wouldn't do that to him. So we went back with Tiger and Dustin tomorrow, and we are hoping that they come out and play well and get a point.

Q. Can I follow-up on Steve; is he feeling okay?
FRED COUPLES: He's feeling fine. But there's no way that Jay, I or John would put him through that. He felt like going best-ball would be better for him tomorrow, and at the same time, you know, if you understand this system, that alternate-shot, for some of our guys, is going to be a pretty quick round.
And then for Steve to go out and play in the afternoon, weather forbidding, he might be out there 5 1/2 or six hours. So some of these guys on both teams are going to have one long day tomorrow. So that's why we put Strick in the afternoon instead of with Tiger in the morning.

Q. You mentioned Aaron Baddeley; what do you think he got out of that round today? It was an immense battle. He's been in major contention before, but that was an epic match.
GREG NORMAN: Look, I think he will remember that match. He will remember the putt. He will remember the second shot he hit into the 18th green. He completely eliminated any negative thought that he had there from the previous day.
We all take positives, every one of us take positives. I can think back to shots that I used to play that gave me a huge amount of confidence. So that was a big booster for him. He knows he can do it under the gun. I mean, that putt he had on 18, the first putt, that wasn't an easy putt. The ball, once it gets to the hole, it starts going downhill afterwards. And for him to get it within three feet of the hole was just a magnificent job.
So now he knows he can do it. Now he knows he can 2-putt from 90 feet to win a golf tournament, right. He 2-putted today from 90 feet to win a point. It's no difference. I guarantee you, he was just as jumpy today as any time he's won any golf tournament in his life.

Q. Fred, kind of a two-parter, in all of your experience playing, in either this event or The Ryder Cup, do you ever remember a fourball session where so many holes were won with par? And secondly as you're out there looking at guys going into the weekend, when it's this difficult, is it tough to tell who is playing any good? Fred?
GREG NORMAN: Freddie, 1998, it was like this the first day.
FRED COUPLES: Today was, in our mind, on our side, was a 3-3 tie. We don't even ask the guys how they played. We don't even ask them how pure they hit it, how they are swinging it.
I said brutal; look, there have been a lot harder rounds of golf played. But just the golf course did not lends itself to any birdies so everyone thinks, they must not be swinging well. All of these guys played great. Geoff Ogilvy, just like Aaron Baddeley, made a very nice putt on the last hole to get a point. Yesterday we had Dustin Johnson make a 4- or 5-footer for us.
So those are as nice as 350-yard drives onto a green. But, you know, Greg said it earlier; this golf course is hard, and tomorrow, you know, they are all going to go out there and play. They have not lost their games because they just played in a 25-mile-an-hour wind.
So I think we are in great shape. And like Greg said, you know, this golf course -- we are all learning it. And today, we learned that you can't stop a ball on the green.

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