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THE PRESIDENTS CUP


October 3, 2013


Jason Dufner

Zach Johnson

Matt Kuchar

Jordan Spieth


DUBLIN, OHIO

JOEL SCHUCHMANN:テつ Straight to questions.

Q.テつ Jordan, how did it go playing with Steve, you get off to a rough start, looked like he came up, talked you through that.テつ Talk about the whole round and even at the end how it started to go.
JORDAN SPIETH:テつ Yeah, he was the perfect player to play with.テつ Made a good birdie on 1.テつ Birdied 1,3 and 5.テつ It was obvious that the meshes were affect me at the part.テつ Played 1 well and I was out a couple hole.テつ He came up to me, and said, I know you've got the nerves going but hey let's start playing some golf now.テつ He was extremely supportive and helpful in getting me going.テつ Made a putt on 6 and then we were both rolling from there.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the fact that the U.S. won the four‑ball session for the first time since 2003?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ That's a stat that I've heard, just over the Golf Channel telecast.テつ Doesn't seem to be a weakness for us, but I guess we haven't it the success‑‑ I don't see it as being a weak format for the U.S. side.テつ It's great to be on top day one.

Q.テつ Could you talk about the genesis of the thing with Tiger, the Fresh Prince and why did you do it?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ I'm not a huge fan of bumping knuckles, I thought there was something a little extra, something fun to do.テつ Baseball high‑fives look like a lot of fun but look a little too complicated so we went old school with the Fresh Prince of Bel‑Air, a little snap‑back after you slap hands.テつ It's fun, I figure he's kind of like Mike Carlton, and we really had a good time doing it out there.

Q.テつ So it was your idea?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ My idea, yes.

Q.テつ The Internationals came in and said the rain delay maybe wasn't so much getting them hot as it was cooling you guys off.テつ Could you feel anything after you guys went out there after the rain delay, was there just something missing that maybe was there at the start of the day?
JORDAN SPIETH:テつ No, we went back out‑‑ they had an advantage specifically for our group on No. 8.テつ Steve was 18 feet away and I was in the sand and Ernie had not hit yet.テつ We went back out and Steve proceeded to make the 18‑footer right in the middle of the hole, and then we birdied 10,11, 12, 14‑‑ I don't think we necessarily cooled off.テつ We definitely‑‑ right behind us with Tiger and Kuch, they weren't cooling off.
So I don't think it really had any bearing whatsoever on any of the matches.

Q.テつ How much scoreboard watching do you do playing in the last group compared to a normal tournament?
JASON DUFNER:テつ For me I'm always watching the score board to be honest with you, even in regular tournaments, but these team events, too, I always want to know how other guys are doing.テつ Especially in this format with teammates and stuff, just see how the matches are going.テつ I look at it a good bit.テつ So, you know, it was nice to see that we had a lot of red up on the board early and hung onto a good bit of that red, and you know, being the last match, like you said, you can see a lot more than if you were out first or second.
So I kind of enjoy that part of it, too.

Q.テつ Over the years in these team competitions, for whatever reason, there's been so difficulty with partners for Tiger, not always, but in some cases they have talked of how tough it is to play with him for whatever reason.テつ Curious from your standpoint, obviously didn't look that way for you.テつ Wonder if you can just talk about that.
MATT KUCHAR:テつ Yeah, we've become good friends.テつ We seem to have played a lot together a lot more recently.テつ I certainly think a lot of his game, and he's been helpful to me.テつ Just a lot of different shots, picking his brain, asking some help.テつ We enjoy each other's company.
I think he's had a great partner in Stricker.
ZACH JOHNSON:テつ (Nodding head).
MATT KUCHAR:テつ Those two are a fantastic fit together.テつ I wasn't sure I was going to change that setup.テつ I thought that's been a good fit.テつ Those two, there's a lot of mutual respect, and both of those guys, you'd love to have either one as your partner; for me to get a chance to partner up with Tiger is a thrill, an honor to be selected as his partner.テつ I think I may relax him a little bit out there.テつ I think my game‑‑ Steve and I laughed last night about it.テつ We said, "We're interchangeable" he and I.テつ We are both consistent and I think you can count on us to hit a lot of fairways and greens, and pretty handy with the putter, as well.テつ We saw the two of us as interchangeable pieces.
But I really enjoyed playing the last couple days with Tiger, and then we continued having some good success today.

Q.テつ Staying on that subject, with all the celebrating, it looked like you and Tiger were having a lot of fun playing with each other out there.テつ Can having fun help you play better, or do you have to play better in order to have fun?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ That's a tough one.テつ I think most people tend to play better when they are enjoying themselves.テつ I don't know that one necessarily proceeds the other, but certainly it holds true for me that‑‑ I would say that if I'm in a good mood, I'm enjoying myself out there, tend to play a little bit better golf.テつ And maybe it kind of carries over, maybe in the team competition, help a partner enjoy themselves, have a good time.テつ It's just part of the teamwork out there.

Q.テつ How would you describe this first Presidents Cup experience and how would you compare it to anything else you've ever been in?
JORDAN SPIETH:テつ Yeah, I can't compare it to anything else.テつ It's the greatest honor I've received as a golfer; to play alongside these guys, I didn't think it would be possible this year.テつ And just to get that call to be here and go through the whole process, and now I'm through with day one.テつ It's one thing to watch it on TV like I've always done, and it's another thing to be part of it and inside the ropes.テつ Words can't describe how much fun it was today.テつ We had an awesome match, and our team obviously played extremely well.テつ There was no stress from the get‑go.テつ There's a lot of red on the board, which when you look on the board and see that, it only inspires us more.
Yeah, it's a tremendous honor, and we've got a lot of work to do the next few days.

Q.テつ When did you finally settle down?テつ You talked about having a case of the nerves, and were you at all surprised after everything you've been through this season that you were nervous?
JORDAN SPIETH:テつ Well, I think we all experience nerves to a certain extent every week, especially if we are in contention.テつ It doesn't necessarily mean that it's negative.テつ A lot of the times, these guys most of the time, channel it as positive energy and they perform even better under pressure.
So when I say nerves, it didn't necessarily mean that it forced me to play bad in a sense.テつ I mean, I was out of a couple holes, but I hit some good shots, too.テつ I think once Steve made his third birdie on the first five holes, right then and there, I was like, all right, he's got my back, there's no need to worry anymore, and made a putt on the next hole.テつ Once you make a putt, I think for everybody, it settles you down a little bit and you get a little confidence.

Q.テつ Wanted to ask you about how your stamina was, and was it a goal to go out there and not have to go the distance because of how you might feel?
ZACH JOHNSON:テつ Well, to not go the distance‑‑ Matt, I'm talking (laughter).テつ To not go the distance is always the goal‑‑ well, in the positive side of things.
We played, what, nearly 15 holes; that certainly doesn't hurt my legs.テつ Yeah, this morning, my legs were‑‑ it kind of felt like‑‑ I putted right when I got here at about 9:45 just to get some more putts in because I didn't get any practice in Monday and very little on Tuesday.テつ So my legs felt like I had just done a workout, and I had not done anything yet today.テつ Just a little tired, a little fatigued.
But I've been drinking a lot of fluids, I think proper fluids for the most part, and just trying to get a lot of rest.テつ I haven't done much in the evenings and just trying to stay fresh.テつ But once I got to the first tee, energy and the excitement of playing was not very difficult.

Q.テつ You had come in playing very well, you just won a tournament recently and I just wondered if you had some concern that whatever you had, the flu or whatever, was sort of going to knock you off that, because you had a nice run leading up to here.
ZACH JOHNSON:テつ Absolutely, I was very concerned.テつ Monday morning, I was supposed to fly here with Matt and his wife and the Loves.テつ There was no way I could‑‑ I mean, I could have got on a plane, but at that point, I mean, I could have given it to them, so, not smart.
There was a time even Monday in the afternoon where I'm thinking, Holy Cow, I didn't know the rules and regulation of the tournament, can we get another player if need be or someone on stands by.テつ Those thoughts went into my mind.
Tuesday morning, we had a flight situated and I got up and I felt miraculously way, way, way better.テつ I didn't do anything on Monday.テつ I was in bed all day, proper sleep.テつ Sunday night to Tuesday morning, I was in bed, and trying to drink and eat bananas really.

Q.テつ But the game was still there?
ZACH JOHNSON:テつ Fortunately the game is okay, yeah.テつ Yeah, it's fine.テつ My legs are a little tired but I'm all right.テつ I'm still putting okay.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN:テつテつ Thank you, gentlemen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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