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October 7, 2015
Songdo IBD, Incheon City, Korea
CHRIS REIMER: Want to thank everyone for joining us as we begin our pairing selections for round one, Presidents Cup 2015. To my left, I have from the rules committee of the PGA TOUR, Steve Carman.
At this time, we'll let him go over the pairings and we'll get started.
STEVE CARMAN: Good morning. For the first time, the matches will start with foursomes, alternate-shot.
As the defending team, the US team has the option to be selecting first players or deferring to the International Team for that selection. Captain Haas, what will be the choice?
JAY HAAS: We will defer.
STEVE CARMAN: Captain Price, International Team selection first.
NICK PRICE: Okay. Our first team out is Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama.
STEVE CARMAN: International Team selects Mr. Scott and Mr. Matsuyama.
JAY HAAS: The US team will play Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes.
STEVE CARMAN: U.S. Team selection is Mr. Watson and Mr. Holmes.
Next selection is Mr. Haas.
JAY HAAS: In the second match, the US will put out Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed.
STEVE CARMAN: U.S. Team selects Mr. Kuchar and Mr. Reed.
International Team selection, Mr. Price.
NICK PRICE: Okay. We're going to put down Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace.
STEVE CARMAN: International selects Mr. Oosthuizen and Mr. Grace.
International Team has the first selection in the next match.
NICK PRICE: Okay. For the third match we are going to putt out Anirban Lahiri and Thongchai Jaidee.
STEVE CARMAN: Okay. International match is Anirban Lahiri and Thongchai Jaidee.
Next team, Mr. Haas.
JAY HAAS: I you the US will match up with Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.
STEVE CARMAN: U.S. selection is Mr. Fowler and Mr. Walker.
U.S. selects next match No. 4.
JAY HAAS: In the fourth match, the US will post Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson.
STEVE CARMAN: U.S. selects Mr. Mickelson and Mr. Johnson, Zach Johnson.
International Team selects next.
NICK PRICE: For match four we choose Jason Day and Steven Bowditch.
STEVE CARMAN: International Team selects Mr. Day and Mr. Bowditch.
International Team selects first for the fifth match.
NICK PRICE: For five, we select Danny Lee and Marc Leishman.
STEVE CARMAN: International Team selection is Mr. Lee and Mr. Leishman.
Final selection will be the US team.
JAY HAAS: The US team will put up Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson.
STEVE CARMAN: U.S. Team selects Mr. Spieth and Mr. Johnson.
First tee time tomorrow, 11:05. Congratulations, men, and play well.
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you, Steve.
Q. Jay, why did you decide to defer?
JAY HAAS: That's what he told me to do (pointing to Fred Couples).
I think we've kind of done it every year, so --
Q. Okay. (Laughter). For both captains, could you explain if you actually had your five teams decided before you walked in the room or did it change while you were in the room?
JAY HAAS: We pretty much had the teams laid out. As far as positioning, maybe not, but our ten guys were pretty set. Is that what your question.
Q. When you say pretty set and possibly, did Bill Haas and Chris Kirk know they weren't playing tomorrow?
JAY HAAS: Yes.
NICK PRICE: We had a lot of options, so we sort of looked through some of them. But we pretty much felt there was some automatics there for us. But obviously we had to react a little bit to what they were putting down.
Q. So Sangmoon and Charl --
NICK PRICE: Charl is not well. Charl has got a really bad bug at the moment. He's in bed as we speak. So he was iffy for tomorrow. And he and Moon played yesterday. I felt kind of bad that I had to bench Moon, but I didn't want to split up any of the other teams that played yesterday and played well together.
Q. Could you tell why it took so long for you to fill out the third match, and just your overall thoughts on the five teams you're sending out there.
JAY HAAS: I think we felt good with the three remaining teams that we had on the table. Maybe a gut feeling, I don't know.
Again, we didn't have any match-ups in mind, anybody -- nobody wanted anybody or anything like that, it didn't seem like.
I'm going with the brain trust here on this.
FRED COUPLES: (Nodding).
JAY HAAS: A little drama maybe -- no real reason.
Q. Your overall thoughts on the teams you're sending out?
JAY HAAS: On the teams we're sending out, everybody has enjoyed themselves here. They all love the golf course and these guys follow them around and they all say they are hitting it great. They haven't come up with anybody that seems to be struggling. It's difficult to sit Bill and Chris. I just watched them play six holes and they seemed to be playing well, too. It's just a numbers game. People have to sit the first day, so they seemed good with it. They know they are going to play, so they were okay with it.
And the guys that are out there, they are ready to go, been raring to go for a couple days now. So we're happy with what we got. We're happy with our lineup, and the guys know they have to play well to win a match. Nothing is going to be given to them, and they understand that. They know how golf is.
I think they are anxious to get started. It seems like it's never going to get here and then seems like we've been playing a practice round for a week. I think the guys are anxious to get started.
Q. You chose Anirban and Thongchai; is there any thoughts on that, have you seen them play, and two of the top stars from Asia, you put them together and it took the US team awhile to decide who to play against them.
NICK PRICE: Both Anirban and Thongchai play a lot on The European Tour together. So they have played a lot of golf over the last four or five years. It was sort of a pairing that we thought, they are both very good friends, and that was one of the compatible things that we wanted to do. I think both Anirban and Thongchai could play just about anyone on our team.
But when I mentioned to them that I want them to play together, they were very excited about that. That's what I wanted; I wanted that enthusiasm and I wanted to see that -- I don't know, that feistiness in them. They were really excited about that.
Now, I have no idea why they took so long. I think they were just -- I don't know (laughing). It was fine.
Q. What was it about Jason and Bowditch that you wanted to put them together, instead of Jason and for example, Leishman and anyone else? What was it about those two?
NICK PRICE: They get on really well together. I had spoken to Jason awhile back about who he wanted -- he can play with anyone, honestly. I think the fact that Steve is a first-timer, he's a rookie, it will be great for him to have someone like Jason who he's obviously played a lot of golf with.
So to me, that was almost an automatic.
I think if you look at our team, I can honestly tell that you any one of those players, anyone can play with anyone. That's one of the great things about our team.
You know, Adam and Hideki played so well together last time. They were great. So they were sort of an automatic for us. But I just think Steve is going to be in great hands with Jason tomorrow. He's just one of the reasons why I wanted to put maybe a rookie with Jason.
Q. On Charl's health, could he have gone tomorrow? And I only ask that in the context of reduction of points?
NICK PRICE: I phoned him 20 minutes before I came here, and he's in bed. That was an option that was closed to us when we came in here because I really felt that he probably needs an extra day to get some strength back. So I think the doctor, the doctor saw him yesterday and he's going to see him again today. I think it's just some virus that he's got.
But I certainly hope that he's going to be in shape by Friday. But I don't know. I'm going to take that day-by-day.
Q. Was he at the barbeque last night?
NICK PRICE: Yeah, he was. Yeah.
Q. For you, Jordan and Patrick seemed to get on at The Ryder Cup last year. Curious why the switch up of those two --
JAY HAAS: You know, you'll probably see some of that later on in the week. Jordan and Dustin, they have been wanting this for awhile, wanting this pairing. And what Jordan wants, Jordan gets right now (laughter). So that was our thinking there.
And I think Matt is pretty easy to be with. Patrick loves the match-play aspect of it and certainly wants Jordan at some time during the course of the matches. But again, we wanted to get Jordan what he wanted here early on and maybe that can happen down the road.
Q. Who is the first one that approached you about wanting each other, Jordan or Dustin?
JAY HAAS: You know, it's kind of -- I think they probably get together and send me a text at the same time; it comes in at the same time. I think I'll agree with what Nick says about his team. Our team, I think one of the hardest parts is trying to decide who plays with who. Most everybody is easygoing and has said, it doesn't matter to me, I just want to win.
But at the same time, they have probably two or three guys that they would prefer. But then when they have give one guy this guy, then that changes a little bit the dynamic of it. I've been looking at these pairings now for the last couple weeks, and trying to come up with what I think is the best situation for everybody to succeed, and we've got some great input here in the last few days.
You can have great plans and things change. But the guys are ready; the guys are ready for that change if it happens. You get a hot hand in these things, and you ride it out. If you don't, then you make some changes.
Q. Fans around the world I'm sure are looking forward to seeing Jordan Spieth and Jason Day play against each other, and it looks like after today's pair results, you did not want that to happen the first day; is it true?
NICK PRICE: (Chuckling) there's only so much I can control. I put down -- it was actually Jay's choice, because -- let me see, yeah, Jay put Phil and Zach down.
I just felt I had a little bit of opportunity there at the end, but I'm not going to put match-ups just because what the media wants, okay, and what the world wants. I'm going to put match-ups there that I feel is best for our team. That's the most important thing.
And I don't think it would be fair to the rest of the team for me to single out one person and say, that's who I'm going to play against that person.
But it's difficult. You never really in control -- there's so many permutations, so many different things that can happen. But I wouldn't do that right now.
Q. Can you talk about bringing back the Adam Scott, Hideki pairing, and how is Adam putting?
NICK PRICE: Adam putted really well the last couple of days. He's had a month off and he's been working very hard.
He and Hideki, they play practice rounds during the year together. They are good friends. There's a lot of mutual respect amongst both of those guys and I think they are a great team, I really do. They both are veterans of this team. They have played a lot. To me, that was one of the automatics that I think we had, and I think we knew that was going to be an automatic for us.
Q. If the U.S. had picked first, would you have put had I deck and I Adam out first no matter what?
NICK PRICE: Oh, I couldn't tell you that (grinning).
Q. What kind of score would you be happy with tomorrow?
NICK PRICE: 5-0. (Laughter) Is that what you're asking? To be honest, what am I supposed to say? How am I supposed to answer that one? (Laughing).
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you, gentlemen. Good luck tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports