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October 2, 2016
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
JOHN DEVER: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the 41st Ryder Cup. I'd like you to meet the 2016 United States Ryder Cup Team. Gentlemen, thank you for your time and for being with us here today (applause).
I'm going to begin by asking United States Captain Davis Love III to perhaps describe his emotions and his thoughts on the day that was and the totality of this team effort and victory.
DAVIS LOVE III: That will take a while. Well, I'm extremely proud of this team. They put their heart and soul into this win. They keep thanking me and congratulating me, but I congratulate them.
There's a lot of pressure on these guys over the last couple years. Obviously a few people in this room have brought it up; we haven't had a good run lately, and I'm thrilled for them that they got the win. Proud of the way they competed all week. I'm proud of their attitude. But mostly proud of the way they came together as a family. Supported each other.
We had some interesting things happen this week, started off with the death of Arnold Palmer, which you know, cast a kind of a dim start to the week. And then we bounced back from that, because we were all together and then now get to celebrate in the end.
BUBBA WATSON: Now we're all together again. Kuch is here!
DAVIS LOVE III: Sum it up, I'm tremendously proud of their effort, the way they competed and the way they hung together. This team's been questioned and beat up for a long time, and I'm proud of the way they came together and the way they played and the way they represented their country.
Q. What do you think of Captain Love's leadership style (laughter)?
PHIL MICKELSON: (Shaking head). We had a great week this week. (Entire team turning, all focusing intently on Phil). We had a lot of fun together as a team, and we played some great golf and we are really excited to have won. (Team applauding).
Q. Brooks, your first Ryder Cup, you go 3-1 in your first run, what will you take away from this week and how do you feel about how you played overall this week?
BROOKS KOEPKA: It's been an unbelievable experience. I mean, to come in here as a rookie, to go in the team room, it's been unreal. I didn't know what to expect, but it really has been unbelievable. Everything that's gone on between the team room, to getting to know these guys that much better, it's surpassed everything I ever thought it would, and it's been fun. You know, to team up with DJ, team up with Brandt, it's been incredible and it's been an awesome week.
Q. Patrick, obviously you had a tremendous three days. Tell me about, do you feel like you were made for this event?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: He hates it (laughter).
PATRICK REED: It's just kind of one of those things, any time I can wear the red, white and blue, play for our country, and it happens to be match play, it kind of all just fits in. Any time I feel like I can go one-on-one against somebody, it's something I love to do.
Q. Also for Patrick just talk about the back and forth today with Rory, the emotion that you guys expended, and maybe how at the end there, maybe both of you ran out of gas a little bit, but you managed to kind of hold it together.
PATRICK REED: Well, I don't know if I would really say we ran out of gas. We just played normal golf. He birdied 3. I eagled 5. He birdied 5. We both birdied 6. We both birdied 7. We both birdied 8.
Yeah, after that, it was a bunch of pars, so I wouldn't really say we ran out of gas. But you know, it's just kind of one of those things that was going back and forth. We knew how important that first point was.
I did not want to let my team down by all of a sudden having a blue score up off the first match. I wanted to at least keep it halved or win the point so they could see red, try to build some momentum. You know, getting sent out first like that, the last thing I wanted to do was go out and lose our match.
I think he was the same way, because he knew he needed that point, as well, to keep the momentum on their side. It was just kind of a grind. We were out there grinding, giving it all we could. Luckily, I was able to make birdie on the last to secure it.
Q. Two years ago, you sat in a room very much like this, and spoke about what went wrong at The Ryder Cup that year. Can you discuss what went right in the two years and the whole process sort of leading up to this victory?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if I can answer that directly, but let me say this:
I've been around these guys for quite -- every year in The Presidents Cup and The Ryder Cup, and I've seen a level of greatness in these guys. Not only are they great men, but they are great golfers, incredible golfers.
The environment they were put in today, or this week, brought out some of their best golf that I've ever seen from them. And it's truly a remarkable thing to watch, and it's a fun thing to be a part of. I'm very proud to be a part of this team.
And to see the level of accomplishment and performance that these guys had this week was just sensational. I believe that we all -- we made each other proud, but we also hopefully made every American proud.
Q. Phil --
PHIL MICKELSON: Alex, my favorite.
Q. I appreciate that, Phil. I heard Patrick talk about the birdies he made. You seemed to make a couple today. Could you talk about your match with Sergio and the fact that probably, from what we can find, it's the best run by anybody in singles ever in the history of Ryder Cup?
PHIL MICKELSON: We had a really good match obviously, and we played -- we played some good golf. Made a bunch of birdies.
I know that I birdied five of the last seven and he birdied the last four, and it was probably a fitting result with a tie, even though I wanted the win. As long as we won the Cup and brought this Cup back to America, that's all that really mattered. But the match itself was really good.
Q. As the players were crossing over to come into the clubhouse, you stopped, and led the crowd in the, "I believe we won" cheer. So I thought I'd ask you about the support of what appeared to be incredible amounts of people all over this course for the entire team. What was that like to compete in that arena everywhere you went?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I think you said it. It was an arena that -- sorry. An arena that you just dream about. I mean, that's what fuels us. Everyone on this stage wants those people outside the ropes pushing us. I mean, it's just -- it's why we practice. We want that putt. We want that shot. And to perform like we did in front of those people, just makes this really, really special.
I mean, these Minnesota fans, and quite frankly the American fans from all over, you know, just from day one, pushed us.
I mean, I know I can tell you, these guys up here, it's been a long time coming, especially for some of us that have played in a few of these. This one's for them. That's really why we did what we did. You can see it; the emotion is pretty deep. I mean, I saw RyMo on 15; I was on 15 and he won his match and I hadn't hit my second shot yet and I looked like my three-year-old daughter. I was a mess. It's just awesome. It's just fantastic.
Q. Brandt, you were the only player without a blemish on the record this week, 3-0. A, could you have imagined that, coming into this week; and B, was there any part of you that was maybe upset that you got sat down yesterday and maybe wanted to get back out there?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No. I'll answer the second part of the question first. No, because yesterday was probably one of the best days I've had ever had at The Ryder Cup. Watching these guys play yesterday afternoon was so much fun. Watching J.B. and Ryan come down the stretch the way they did, get a point when we thought we were going to halve a point or lose a match, it was so much fun to be a part of that, so much fun to cheer those guys on.
No one person on this team was going to win The Ryder Cup. It was going to be a team effort. And whatever the captain and the vice captains said, I was just looking on the stage a second ago and realizing how honored I was to be on this stage. If I look along this podium with all these guys, and realize how much talent is surrounding this team, and I look at the vice captains and everybody else, I cannot imagine how hard their job was this week to figure out who was going to play when and where.
And I'm glad I was not in those meetings. I'm glad I didn't have to deal with that kind of stuff, because it's an impossible job. You're going to make somebody upset. You're going to do something -- you're going to second guess yourself all the time.
Our job as players this week was to make sure the captains and vice captains knew we had their back, and do whatever they told us to do as well as we possibly could, and man, it was so much fun. I hope it came through. I hope it didn't come across as somebody who was getting too emotional out there, but I had a blast this week.
It was awesome. The fans were awesome. Guys on this team were awesome and I'm honored to be a part of it, and it's been four years coming for me. I told Davis on 17 that I owed him one and I still do. Still feel like I was part of the reason we didn't win 2012.
But unbelievable experience. Nothing else to say.
Q. In the European presser a few minutes ago, Justin Rose said that he -- he was very critical of the setup. He said it was weak and considered it to be similar to a Pro-Am. Your thoughts on that? Did you sense that from him? What were your thoughts on the setup?
PHIL MICKELSON: (Laughing).
RICKIE FOWLER: The setup was, I don't think it was easy by any means. Him and I didn't play as well as we would have liked to. We didn't make many birdies on both sides. I felt like it was an even match between the two of us. Obviously, as you could see, no one was ever more than 1-up.
It was easier for some; this guy next to me (turning to Phil) he made a few birdies. He's been playing well all week. I wouldn't say that the setup was easy, by any means.
I thought that the PGA did well all week, Kerry Haigh and the staff. Depending on whether it be a foursomes or a fourball match and then into singles, they did a good job preparing the golf course, getting it in the right condition and with where the hole locations were.
Obviously when it comes down to singles, it's fair. Everyone's playing the same ones. So I thought it was a good setup today and it worked out just fine for us.
Q. Can you talk about the importance of Patrick getting off to a fast start against Rory and how important that was?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, it was important to see some red on the board. Just the excitement level of that match got guys going. We were standing on the first tee, or you're standing on the range or you're still in the team room, just to see him out there fired up and pumped up -- I hated to stand there on the first tee and only get to watch it on TV. I wished I had been out there for the whole thing. I saw, I guess, most of the back nine.
And then Phil's match, there were so many exciting matches, it was hard to know what to watch. The level of play was incredible.
Yeah, it was important to get some excitement going in the beginning and get off to a good start. We knew they were going to load the boat, and we had to get off to a good start against them.
Q. I know you haven't seen the replay, but as a sports fan, where do you think you got greater elevation: Your leap at Augusta when you won the Masters or your leap when you made the birdie today? And where else do you leap in celebration, other than on the golf course?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, when I try to dunk a basketball, I try to jump pretty high. I can touch the net (laughter). My arms are pretty long.
But I don't know, I'm older now, so probably jumped higher a little bit in '04, because I got at least six inches off the ground then. But it's a very emotional deal and the putt on the last hole, I can't sure if it was going to hang in there. It looked like it was going to fight to stay in the right side of the hole, and I wasn't sure if it would go in. So I just kind of dropped down to my knees and when it went in, just that excitement just propelled me up. Usually I need a little assistance.
Q. What's this week meant for you in your home state to have the Cup coming back here?
TOM LEHMAN: Let's just say that when Ryan Moore got that last point, that me and my whole family were bawling like babies. To bring -- (tearing up) to have that Cup here in Minnesota means the world to me.
But to be around this team; this team is an amazing team full of amazing men. They are courageous, they are smart, they are fearless, they are compassionate, but most importantly, they love each other and they are a team. So to be a part of this team and in this state, my home state, two hours from where I grew up, it's a dream come true and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I'm so proud of these guys (applause).
Q. For Phil and a little bit of Davis, as well. You've talked about from the task force going forward, that it was not necessarily about this Ryder Cup, but maybe the next five and going forward, but we keep hearing about this team being under an extraordinary amount of pressure. Was it necessary to win the Cup to prove that the changes were right? And where did the pressure come from, then, if that was the case?
PHIL MICKELSON: The pressure started when some dumb ass opened his mouth two years ago in the media center (laughter).
But the thing about -- well, the thing about this is that we need to build on this. Otherwise, it's all for naught. We created a very solid foundation this year. With the input that Davis Love had and each vice captain with Tom Lehman and Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker, and Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson, all brought integral parts to the success of this foundation, and it's important that we build on that.
And Davis is going to be a very instrumental part of that going forward in two years, because for us to go to Europe and try to win the Cup is a whole different feat. That's going to require a whole different level of play, of solidarity, of fortitude and we are going to have to build on this in two years if we want to try to retain the Cup.
So it's important to start this foundation. Yes, it's great that we had success this week, but it's not about one year or one Ryder Cup. It's about a multitude, for decades to come. (Champagne cork popped by Davis) that's my cue to shut up (laughter).
Q. Got another one for you, Phil. And Tiger, and Jim, if you guys feel like weighing in, like to hear from you, as well, as veterans. Davis made the comment ahead of The Ryder Cup that he thought this might be the best team ever. Now that it's over, a definitive victory, 17 points, do you feel like -- how would you rank this team? Do you think it's the best ever?
BUBBA WATSON: I'd say we were good enough.
JIM FURYK: If I may, I think what Davis was trying to say in that interview was, when I address my team, what I would tell them is that they are the best team ever -- is that correct, Davis?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yes, and I would say that The European Team was the finest European team I've ever seen. They played unbelievable golf. This is the finest American Team I've ever seen off the golf course. I don't know, on the golf course you'll have to be the judge of that. But off the golf course, this is by far the finest American Team I've of seen.
I've said it before, United States can be proud of this team and they should be really, really proud the way they represent their country.
Q. Tiger, if I could ask you what this vice captaincy has meant to you personally, to get you through the last year and how much this experience this week was fueled your determination to be back in that team as a player in two years' time in France?
TIGER WOODS: For me, as a player that's been on these teams, to be on a different side of it, to be on the vice captaincy side of it has meant so much to me, to get to know these guys on a different level and to know how hard a job it is to do this. What the vice captains and the captain ultimately have to decide; it's tough.
And as a player, all you have to do is get ready for the golf course. Just go out there and try and have your game and be ready when called upon.
As a non-player, it's very complicated. There's a lot of things that I didn't realize that went on, and very eye-opening and it was a great experience. It really was. I learned a lot and I became really close to a lot of these guys, and it's been just an honor to be part of it. And to be part of getting to know these 12 guys, and these vice captains and our captain on a deeper level has meant so much to me; and the relationships that we've forged here this week and actually before this week, these are bonds that will last a lifetime.
As a player, I've been a part of that with these teams, and as a non-player, it's still the same. You still have the same bonds; they grow deep. And being a part of the team -- didn't actually hit a golf shot, but to go out there and be with these guys, we are truly a team. And we have that mind-set coming here with our captain and we did it, we accomplished it and we won it together.
BUBBA WATSON: And I have Tiger's cell phone number now, yes. I'm going to text you all the time (laughter).
TIGER WOODS: (Laughing).
Q. After the week that you've been through, what was that feeling like when you were there and you're securing that final point to secure the win?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, RyMo.
RYAN MOORE: It's hard to even explain it at this point. Just to be a part of this team, obviously I was a bit of a late entry, but everybody made me feel like I was a part of it right away. And you know, to end up --
BRANDT SNEDEKER: You're only as strong as your 12th man, right there.
RYAN MOORE: Thank you. Thank you. (Team applauding Ryan).
It's been crazy. I can't believe a week ago that I didn't even know I was going to be here, really. And to come here and just be a part of it, get a couple points for the team; mostly thanks to my partner yesterday, but then today to just -- you know, J.B. and Patrick both showed up after I went 2-down on 15, and I walked off that green and I saw both of those guys and I said, "All right, I'm going to do it for my team right now. I'm going to do something. I'm going to try and flip this match somehow."
And it's such a different feeling for what we do week-in and week-out on TOUR. To do it for my teammates, for my captains, for everybody who picked me, who wanted me to be on the team; you know, I had all of that on my shoulders and I said, All right, I'm going to try and get points somehow today. You know, for that to actually work out was pretty incredible, and for that to actually be the point that clinched this beautiful Ryder Cup that is sitting right in front, getting ever so close to my face right now, was incredible (Dustin pushing Ryder Cup towards Ryan).
I wouldn't want to do it with any other guys than there's sitting around me right now. It's been an absolute blast. Couldn't ask for better teammates. And you know, hopefully this is -- there's more to come.
Q. Can you just talk about your last pick, Ryan Moore, and what it was like to see him earn that clinching point and also describe what it's been like getting to know him as a person and player?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, like he said, he barely just got here. He had quite a whirlwind week. We got to know him a lot better. Before this week, I played a fair amount with Ryan and always enjoyed being around him and now he's part of our family a lot more.
It was tough on Ryan and a lot of other guys those last few weeks. To sit around and wait, to go play THE TOUR Championship, to ask a lot of hard questions; I'll never forget riding down the freeway in my pickup truck talking to Ryan on the phone. One of the hardest conversations I've had to have. I don't know what to tell the guy when he's going to play THE TOUR Championship and he's right on the bubble. It was a new experience for all of us.
As captains, usually you call two guys or you call four guys and you call four others and tell them they are not playing, and it's over. And it was an awkward couple weeks.
But there's so many things that happened this week that if you'd written the story and the movie, you wouldn't believe the ending. I think it just points out how close we are and what a great team we are that the guy that came in at the last minute is the one that walks away with the last putt.
I lost my golf ball in '93 when I made a putt that ended The Ryder Cup. I left it in the hole. And I watched Ryan walk away from his on the 18th green and I went over and grabbed it and took it back to him. He didn't want it, so he gave it back to me. So now I got one from the last hole (applause).
So many great stories this week from Bubba to Ryan to the other three captain's picks who -- everybody on this team got a point. That hasn't been done since 1975, they tell me. Nobody's ever swept -- a U.S. Team has never swept a segment since 1975. And if you saw that Arnold Palmer bag on the first tee, that was his bag from 1975. So Arnold was watching over us this week.
And I'll just take this opportunity to -- you've asked most of the assistant captains a question. This was a team effort behind this team that won. I can't thank Tiger and Jim and Steve and Tom enough. They made a lot of crucial decisions. Gave me a lot of great support. It's truly a big team, but it was a team effort and I thank every one of these guys up here for a great week.
Q. Has this vice captaincy made you want to become a captain in the future?
TIGER WOODS: Please ask that again, please. I didn't hear.
Q. Has this vice captaincy made you want to become a captain in the future?
TIGER WOODS: Another vice captain, yeah.
Q. Would you want to become a captain in the future?
TIGER WOODS: Another vice captain, yeah (laughter).
Seeing what our captain went through, that's hard. Yeah, I would love to do it. I would be honored to do it in the future, if asked.
But from the player standpoint of it, I like playing. I love these guys. I love being out there, in the fight with these guys. I was just in the fight a different way and had to do my role and had to my job in a different way, and it was pretty cool.
Q. When you got the captaincy in 2012, you talked about how much it meant as the son of a PGA professional to be The Ryder Cup captain. Now four years later, I'm just wondering what it's like to be the winning captain?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it was an honor for me to be captain in 2012. This time around, because four of these guys up here were part of the process that named me to be the captain, I'm humbled this time, because I was picked my by peers. I was supported by them and they all said, "We're going to do everything we can to help this team win."
It's a humbling experience, to be the guy out front. The reason Tiger, when asked that question, is probably the reason I ended up being the captain is they knew I would do all the work for a year and a half. I told them all in that first meeting, I said, "I'll do anything. I'll be a cart driver," like Bubba, "And I'll do anything to be behind the scenes and help out. We're all willing to do whatever it takes."
I didn't really want to be the captain. I wanted to make this team successful and they ended up putting me in that role. It's been a humbling experience, been a lot of fun, and I can't wait for 2017 with my man, Strick, and I don't have to make any speeches.
Q. Quick one for Jordan. Earlier in the week, you spoke about, you had a painting commissioned capturing that first tee moment you so brilliantly described. What image for you best encapsulates this week at this Ryder Cup?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's easy. When Patrick holed his shot yesterday on No. 6, I saw a picture that was captured of him doing whatever he does that you saw about 25 times this week with Kessler, his brother-in-law and caddie, with his hands up, and I'm in a 40-yard dash, with my putter flying in the air, back to him from 30 yards up.
I'm definitely going to get something with that picture and it's going to be hanging somewhere at my house because that was just a moment that I've never heard a roar that loud in my life. And I mean, what joy that was to watch that ball trickle back and then everyone start to slowly stand up. And they thought it was going to miss and then it went in and everyone did the Phil six-inch jump in the stands and they just went nuts. And I don't know if I've ever run faster in my life.
The only regret is we should have chest-bumped. That's what we were going to do and we didn't. But we did that today when we saw each other. That's the moment this week for me.
Q. What was the best memory of this week that didn't happen on the course?
JORDAN SPIETH: We don't speak to off-the-course moments.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: You sure that's not for Tiger?
TIGER WOODS: (Burying head in hands on table).
J.B. HOLMES: For me, it was just being in the team room and really seeing how all the guys came together. As far as one moment, I don't know if it was -- if I could think of one moment, but every night we sat down and had dinner together. Just supported each other and knew we had a plan. We were going to go out and we just--
RICKIE FOWLER: (Taking selfie with Ryder Cup with Phil).
J.B. HOLMES: -- loved being around each other. It was a real team. There was no more individuals. The sports individual was gone. We walked into that team room, as soon as everybody got here, it was a team. It's just so awesome to have that feeling and just know that every one of these guys got my back. So that was just the whole week, I guess, summed up kind of.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: The best non-golf moment for me this week was last night, I was with Julius, and we were looking at the computer, and it was a frame by frame shot of Jordan Spieth when Patrick Reed made the shot on No. 6. It was the absolute funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. Jordan Spieth, the first shot was his leg above his head. And then his putter in the air. And then him running back to Patrick. It was hilarious. That was the best part of this week for me (laughter). Thank you.
BUBBA WATSON: Jimmy Walker, how about you?
JIMMY WALKER: Last night, Matt Kuchar took the stage. We had a white board. It was magic between all of us on what we were thankful for. That was pretty special.
RYAN MOORE: And he held it the whole time. That was impressive. He held that thing for -- it was like an hour, I swear.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Two hours.
JIMMY WALKER: It was my left arm. I was worried about his putting stroke today, but it was his left arm. He held it all night, for 30 minutes straight. Two hours, he says.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, it was two hours.
JIMMY WALKER: Two hours.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: He held it before we started.
JIMMY WALKER: So Matt Kuchar, and we had a lot of great speakers all week. It was just -- it was great. A lot of good food. That's it (laughter).
JOHN DEVER: That is it. This is the 2016 United States Ryder Cup Team. They have reclaimed The Ryder Cup. Gentlemen, thank you for your time.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports