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September 26, 2014

Patrick Reed

Webb Simpson

Jordan Spieth

Bubba Watson


PAUL SYMES: Many thanks for joining us. A few people raised their eyebrows when Tom paired two rookies together, but I guess you proved them wrong.

PATRICK REED: When Tom told us we were going out together, we were excited. I've played a lot of golf with Jordan, not only professionally but amateur and junior career. I was very comfortable playing with him. Besides the first tee shot, we felt pretty comfortable and confident when we were out there, I felt like.

PAUL SYMES: Your first Ryder Cup, couldn't get off to a better start.

JORDAN SPIETH: We got a pairing we liked yesterday. No battle scars. I think everybody on the team wants Poulter and we were able to have him first. We started out both birdieing 2 to get going, and I missed a couple short putts. Patrick made a couple and then all of a sudden the hole looked bigger and we both kind of fed off each other nicely.

PAUL SYMES: Over to you, Bubba, probably not the start you would have liked, but I guess you came up against a pretty formidable pairing, they were both in great form.

BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, for sure. I think for me and Webb, too, we hit the ball well. We hit the ball pretty good. Hit my driver pretty well, but I just couldn't make any putts. Webb didn't make any putts really for birdie, and we didn't have a birdie. The other team just, when one was out of play the other one created some good moments. They made the putts. They hit the shots when they had to and they made the putts when they had to, so they beat us pretty handily.

PAUL SYMES: On to you, Webb, on the plus side, plenty of time to put things right. It's only the first morning.

WEBB SIMPSON: Say again?

PAUL SYMES: Plenty of time to put things right. It's only the first morning.

WEBB SIMPSON: That's right. Bubba and I have played a lot of matches together and today was one of our worst as a team, but I'm very confident. Like he said, we hit it great today. It's a matter of time before we start making putts. Momentum is so big and we never got any momentum today. They kind of had the momentum. They ham-and-egged it really nicely. I think it was big the way we kind of started. We had some opportunities early, and then I missed one on 9 knowing that they were probably going to make birdie. But our team, that's why we've got a great team, they pulled it out, a couple tight matches there at the end. Fortunate to be up after the morning session.

Q. Ian was just in here and he said you guys ham-and-egged it pretty well. Is that a chemistry thing or just good luck, or is it something a little deeper like you guys are picking each other up a little bit?
JORDAN SPIETH: You know, yeah, most of our birdies were on different holes. But at the same time, on holes where we made birdie, the other was in good position, anyway. We just hit a lot of greens together, so that's going to look that way. One putt may miss, the other may go in, but when you get a lot of looks from 20 feet and in, especially with a guy who putts as well as Patrick does, we're going to end up filling it up. So hopefully we get out tomorrow morning with the same idea. I mean, we've got all the confidence in the world, so we just need to, again, the key to that fourball format is getting two balls on the green in regulation.

Q. I was standing on the first tee as you were teeing off and you really seemed to be pumped up for the occasion. When you look at how the round actually panned out, were you too pumped up or do you just write this off as a bad day at the office?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I think I played quite well. First hole I missed the fairway. I missed three fairways all day. So very pleased at the way I was golf-wise. I 3-putted, that was the fastest I've seen that putt on No. 2, went way past the hole, and then it turned pretty hard. I misread it. I didn't think it was going to turn that hard on the shorter put. Missed the putt. Misread it on 3, as well from 12 feet, 15 feet, whatever it was to have a chance to win that hole. I just never made a putt. One much those things. Tomorrow I might hit the ball terrible and make everything, if the captain let's me play. But I just see it as, they beat us. You know, I didn't make any putts. And like I said before in my first press conference here, I've lost many a time. I'm going to lose again. I can't win everything. So just keep trying.

Q. Do you think the team has made a big psychological blow here by beating Poulter and Rory in the first matches? Is that a statement of intent?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, no doubt. I think not only did we beat Ian, but we beat Stephen, a local favourite here. They were very much behind both of them, but it was very quiet for our group and it was nice to go out and cheer Phil and Keegan onto some clutch playing down the stretch. It's definitely a blow. I guess you would probably write that their team of Rory and Sergio would be their strongest team, so for Phil and Keegan to go out there and get the job done was just massive for it to come from 1-down with three to go and pull that off. I think there's definitely a psychological blow. I mean, it was very, very quiet out there compared to what I think Patrick and I expected in the first round of a Ryder Cup over here, and that's the goal. That's our team goal is just go out there and play and kind of listen to it like it's just Sunday with your buddies. That's kind of what it felt like.

Q. Tom said that you guys were a little angry when you found out you weren't playing this afternoon. What was his explanation to both of you and how did you guys try to talk him out of it?
PATRICK REED: You know, whenever you feel like you're playing really well, I felt like Jordan was hitting the ball really solid and making a lot of putts and I was hitting it well and I was putting extremely well. I felt like in alternate-shot, him and I would have been great to go back out and take the momentum of what we just had done. But at the end of the day, Captain Watson, he picks pairings for a reason. He decides to put you in certain spots for a reason. I was over it when he told us we weren't, so we're just going to go rest, hit some balls and probably go out and cheer on our team.

Q. Can you describe the feeling of having the honour of hitting the first tee shot in a Ryder Cup, and was it off-putting at all being announced as Bubba Watson?
WEBB SIMPSON: What was the last part?

BUBBA WATSON: They announced me instead of you.

WEBB SIMPSON: Oh, yeah. It was a fun first tee environment. You can't really beat Medinah a couple years ago. We didn't really talk about it. I didn't ask him if he was going to do it again, but I think he was ready to see if I hit it in the fairway, which I hit it right down the middle today even though I popped it up.

BUBBA WATSON: You did pop it up.

WEBB SIMPSON: It was fun. I wasn't expecting him to make that mistake, but I guess he was looking at the wrong guy.

BUBBA WATSON: It was the first shot of The Ryder Cup. He was nervous, too.


BUBBA WATSON: Announcing names, he was nervous, too.

Q. Can you talk about in recent Ryder Cups, the 18th hole, they have won so many points on 18, and today the two matches, you guys got a halve and one. How important is it on 18 to get something out of it?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, for sure. Obviously I don't know the records of who has done what on 18, but yeah, today was very big. Got lucky. Some guys hit some shots that they are not proud of. So we made some key putts. Phil is pretty good out of the bunker, so hit a pretty good shot in there. Made the putt. Thought Keegan would have made his putt but obviously the 18th green, this whole week, is going to play havoc on everybody. That green is so difficult and it showed today. Nobody got up-and-down. Phil got up-and-down and Jimmy got up-and-down. They were the only two out of the groups -- what's that, eight people. Luckily it was on our side this time, so it was in our favour. Yeah, that hole is going to play tricks on everybody. It's a short par 5, but a very tricky green that's going to make it tough for everybody.

Q. You came off the first tee, you were chatting with Justin, I think, chatting and laughing together. Can you tell us what you were saying, and was there an intensity about the match afterwards? You obviously enjoyed the first tee joke but did you feel an intensity?
BUBBA WATSON: What were we talking about, like -- I don't remember. When he popped it up, I looked over at Justin before I teed it up, and I said, "Hey, don't laugh at him." (Laughter) I did. Remember, it's the Ryder Cup, we all want to win up here. We all want to win up here, but at the same time, The Ryder Cup is about growing the game of golf. We are not looking at it -- we don't hate each other. I don't hate Justin Rose. He beat me. Maybe next time I'll beat him. I don't hate him. He lives in the U.S. We are good friends, play on the Tour together. But no, it's a friendly match that should be growing the game of golf and if we get where we hate each other, it's probably not a good sport.

Q. So you would rather play as a friendly fourball --
BUBBA WATSON: No, I tried to win, but they beat us. I'm not mad about it. I'm not going to go home and pout. I'll come back tomorrow and hopefully I'll play and play better.

Q. To putt like that on your Ryder Cup debut is quite something. Can you tell us, was the atmosphere around the greens as you anticipated and was it something you thrived on?
PATRICK REED: When I started getting on the green this morning, when I was on the practise green, I felt like I was hitting a lot of really solid putts. After the first hole, when I got to hit my first putt on the second hole, it's easy to make putts when your partner is in there closer than you are putting for the same, for birdie. It kind of allows to get some stress off and almost freewheel and hit your putts how you want to hit them and be a little more aggressive. The main thing this week for me is just get the ball to the hole. The greens are slower than I'm used to, so with that, if I don't hit it, there's no chance. I feel like I'm reading them really well. Just need to get it to the hole. Like I said, with Jordan putting his ball into play just allows me to really zone in, feel I'm going to make the putt. And I get excited, especially out there, playing The Ryder Cup, and it's my first one; I want points and get as many points as I can for our team.

Q. What was the issue with your ball on the 12th?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I hit my second shot, kind of tried to lay up to a good number. I was in the lip of the sand trap and it was sitting on the side of the hill. The winds was gusting. I took two practise swings pretty close to the ball, but I stepped back and I was talking to Michael, my caddie, about the number. I had 71 yards to the hole and I was like, "What do you think? Playing around 75?" And he said, "I think maybe just a touch more." And by the time I got back, I went to take my stance, nowhere near grounding the club and I saw that my ball had moved, whatever -- I mean that much, maybe one dimple, but I saw that it moved so I stepped off. I called the rules official over and we had a big discussion, because apparently in the rules, there's a certain time frame where they would deem that I caused it to move based on my practise swings versus the conditions moved it. So we talked about it. From the time that I stepped back to the time I got back to where I saw it move, had to be five to ten seconds. And so at first, our rules official was saying, "I think that you deemed it to move." So he then called it in. They got back to us and said, you know, if it didn't happen within the first second or two of you striking the ground in your practise swing, then we can say that the conditions moved it. So I just played it as it lied, and there was no penalty. And it wouldn't have made a difference, anyway. We lost the hole. But it was tricky. There wasn't much grass and it was very muddy. I knew it would be easier for the wind to move it on mud versus my practise swings to move it, whereas if it was really healthy grass, sometimes your practise swing can move the ball a little easier. With those gusty winds, there's no doubt in my mind that I didn't cause the ball to move. And again, it didn't make much of a difference.

Q. A lot was made about how difficult the slower greens would be coming from the PGA TOUR, but you seemed to handle that well and putt quite aggressively today.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, took a few putts early and I didn't quite get to the hole. After that, Patrick actually came up to me, we were come be down 6, the par 3, and he said, "Neither one of us leaves another putt short today." Of course, my next putt I left short, but he made it on top. I think it was more on the greens. I don't think it was as much the pace or what they are on the Stimpmeter. I think it was more challenging to deal with how much the wind would move the ball when it was gusting there on 7 and 8 and a little on the beginning of the back nine. So the wind certainly affects it. You have putts that may be right centre but because of the breeze you have to play on the edge, and that's difficult and something we are not used to. But seemed to do a fine job of it today.

Q. Since this is your second time overseas, even though it's a great atmosphere, how would you compare the noise level to Wales? Did it seem a little quieter, and if it did, how much of it could have been the effect of cool temperatures, tougher conditions, fewer birdies, whatever?
BUBBA WATSON: It wasn't as loud. I think that, again, it was the temperatures, all the situation I think it -- you're right, it probably changes everything. We're just starting out, and there's not too much happened on the first hole in our match and not too much happened on the second hole. It just really wasn't as loud as normal. Even after we lost, when they won, wasn't much chatter out there. Rory's group, even when they took the lead with a few holes left, it wasn't as loud as you can hear roars at some of the other golf tournaments in the U.S. So yeah, just didn't seem as loud. I don't know what that is. Maybe it's too windy so the sound travelled different. I don't know what it is, but just seemed they were respectful for everybody's shot and everything.

Q. Amongst the whole team, is there any type of bond with the three rookies, and does that mean anything extra to see Jimmy get a half point and all three of you newcomers put something on the board?
PATRICK REED: It's always nice to see us go out and put on points, you know, it's our first Ryder Cup and I think it does a lot for us going out. And if you can at least get a halve like he did, and us winning our match, it just gives us more confidence going into the rest of the week. It's only the morning of the first round and we have a long ways to go until we can really celebrate anything.

JORDAN SPIETH: I think Jimmy, and this is saying something: I think Jimmy may have been the most excited to get this Ryder Cup started, and that's saying a lot. Jimmy has been freaking pumped from whatever his second win was when he pretty much thought he secured it. He has been thinking about this morning round since then. To see him go out there and have two chip-ins and the clutch birdie on the last hole is no surprise, but it's so awesome knowing how important it is for us as rookies to see the ball go in the hole early and to get a point or a half a point. We don't have the best history recently in this tournament, but if we can bring us new guys in, I don't know what we're doing for the guys -- I don't know if we are doing anything for the guys that have been playing here for a while. But to come in and make a splash, certainly can't hurt our team at all. To see Jimmy and Rickie with that comeback, and Phil and Keegan, that could have been down 3-1 early to up 2 1/2 to 1 1/2. That really could be key here once Sunday come around.

Q. Have you ever seen Jimmy pumped at anything?
JORDAN SPIETH: Oh, yeah. Jimmy gets pumped a lot. He just doesn't show you guys, I guess.

Q. When you came in, you said everyone in the U.S. Team wants to beat Poulter. Why is that? Has he succeeded in getting under your skin?
BUBBA WATSON: I just want to beat anybody.


BUBBA WATSON: I don't care who it is.

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I just think -- I don't know what it is. I shouldn't say everybody. I should say there are a few guys on our team that specifically would like to match up against Ian, and I know there are a few guys that came up and told us that they are very jealous that we had them today. We were excited about that. Yeah, we're not going to name who they are, but whatever it is, past history or just the fact that he's known as being kind of The Ryder Cup wizard for the Europeans, he's certainly not under our skin because we haven't dealt with him before and I don't think he's under anyone's skin. He's just made a lot of putts in The Ryder Cup and he didn't have his best stuff today.

Q. There's always pressure on a captain's pick to justify himself, but you're in a pretty unique position in it came out yesterday that Tom Watson had made a different pick before you had your text and phone exchange that night. Does that add a different layer of pressure because you literally took someone's spot in way?
WEBB SIMPSON: No. Like I said yesterday, I don't feel any different than if I had made the team. Obviously being a captain's pick, you want to, you want to have a good Ryder Cup to show your captain that you were a good pick and a value to the team. But yeah, that rumour, whether it's true or not, I don't really care. It doesn't affect me and how I play.

Q. These two guys have been through it, Patrick and Jordan, but did the reality match what you thought a Ryder Cup would be?
PATRICK REED: I could barely breathe on the first tee.

JORDAN SPIETH: I hit my 3-wood further than Bubba's drive (laughter).

PATRICK REED: That's one of those things, that you think you're nervous, and you think you've got the nerves out and you feel real confident, even if you have a great warm up like we did. And you get to that first tee, and all of a sudden, you're stepping up and they call your name out and you put that peg in the ground; I was the first one to hit -- I didn't know if I could pull it back. I was like, good thing the wind is howling off to the right, because I can hold onto it a little bit and hit this fly floater and know it was going to come back. The good thing is I was able to put it in the fairway so Jordan could go and hit his Bubba-long 3-wood.

BUBBA WATSON: Have them yell next you hit and see how it feels. It's not as easy as you think (laughter).

JORDAN SPIETH: On his point, I think that first tee was a really, really cool experience, one we won't forget: The cheers, the songs, everything. Captain Watson I think kind of lightened the mood for us, too, and got up there and tried to pump them up. They gave him a cheer and it was all in good spirit. Over here in Scotland, most people would agree, they may be the most knowledgeable fans in golf. They are very respectful, but at the same time you could definitely feel the adrenaline and you could feel that they were trying to get their team off to the right start early. With both of us hitting the fairway before they even hit and getting it down there in good position, we couldn't ask for much more off the first hole.

PAUL SYMES: Thanks, gents. We'll leave it there and see you tomorrow.
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