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September 29, 2012

Jim Furyk

Brandt Snedeker


KELLY ELBIN:  Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk joining us at the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club, in a match in which they never trained, Jim and Brandt earlier this morning defeated Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell 1‑up in the foursomes matches here.  Gentlemen, congratulations, and starting off, Brandt, with a comment on gaining your first victory in a Ryder Cup.
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, it's a huge monkey off my back.  It was obviously a tough way to end yesterday, so to come out here today and play the same team again felt like I had something to prove to Jim and to them that it was not going to be the same guy they saw yesterday.  I thought Jim and I played great both days.  They just played a little bit better than we did yesterday.  But today was really good golf.  We didn't put ourselves in trouble except for one time.  Jim and I teamed great.  We had a lot of fun out there and it was great to beat one of their best teams and get us that much needed point.
KELLY ELBIN:  Comments, please, Jim?
JIM FURYK:  Yeah, I just enjoyed the pairing.  It was good to get out there and battle with Brandt.  He's a wonderful player, was tough as nails for both days.  I know we had a bitter feeling yesterday, sometimes when you get so close, we battled back from 3 down, had our chances at 17 and 18 and making the bogey at 18 and losing the point was kind of a bitter pill to swallow after storming back.
I was happy to have it flipped, the role reversed today, be 2‑up, and we were able to hang on.

Q.  Jim, is Rory the marked man you thought he would be when you said that a few weeks ago?
JIM FURYK:  I'm pretty sure if you review the tape, I did not say that.  What I said was that in the FedExCup, he was the marked man because he was the best player in the world and he was No.1 in the FedExCup points.  Then we started talking about the Ryder Cup in that interview, and the headlines the next day were that I said he was a marked man.  But those were‑‑ I promise you, I'm not an inciteful person‑‑ I'm not one to incite the other team or give them any bulletin board material, and I'm pretty sure most of them over there know that about me anyway.
But no reason to‑‑ just let the sleeping giant lay and not bother them too much.

Q.  You understand that's what made it such a great story, though?
JIM FURYK:  Well, yeah, and I'm pretty sure the writer will say, well, I didn't do the headline, so don't blame me.

Q.  Going back to yesterday, I was just curious if you could go over that stepping in the way you did on the 2nd hole when the ball was just ahead of the sprinkler head, what caused you to go over there?  Did it serve for any opening contentiousness, and is it something that would be given in a regular 72‑hole tournament?
JIM FURYK:  No.  I guess I would say this:  I looked over to see what was happening, I saw that he was going to get relief and get to probably drop the ball into the fringe so they'd be putting rather than chipping, and when I looked to see where the ball was, I believe it was a good four inches, I'm being probably conservative, four to five inches ahead of that sprinkler head.  It was pretty well reset into the ground.  But I don't believe‑‑ there's no way in a medal play tournament unless you just have really‑‑ the rules of golf are pretty black and white but there are some gray areas where it comes down to the official's opinion.  They were going to gain a big advantage by being able to drop that ball.  He had a sticky lie and a very delicate chip, and to be able to putt that ball would have been a huge advantage, and I really didn't feel in any situation, whether it be match play or medal play, that that deemed a drop.
As I told Graeme and Rory, I don't blame you for trying, for asking.  Trying is a bad word; I don't blame you for asking.  Graeme said, I thought it was about a 50/50, and you're entitled to your opinion.  I just disagreed with the official, and to have the head referee come out and look at it, he didn't really waste a lot of time.  He pretty much immediately said that he needed to play the ball as it lies.
Really all I was doing there was, again, I'm not trying to incite any tension or bother anyone, but it's my job for my teammates and for my team to kind of protect ourselves and the rules, and as Graeme said, he goes, it's your call, you can always ask for a second opinion.  I was told later on by the referee that he could overrule that.  He has the final call, the referee in our match, and if he wanted to say he gets a drop, he could have‑‑ he didn't need to call in the head referee.  But he felt like it was close enough that he should get a second opinion and see what he said.
I've never been involved in a situation where a second opinion has been overturned.  I thought that was kind of‑‑ I wasn't surprised because I thought I was right, but those rules officials tend to‑‑ in medal play events, they tend to stick up for each other pretty good.

Q.  You've been a veteran of many Ryder Cups.  Can you just compare the atmosphere out here today compared to some of the other Ryder Cups you've been in?  There's been a lot of talk about how raucous it is out there and maybe the first moment you realized it was going to be something a little different?
JIM FURYK:  Well, I think a lot of it, it's always a lot of fun, it's always a loud, fun, boisterous crowd.  At Brookline when I go back, Brookline was my first home event.  It wasn't maybe‑‑ it's growing it seems like every year.  I don't know how it's going to continue to do so, but it seems like it's growing.  We didn't play well on Friday and Saturday at Brookline, so the crowd was somewhat subdued, not related to their fault but ours.  We didn't give them much to cheer for.
And then on Sunday when we played very well, it flipped quickly and it got extremely loud out there.  We got beat up pretty good in Detroit from the start.  We never really were in the tournament.  We didn't give our crowd a lot to cheer about.  And again, that's our fault.
But at Valhalla, that event I think Paul Azinger did a good job making the crowd feel welcome, calling them the 13th man, like you would in a football game, having the 12th man.  He did a good job including them and making them feel like they were a part of it and telling them how much we needed them and how much we would respond to the noise that they made.
We got off to a good start there, as well, but that was a fantastic crowd, and this one has been much the same.  They were loud and rowdy, and I'm sure Brandt would say, it's probably the first time you show up on a Tuesday and you've got people chanting "USA," and you're still three days away from putting it in the ground, it's a lot of fun, but it's something we never see.
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, I don't have obviously any experience, but it's just crazy out there.  It's just absolutely crazy.  I think Keegan and Phil have got this crowd going absolutely nuts, and if you can give them anything at all to get excited about, they're going to, and that's what we need.  We need it to be loud and crazy and try to make people feel uncomfortable out there because any kind of advantage you can get, you need, and the crowd is doing an unbelievable job.

Q.  Brandt, I know you've played some alternate‑shot, but how tough has it been given the pressure of the Ryder Cup to play alternate‑shot, and do you look forward to playing your own ball tomorrow?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  It's been great, actually.  I played some alternate‑shot at a World Cup a couple years ago.  Obviously this pressure is a different animal, but when you have Jim as your backup valve over here, it's pretty comforting to know that no matter where I hit it, he's going to give me a chance at making up for it.  He did a great job of that today.  I think we teamed really well.  We both were really comfortable, we both helped each other a ton out there.  We both hit a bunch of quality golf shots and made some key putts, and when you're doing that, alternate‑shot is so much fun both a part of it, because you both feel like you are a part of it.  You both have a huge instrumental role in what's going on, and best ball, one guy gets on a roll, the other guy is kind of hanging around.  Alternate‑shot you cannot hide.  You've got to get out there and make sure you hit great shots.  Jim and I did a great job of that the last two days.  You know we didn't win yesterday, we battled hard yesterday and made those guys ‑‑ might not matter, might not ‑‑ but those guys had to play 18 holes yesterday to get that point.  In a week that stuff adds up.
I'm just glad the way we finished off today.

Q.  After the ruling disagreement on 2 yesterday, did either of you sense or feel any kind of tension with your team and theirs?
JIM FURYK:  (Nodding head.)

Q.  And did you relish a rematch when you found out you were going back out there play them?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  I didn't sense any tension.
JIM FURYK:  I didn't, either.
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Graeme was the one that asked to have the head official come out.  He didn't have to say that.  I don't think‑‑ I think they understood where we were coming from, and we understood where they were coming from, just wasn't our decision to make.
And the second part of that question?

Q.  Did you relish playing them again?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, when the pairings came out last night, I was so excited to go out there and give it another chance.  You don't often get that in Ryder Cup to go out there and face the team that beat you the previous day, and I'm sure they relished the chance to try to beat us again today.
I thought it was a great pairing for me and Jim.  We knew we could've won that match yesterday if we played a couple holes a little differently, and I know we went out there today and did it, and it was pretty special.

Q.  Davis has stuck with the same two‑man teams for four sessions.  Can you give a little insight into how he arrived at the pairings that he did arrive at?
JIM FURYK:  We threw our balls on the first tee (smiling).
I think it was probably a lot of asking everyone how they felt.  I think he asked everyone on the team, give me some ideas of what format you want to play, who you want to play with, who would they be.  And then also a lot of that happens behind closed doors.  He has four assistants he has relied on heavily with, and asked for their opinions.  So when we showed up this week, he had a good idea of kind of our Plan A, this is what we're thinking about, and I was just excited to find out that Brandt was going to be my partner this week.  I enjoyed every bit of the two matches we played together.
KELLY ELBIN:  Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker, congratulations.

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