September 14, 1996
LAKE MANASSAS, VIRGINIA
WES SEELEY: We are joined by David Duval who is 3 and 0 in his matches to date, including a win this morning with Mark O'Meara over Ernie Els and Mark McNulty 4 and 3. So, how has your Presidents Cup gone?
DAVID DUVAL: So far, so good.
WES SEELEY: Just some general thoughts about your first three matches and then we'll turn it over for questions.
DAVID DUVAL: Well, yesterday I don't even know if we were ever behind at any point in either match. We seemed to start out quite well in both of them. And today it was a bit more of a struggle. Neither one of us were playing particularly well for about six holes and we were two down. And then we just kind of got it together and got on a roll and played the next nine holes 8 under par and closed them out.
Q. Do you feel this justifies Arnold picking you and going right along the points list, your performance so far?
DAVID DUVAL: I think our Captain was justified had I been 0 and 3 at this point. It's solely up to his discretion as to who he wanted to choose for the other two spots. And I don't feel like I have to make apologies for being chosen or justify myself for being chosen.
Q. David, I remember the Shark Shootout last year you expressed how excited you were, and how cool it was being around
Mr. Palmer. Has that got you fired up to play for him as the Captain?
DAVID DUVAL: Oh, yes, it's been a great experience, especially getting to know him more as a friend through this week, as much as anything. Not too many players behind myself are going to have that opportunity.
Q. There was an eagle in your match today. Was that yours?
DAVID DUVAL: Yes.
Q. What happened?
DAVID DUVAL: On 12, you want how everybody hit?
Q. No, just you.
DAVID DUVAL: I hit a drive down the fairway and had 215 yards to the green, 250 to the pin and I hit a 3-wood about three feet.
Q. Any thoughts on why you got off to the sluggish start today and what got it going at 7?
DAVID DUVAL: I don't know. I hit some ugly shots, too. It just wasn't a slow shot,. I hit back-to-back pop-ups off the tees on 5 and 6 - just some kind of funny things. I think it was -- I don't know, as much as anything getting that -- kind of breaking the ice on 7, rolling in a nice putt for birdie there kind of just woke us up and got us going again. We were only 1 down at that point and from then on it was just -- we both seemed to really start hitting it like we did yesterday.
Q. How do you feel the team took that comment from Peter Thomson the Norman/Allenby team was invincible. Was that a factor in the motivation with which you guys have played?
DAVID DUVAL: Maybe a little bit. I think we kind of -- I don't know. It's kind of, I guess, if anything, we found it a bit humorous. It's a bold statement and granted, you have two exceptional players in those two, but you just kind of step out like that and say that, we didn't put a whole lot of weight in it, really. We didn't know exactly the context it had been said. So we didn't jump to any conclusions.
Q. How about Arnold's reaction, do you think it fired him up?
DAVID DUVAL: It may very well have fired him up a bit more. (Laughter)
Q. Can you just take us through 7 on? You said you made eight birdies in nine holes.
DAVID DUVAL: Yeah, six birdies and an eagle. On 7, I hit a 7-iron up there, made a birdie. On 8, Mark and I both hit it about four feet and he putted first and he made birdie. On 9, Mark hit it about six or eight feet and made birdie. On 10, I hit it about 10 feet and made birdie. 12 is where I made the eagle. 13, I guess we tied. Then 14, Mark made birdie there. Mark made birdie on 15, and I kind of hinged my putt, but he made his.
Q. Are you guys just a good team together or how well do you know each other prior to this week?
DAVID DUVAL: I know him fairly well. I don't know everything about him, I guess. I know him about as well as I know most of the guys out here. And he was -- when I turned pro, at IMG, the same fellow was handling us. We played some practice games together. He's always been real good to me. And this week -- I don't even know if we played -- I think we might have played one practice round together. But I don't know if it's as much as just temperaments gelled and we just get along out there and we have the most confidence in each other. That's as important as anything.
Q. You guys are 3 and 0. Do you know why you got broken up, you're not playing together right now?
DAVID DUVAL: When Captain Palmer -- you'll have to ask him. Somebody -- not somebody - two people have to sit each round the first two days. Somebody's got to do it.
Q. Coming in did you look at all at O'Meara and say that might be a nice fit for me with his experience?
DAVID DUVAL: Not prior to this, no, but the one time we played here he said maybe you and I should just go out and play. And I guess he talked to Arnold about that and he listened to Mark and so from there we just kind of kept going.
Q. How much matchplay experience have you had?
DAVID DUVAL: As much as most anybody here, I guess. You have your certain few tournaments as an amateur, and that's about it
WES SEELEY: Certainly more recent matchplay experience. It's been a long time from amateur days for some of them. Were you nervous on the tee yesterday morning and were you less so as an old hat by today?
DAVID DUVAL: I was less so today and I was actually less nervous yesterday than I expected to be. I think that just came from being comfortable and how I was playing. I felt like I was playing well. So I felt if I just went out there and continued to hit good golf shots that things would take care of themselves. If I hadn't been comfortable with how I was playing, I think I would have been a lot more nervous than I was.
Q. You're the only guy out here of the 24 guys who doesn't have a win. Do you think this will maybe help the pressure here and just playing with these guys will help maybe push you over the edge?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, actually I think I have two wins. I feel like the wins I had on the Nike TOUR were exceptional wins. I didn't have a win on the regular TOUR, but I would sure hope it helps. I couldn't tell you if it will or not. I don't feel as if when I had the opportunity to win I've played poorly, with the notable exception of Atlanta this year when I just really didn't play well on Sunday when I was leading. But other than that, I felt like I've kind of stepped up to the plate and played well when I've had a chance. It's just in the end I came up a shot or two short.
Q. What do you think of the team's position right now?
DAVID DUVAL: Do you mean our team as a whole against theirs or do you mean the teams going out today?
WES SEELEY: The match status.
DAVID DUVAL: I'd prefer to be where we are than where they are. But I don't think with so many points available tomorrow, I think you really have to grind it out through this afternoon and just try and get as close as you can. We were hoping that if everybody played great golf today we could maybe get to 16 and a half today. The sooner the better. But we'll just keep going and see what happens.
Q. David, I watched yesterday after your matches and everything and you are really into the team concept, really into representing the United States. Would this be one of your goals from now on to make the Presidents Cup team, one of the goals that you'll set out at the first of the year?
DAVID DUVAL: Yes, along with the Ryder Cup team - this was one of my main goals for this year. And I played in the Walker Cup and the World Amateur teams, but those were four or five years ago now and I guess I lost a bit of a feeling you get when you're part of a team, especially with such good players. And I think it gives you a bit of a calming effect knowing that you have 11 other guys who are 11 of the best players in the world as your teammates. You just feel comfortable about that.
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