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September 29, 2007

Stewart Cink

Jim Furyk

Phil Mickelson


DOUG MILNE: Great playing today, a couple of general comments about the round. We'll start with you, Jim.
JIM FURYK: Well, Stewart and I got off to a pretty fast start. We birdied the first three. We were 2-up, and the guys we played with fought back, and I think they birdied holes 6 through 10, birdied five in a row and won four of those holes from us. You know, we were in a hole for a while. Angel missed about a 6-footer on 11 to go 3-up, and kind of left the door open.
We finished strong. My partner, you know, birdied 16 and 17 to flip a 1-down to 1-up, and we were able to hold on. It was a big point for the team, and we were just trying to -- at one time today, it looked like we were definitely going to lose this section of the matches, and it was big for our teams, Phil to knock that putt in for a halve and Stewart and I squeaked out a match at the end, so we ended up with a split and it was big for the team.
DOUG MILNE: Stewart, a couple general comments from you as well.
STEWART CINK: Like Jim said we got to have to a great start and we knew it was coming. They made a bunch of birdies and had a couple gimmies in there. I don't think we sensed that our point was anymore important than the others, but having the first match come down to the wire and us end up on top, the way it happened, you know, I think that sent a message out to the rest of the guys, and everybody pulled it really strong on the back nine. It means a lot for us to lead the team in that way.
DOUG MILNE: Phil, a couple comments?
PHIL MICKELSON: I thought it was a fun day. I love playing this much golf in these team events. It makes for a lot of excitement. I think we all enjoy going back out and watching the matches. It's just an exciting event to be a part of. It was a lot of fun for me to help my team, and end up birdieing the last hole for a halve; that was a lot of fun.
I had a fun day with my partner, Woody Austin, aka Aquaman now, and we had a lot of fun today. I think he's a little tired of me rubbing that in and calling him out. He had numerous offers to increase his financial wealth if he would just jump in the lake and go after his ball on 14, but he decided not to.
And I roughed him up pretty good today. I think he's glad the day is over but we had a lot of fun together; at least I did.

Q. You were almost Aquaman-like for a while with Bones' shoe, but on a more serious note, how do you explain that if you look at the four-balls, the internationals were I think 7 1/2 - 4 1/2 or thereabouts, they get off a point out of 11 matches, how do you explain that, are the formats that radically different that you can have such largely different results?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. Jim, do you have any idea?
JIM FURYK: I think the formats are radically different, but I don't know if there's any rhyme or reason. It used to be ten years ago, it seems like the U.S. Teams always did well in four-ball but not as well in foursome. I don't have really think there's a rhyme or reason in these things. I think it was nice, we did so well the first time, we sent a lot of the same teams back out there, and guys had a lot of -- had some symmetry and you play what holes you're playing and how the match is going to go and had that experience. But I've got no reasons why it was so lopsided in that format.
STEWART CINK: I think that when you have matches that come down to the very last hole or two, that swing in your favor, it tends to give you a lot of confidence next time you come down the last few holes when you're having a tight match.
It just gives you that sense of belief that you're going to be able to pull it out, and a lot of times you do. These matches are always so close between a team like theirs and a team like ours; that it almost always comes down to somebody just having that little bit of extra confidence at the end to pull it through.

Q. Could you talk about being in the water; were you thinking about being Aquaman and was Bones whining about his feet after you borrowed his shoe?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, that was his idea to do that, that's why he's one of the best out there at what he does; he comes up with ideas to make the rest of the round a lot more enjoyable.
JIM FURYK: I missed what happened.
PHIL MICKELSON: My ball kicked down and submerged halfway down for the water and Woody just said, knock that in and move on. And he wanted to see me hit out of the water, because he pulled it. It looked semi-intentional to me, that's just my opinion. (Laughter).
And I went down and played it, and flubbed it out and hit a good shot the next one. But didn't matter.

Q. Were you thinking Aquaman?
PHIL MICKELSON: Did I think about swimming and trying to catch fish? No, I was just trying to hit a golf shot. But certainly Woody would have done it a little differently I think.

Q. Just on the 14th hole itself, the strategy behind it, a 282-yard par 4, where it is on the back nine and how much fun it is to have that in a match-play event.
STEWART CINK: Well, like I told Jim today when we came to that hole, I had not seen a fairway for about five or six holes before that, maybe more. I said, "I think I'm going to play to my strengths here." I could have easily drive the green but I wasn't exactly hitting it in a ten-yard gap.
Sometimes you've just got to, you know, look at what you're doing and be realistic about it and say, okay, this is the best way I can play this hole today. Maybe I can hit further if I'm feeling better but today I wasn't swinging my driver that great. Hit 6-iron and made birdie that way.
JIM FURYK: It's pin-dependent, too. I think some of those pin placements, you might have a chance to get the ball up-and-down if you bail out right and put it in the bunker. And there are others where today, with it being up front in the afternoon matches, there was not much room for air. If you hit the ball pin-high and hit it right, you are probably in trouble.

Q. In a format like this, is it fun to have that hole there?
JIM FURYK: Absolutely. Absolutely in match play. That's why they have had the tee up three of the four matches. Fans loved it and it was exciting and there's a lot of different options for playing it.
PHIL MICKELSON: It's fun on any course to have a hole like that, it's fun. It provides a lot of opportunities to have exciting shots, to go for it and try to make birdies different ways. If you don't feel well with your game you can get some momentum the way Stewart did because I think that propelled him into birdieing 16 and 17. It's a great design to have holes like that and it comes out when you have a great format like this in match play.

Q. Could you just speak to the point totals, it's fairly unique for the U.S. to be in this situation, where they are way up top looking down on the other guys in international cup competitions in the last few years.
PHIL MICKELSON: We've only lost one Presidents Cup. I don't know what you're talking about, Steve.

Q. Heading into the last day, there have been some rallies and Ryder Cups and such.
PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, you're talking about the Ryder Cup, too. I see.
JIM FURYK: (Stifling laugh).
PHIL MICKELSON: Go ahead, Jim.
JIM FURYK: I don't even want to speak after he talks to be honest with you. You know, only one other time in the ten matches I've played have we ever sat in this position, in one of the other Presidents Cups at RTJ. And I've sat on the opposite side at least three times, maybe four.
So, yeah, a lot of it has to do with momentum. I felt more relaxed on the golf course today knowing the team was doing well, and you're ahead, and I think it's easier -- I shouldn't say it's easier, but it's less difficult to come down and make birdies down the stretch when you're way ahead than way down. When you're down you're putting more stress and pressure on yourself and you're pressing.
I think it gives you just little comforting thoughts before you play those holes knowing the team is in good shape. You know, it would be big if you could flip it in any sense, but I think it's just a little less difficult when the team is so far ahead than when you're so far behind.

Q. Can you talk about 16 and 17, the birdies today, and whether there was any extra motivation given what happened on 17 yesterday?
STEWART CINK: I wouldn't say motivation based on that 3-footer or whatever it was, two feet.
I wasn't motivated to try to like redeem myself for that. I just wanted to try to win our match. I felt a lot of confidence after actually going back to 15, I hit a pretty good iron shot right towards that flag, and I had the same exact club, exactly the same shot on the next hole, on 16, and I just -- I was feeling it a little bit there, and just went right at it and came off good and made a good putt.
But on 17, I hit it close there, too, and made about an 8-footer. But no, it didn't have anything to do with yesterday. It's golf and it happens, and I wish it had not happened, but it did. You just can't dwell on that kind of thing. If you do, you know, there's plenty of bad shots that I can remember myself hitting or I'm sure Jim and Phil would also be able to remember a few. You just really don't dwell on it. You move on ask wait for your better days.

Q. Jim kind of touched on this, but in an individual 72-hole event, a lot of guys feel out of their element if they have a five or six shot lead going into Sunday and it's ironic, they talk about feeling nervous and you guys essentially have the equivalent of that. You've always been a very good front runner. How does this relate to having a five or six shot lead as an individual and how does it feel having a large lead going into the singles?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's different than a stroke-play event because if he struggles and comes back, the rest of the field is there ready. Here, if one of the guys falls back, that's only one point and we have, you know, quite a few to spare. But we don't want to take it for granted.
We are wanting to come out on top tomorrow, and even though we have a very nice -- we have a very big lead, we still have to go out and win more points if we want to win the Presidents Cup. And so we don't want to take it for granted.
DOUG MILNE: Guys, thank you for joining us.

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