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October 1, 2017
Jersey City, New Jersey
MATT KUCHAR (Assuming role of Media Offical): Like to welcome everyone to the 2017 post-Presidents Cup press conference. If we can start this off by --
JUSTIN THOMAS: Tiger Woods is a sh --
MATT KUCHAR: Daniel Berger, tell us, how old are you. 24? What is it like as a 24-year-old to get the final point for TEAM USA, the clinching point for Team USA?
DANIEL BERGER: It was extremely satisfying. I knew it was going to be tough out there. And just happy to be a part of it.
MATT KUCHAR: What's been your highlight this week?
DANIEL BERGER: I can't say that. I can't answer that.
Tiger, what's been the highlight of your week?
TIGER WOODS: Just being able to hang around you.
DANIEL BERGER: There we go.
MATT KUCHAR: Justin --
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Hold on. I've got a question for Jordan. I've got a question for Jordan. How does it feel to be 0-5 in singles?
JORDAN SPIETH: I've won four of five of those team events, so it is what it is, Bud (high-fiving.)
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I've just got to give him, you know, have to give him a little jab. Golden Child here, Golden Child here needs a little jab every once in a while, just to bring him back down to reality.
MATT KUCHAR: Justin, we know you just missed out on The Ryder Cup. This is your first Cup. Any lasting memories, friendships, thoughts on what it was like to be on your first Cup team?
DANIEL BERGER: I'll go ahead and take that one for him.
MATT KUCHAR: Any thoughts on your first cup team?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I had a blast.
DANIEL BERGER: I'll go ahead and take that one for him.
MATT KUCHAR: Well, if there are no further questions, I think we're done (laughter).
Let's hear it for Captain Stricker.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It was an absolute honor to play for Captain Stricker this week.
MATT KUCHAR: At this point, we will open it up for questions (laughter).
KEVIN KISNER: No questions? Time to roll.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: We were all asking questions before you got here.
MATT KUCHAR: No questions? Five, four, three -- there we go. We have one. On microphone No. 1.
Q. For Steve, Jordan, whoever else wants to jump in, congratulations, guys. An amazing five days, but you got beat pretty bad today, 6-3. Talk about the resiliency of this International Team?
DANIEL BERGER: Let me take that one for him --
JUSTIN THOMAS: Stop.
Q. A lot of guys counted these guys out today and they fought back hard and made it a pretty interesting day.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Honestly, it was really weird being out there today, like knowing there was no chance of losing. It really was, like even in my match, we both played really well.
We ended up halving the match but it was just, I don't know how to explain it but it was like we were out playing all -- I was playing golf with my buddies or something. It was weird. I don't even know how to explain it but it really was, it was kind of unusual being out there knowing that it really didn't matter. We were going to win no matter what.
PATRICK REED: It was definitely a different challenge, being as far ahead as we were, only needing one point to clinch, and being kind of the middle of the pack of the groups going out, you knew that probably by the time you make the turn, it's already going to be done.
We only needed one point, and so I think it just kind of took out a lot of the -- a lot of the adrenaline, a lot of the excitement that normally comes with the team events because normally they are a lot closer.
It was different but at the same time, I mean, it was kind of satisfying because how well we played leading into today. I mean, really, today, we could have sent three guys out there and figured out a way to get one point.
JORDAN SPIETH: Not if I was one of them.
PATRICK REED: Yeah, anyone besides him on Sunday.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: If we only had to send three out, Jordan wouldn't have been one of them (laughter).
AMANDA HERRINGTON: If you raise your hand, I'll get a microphone to you.
Q. To you, Steve and to the assistant captains and to Phil, do you envision any format changes --
JORDAN SPIETH: Phil is an assistant captain. You can address him as an assistant captain.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: He's old enough to be one, though.
Q. I was just going to ask if you could address, to each of you, if you would, do you see any format changes to this particular event happening between now and Melbourne? Fill?
STEVE STRICKER: You're asking me that question? No, we had the format change for South Korea, and I don't know how many points that we needed to reduce, but I think it's fair. I mean, we weren't really too happy with the reduction of points to start with. We wanted an event that kind of allowed all our players to go out there and play.
So yeah, I don't see anything changing.
Q. Jim Furyk, what did you see this week that makes you feel good about the 2018 Ryder Cup?
JIM FURYK: Well, they are two different events, but I saw a great team. Really proud of and happy for these guys. Obviously we've known there's a lot of camaraderie. We had five young players, or five new players to international competition, so it's great to see them not only compete and get experience, but play really, really well.
Hopefully I'd love to have these 12 on our team next year. But I'll be rooting and cheering for them. I became a lot closer friends with each and every one of them but you know, I really would like them to enjoy what they did this week, soak it all in, have fun with it. A month from now we'll get to work and we'll start getting ready for Paris.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I feel like there was 11 young players and just one old one (laughter) (looking at Phil).
PHIL MICKELSON: It's all right. We won.
KEVIN KISNER: Turn DJ's mic off.
Q. Tiger --
TIGER WOODS: Sorry.
Q. It's okay.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah.
Q. What was the most striking thing for you?
TIGER WOODS: Say that again. I'm sorry.
Q. Start off again -- I'm sorry about my accent (British). What was the most striking thing for you about this team, your team?
TIGER WOODS: This team, I think this was one of the best putting teams I've of seen. I know that they are young, they are talented, hit the ball a long way, but in the end, look at how many more putts we made. Probably from 15 to 18, it was pretty impressive to watch.
Q. Since Gleneagles, obviously not the same event, but there's been so much continuity since then till now, and obviously that was one of the things you were striving for I think. Can you just talk about how maybe it has gone better than you would have even hoped for when that committee got formed and all the changes were made?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know what to say about that, Bob. It's just exciting to see these great young players bring out the best in each other and play their best golf in these events. It's exciting.
I've believed and known how good these players are. I've seen it, how talented these guys are, and for them to bring out the best in each other is just impressive. You don't get a performance like we had this week without that little something extra, that little special something, and these guys brought it out in each other.
Q. Some day you'll probably be a U.S. captain of a Ryder Cup Team or maybe a Presidents Cup team. I know this will sound like a Barbara Walters type question, but if you could name any former president living or dead as an assistant captain, who would you want as an assistant captain?
PHIL MICKELSON: That's a really interesting, great question, Michael (laughter). I think that it's going to require more time than -- I don't have that quick spontaneity to answer that. I'm just not that quick right now.
KEVIN KISNER: (Whistling).
Q. What was it like sharing the stage with President Trump, for anyone that would like to answer.
JORDAN SPIETH: Strick?
KEVIN KISNER: He called you. You're captain.
STEVE STRICKER: You said anybody.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I thought it was awesome.
JORDAN SPIETH: No, Steve speaks for all of us.
STEVE STRICKER: I thought it was a great thrill. A lot of us have either met and played with The Presidents Cup, or I know some of these guys live down in the same area that he comes down and plays with.
I thought it was a great opportunity for us to be with him. And this tournament is about respecting the Office, respecting the President of the United States, and whether your views may be one way versus another, that wasn't what it was about there on the green. It was about us getting together as a team, playing for one another, playing for the USA and it was a great thrill for all of us to get the trophy handed to us from him.
Q. Out of the five -- first five, six players out before you guys, was there one guy that really wanted to go out and get that clinching point more than anyone, and how does it feel that you were that guy?
DANIEL BERGER: Yeah, I think everyone wanted to get that clinching point but it was going to probably be one of those first guys. I thought after I looked up at the board and Chappy was 2-up with, you know, some holes to play, I thought he would have done it. But it was a team effort.
KEVIN KISNER: Called you out.
DANIEL BERGER: You were 1-down? I thought you were winning.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I was winning early, but then I wasn't.
DANIEL BERGER: But no, it was a team effort and it just so happens that I was the one that got the point.
When I look back at this week, I just look back at how well everyone played and how well Captain Stricker and all the assistant captains did and putting together the teams that they did out there, and when people had to sate, how supportive they were. They were always out watching and cheering each other on, and that was pretty cool to watch.
Q. Can you guys speak to the crowd dynamic this week? Jordan, I notice you kind of tried to shut it down a few times, and did any of you think it got out of hand?
JORDAN SPIETH: I got disqualified from a hole for trying to shut it down one time. So I stopped doing that.
I thought the atmosphere the last couple days was fantastic. Today it was less so. I think people kind of understood that -- I think less people showed up because it was essentially and inevitably over before the day started.
I thought the crowds were -- it was great to hear the roars. I thought the way they did the grandstands was awesome the way the No. 1 team was and the way it was on the last four or five holes. And it really was a difference-maker for our team.
We played these last five holes unbelievably well this week. We turned matches around. If you look at the first 11 holes or so of the first three days, and look at, you know, where the matches would stand versus the last seven holes of those matches, it was a totally different scenario, and a lot of it has to play to the crowds and the way that it was set up.
Q. Just a comment about your match today with Louis. You guys played to a draw in 2015; nearly did it today. What is it about playing him and bringing out the best in each other in a match that's pretty tight all the way around?
PATRICK REED: We brought the best out of each other in 2015. Today, not so much. It was a big pillow fight. With how much separation we had going into the day, it just seemed like it was hard for us to kind of get going.
You know, on his side and my side. We were out there chatting the whole time and just having a great time out there playing some golf. You know, we weren't really playing the greatest, either of us. There's a lot of giving putts from distances that probably wouldn't have been given if it was a really crucial match and crucial point.
But it was a lot of fun. Last time we played, we both played really well, and there wasn't much talking going on. This time it felt total opposite. You know, it's disappointing, of course, to lose the match, but you know, it could have gone either way. He wasn't playing very well early. I wasn't playing well throughout the middle, and then towards the end, you know, we both weren't really doing much.
Just unfortunately it was one of those days that you know, two guys weren't playing the best, and also at the same time, it didn't really feel like it meant anything.
Q. If you were going to endorse someone to be the next U.S. Presidents Cup captain, who would it be? And certainly consistency offering the vote; it certainly could be yourself?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: We would all vote Strick. We would all vote Strick to be our next captain for sure.
Q. And the second question is, if -- there's been a lot of debate about going to the White House and some teams going and not going. If you guys were to get invited, would you decide to go?
STEVE STRICKER: You know, who would I endorse the next one? I mean, you know, Tiger, Phil, Jim Furyk's doing The Ryder Cup. Freddie would be another good one to have again.
You know, any of these guys that are here. They are all so good. They have been around this a number of times. They have a tremendous amount of experience. You can't go wrong. I mean, they made it so easy for me this week. We were all on the same page, and then plus the guys were winning. So it was easy from that standpoint, putting guys together, and they made great decisions. And they take this very seriously.
As far as going to the White House, you know, if we were given the opportunity, I'd have to ask everybody if they wanted to go to the White House. I'd go to the White House.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I would.
Q. In a room full of either previous major winners or guys that have been on the hunt on Sunday right up there, at this stage in your career with The Presidents Cup now checked, that box checked, do you feel like this win kind of springboards you and allows you to focus more on the majors? Is that something you've really thought about?
DANIEL BERGER: No, I haven't really thought about it that much. Obviously when you see your friends, and you see guys like Dustin and Jordan and Brooks and all of these guys kind of around my age winning majors, it sucks, because I want to win majors, too. But they are pretty freaking good.
It's been great to compete against them and just look forward to next year.
Q. Phil and Tiger, you guys are both part of a few guys on the dais here with Ryder Cups have gone through a bunch of years not having success and I just kind of wonder if you can relate to what the Internationals are going through during this stretch here and looking for answers how to turn things around a little bit.
TIGER WOODS: I didn't hear the question.
PHIL MICKELSON: It's tough to answer. But we've been on both sides of it. We've taken some pretty good poundings and we've delivered them, too.
I just think that it's hard to answer that question because we have such a strong team who played their best; that rather than dwell on what could be done on the other side, I think it should be more cherished what has taken place on this side and the level of performance in each match by all these players and the level of golf.
Because these guys have incredible performances individually; we have -- everybody here has some incredible records: I mean, Player of the Year this year, and just I can't get over the talent on this team. And then, to all bring out their best golf together is just really exciting. I'd rather focus more on that and what an incredible performance this has been for our team than to worry about how to fix the other team. That's really not high on my list of priorities (laughter).
TIGER WOODS: How we can help out the Internationals, is that what your question was -- loud every.
Q. What you went through in The Ryder Cup -- these guys are kind of on that side. Just trying to fix -- do you recall those periods of trying to find the answer?
TIGER WOODS: Obviously Phil and I have been doing this for a very long time and as Phil alluded to, we've been part of both sides of three record-breaking Ryder Cups, lost two and won one.
It's something we focus on, on ourselves, and we've turned it around for the U.S. side. That's all we're concerned about is making our team better, stronger and trying to capture Cups every single year. As of right now, we're doing that -- and as far as the International side is concerned, that's none of our concern.
Q. This a question for everyone. What are your thoughts about the fans this week, their energy and creativity and I think each of you got something special from them, right?
PATRICK REED: Kiz, you got this one, Bud.
KEVIN KISNER: I didn't hear the question.
JORDAN SPIETH: Would you mind repeating the question, sir? Sorry. Could you repeat it.
Q. What are your thoughts on the fans this week? The energy and creativity they brought to the game and I think each of you got something special from them.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I think this speaks back to the question that was asked not too long ago here. I thought the way the grandstands were, to bring more and more people in the matches made a big, big difference to us. I thought it turned some of the matches around for us and added to the momentum we got late in the rounds.
Q. Dustin --
AMANDA HERRINGTON: Dustin, left, left, left -- real
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Really? Why? (Laughter)
Q. You just said you would volunteer or you would vote for Stricker to be captain again. Would you talk about what made him so effective this week?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, obviously Strick, you know, he's been around -- he knows all of us. We've all played on TOUR with him. But he's just such a great leader. He's a quiet leader but he's a really good leader and we all respect him. We all trust him.
And it's just, it really has been an amazing week playing for Captain Strick. I think we would all agree that he's been an amazing captain this week. We all love playing for him. We all respect him, and I mean, we wouldn't have it any other way.
Thanks for asking a question to me, though. Appreciate it.
Q. Captain Stricker, any changes to The Presidents Cup would require the captain on the U.S. side, if it was an international suggestion, to approve. Considering the record and what happened this week, is there any indication that you wouldn't approve anything that the Internationals would put in front of you to try to make this more competitive?
STEVE STRICKER: I'm kind of with Phil on this. I don't know if it's really up to us.
We, I guess, voiced our opinion when they wanted to reduce the number of points in South Korea, and if I'm not mistaken, we all voted against that, of all the people that were asked. And the points system was still changed.
Ultimately, it doesn't seem like it would be up to us.
Q. I come from China. I have a question for Mr. Woods and Mickelson. To see you hugging there, touching, is that hugging together, does that happen often, hugging together? Because it's really a lot of people see on the television screen, crying at moments. My question is that -- you feel good, with each other?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that it's a really good question (laughter).
But -- I think -- but Tiger and I have been good friends and have gotten along very well in these team events for many years now. Just because it doesn't get reported or shown, is irrelevant. We've worked very well in these team events, and to share in our success has been really fun for us. We really enjoy seeing these teams thrive and succeed and being a part of it, and his meticulous thought that he puts into these events and pairings and how to attack the golf course and so forth has been a huge part of our success.
TIGER WOODS: I think Phil and I, our relationship has certainly got -- I think the press has made it out to more than what it has been. We've been friend for a very long time. We've gotten very close by being on these teams.
We've played against each other a lot down the stretch, and we have both enjoyed it. I've enjoyed being with Phil on these teams. We've had some tough moments where we've lost some Cups and also the flipside is we've also had some great success. Hopefully going forward, we can continue doing it.
He's playing; I'd like to be able to play on these teams again. It's a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun to be an assistant captain and be part of it in a different way. I still feel like I'm helping the team; I'm not playing, but I still feel I can contribute to the team. I've enjoyed it.
Q. Right along those same lines, it was so neat to see you back on the golf course this week, and I'm just wondering if the week affected your desire to play competitive golf again in any way?
TIGER WOODS: As I've said, I would like to play competitive golf. I just don't know what my body is going to allow me to do. That's something I'm going to have to, as I said, listen to my surgeon, see what he says, and then I've got to get a feel for what my body is able to do and not do.
Q. I'll address to this side, Phil and Matt, you guys have been on enough of these teams. Just how much fun was this week, and does winning make it more fun, or does having fun help you win?
PHIL MICKELSON: We've always had fun in these events, whether we've won or lost. We always have a great time. We've always come together and really enjoyed each other's friendship and company these weeks, the experiences, the highs, the lows; and those moments bring you closer and those relationships last a career.
But winning is even more special. It adds to the memories. It makes you want to remember it more. A performance like this was unique because I've never felt this stress-free on Sunday. We're always uptight. We're always anxious. It's always a close Sunday final. Even if you're four or five points down, you're going in believing you can win and make it up.
But we knew what the result was going to be. We just didn't know what the final tally or how it was all going to play out, so we didn't feel that stress. It was very weird. In all the ones I've played in, I've never had an experience like this.
MATT KUCHAR: This team was just an amazing bunch of guys, amazing performance. Everybody was on great form. For us to have -- we had 11 guys in THE TOUR Championship; everybody except Phil Mickelson was at East Lake (laughter).
It was like, how many times does it happen that you get 11 out of 12. If it was only for Phil, we would have had 12 of 12, but Phil was not there. So if we just -- we were one guy short of having an entire team there (laughter) and if Phil was there, that would have been the whole team. Like how many times does a team ever have that many guys play that well to make the TOUR champion?
PHIL MICKELSON: Gave me a chance to go home and work on my game in case it did come down to my singles match, you know.
MATT KUCHAR: Justin, tell him how great East Lake was (laughter).
Q. For anybody who wants to answer it, there was a lot of singing on the first tee today. I was wondering what your favorite song was, and did it even make it a little hard to go get serious enough to tee off? Did the laughs break the bubble of concentration?
JORDAN SPIETH: "Si-Woo, Si-Woo, shaking that ass, shaking that ass, shaking that as" (singing). (Laughter.)
DUSTIN JOHNSON: That was the best song, for sure.
JORDAN SPIETH: That was definitely my favorite.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah.
JORDAN SPIETH: I was so embarrassed every time they sang it. It was incredible.
KEVIN KISNER: I liked, "Nine Cups, you've got one, we've got nine Cups."
JUSTIN THOMAS: You can make that ten, Kiz.
KEVIN KISNER: I think we add one -- did y'all learn that at Alabama?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: "Si-Woo shaking that ass." (Laughter) best song, ever, ever, by any side.
Q. Tiger, during the award ceremony when you guys were posing for photographs, a chant rose up, "Thank you, Tiger." I know you hope it play again, but it seems like the fans were giving you their version of a lifetime achievement award. Did you hear it and what were your thoughts?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I heard it. I heard a lot of thank-yous the entire week.
It was awfully nice, because you know, I felt like I put a little bit of time into preparing for this, this Cup, and getting to know all the guys; and to come back out here on a golf course again, certainly was a little bit different.
But I really enjoyed it. I really did. And the fans to come out and support both teams, but for me personally, it was really neat to have the fans show that type of appreciation.
AMANDA HERRINGTON: Thank you, all.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports