September 29, 2002
SUTTON COLDFIELD, ENGLAND
Q. A moment I know you would like to have never imagined that would happen?
CURTIS STRANGE: They really played well. They beat us. We got a European butt-whipping today. They played excellent. They started out fast. Sam, I think he gambled at the start, but it paid off. They did what they had to do. They front-loaded it so much, but they had to play well and win, and they did that. They played better than we did. They beat us today.
Q. You said earlier in the week, you told me that they were really sharp, and your team wasn't sharp, and you just couldn't figure out why. Anymore of a reflection why that might be at this point?
CURTIS STRANGE: I think we played pretty good golf, honest to goodness. I think we played really good. I think the fans -- it's such an atmosphere out here, the fans ought to be congratulated. It's like playing against the 13th man today. I think the people carried the second half of their field. Look at Phillip Price; he beat Mickelson into the ground.
Q. He played like Nick Price?
CURTIS STRANGE: Nick Price might have had a difficult time today. You have to congratulate them.
Q. Congratulations on a 1-up victory over Sergio Garcia. The most pressure you've ever felt?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah. Definitely. Every putt meant so much, every shot. I was shaking 16 to 17, trying to get those putts in. And I hit a great tee ball on 18. I struggled with the driver all day but stuck it in the middle of the fairway and put the pressure on. I hope we can come out on top.
Q. The 10th hole, what a turnaround, Sergio drives the ball, you have to believe it's on the green, you lay up, win the hole with 3, and from then on you seemed to take over the match. What did you think after the tee shot on 10?
DAVID TOMS: It comes back to what I told myself before I teed off; just play the best I did, and that's what I did there. And percentages worked out in my favor.
Q. Magnificent win against Sergio. Is that the most pressure you've ever felt?
DAVID TOMS: Definitely, by far and away the most pressure. Those last few holes were awfully tough. Just to get it to the house. And I hit a couple of wayward shots, but I made some nice short putts, but stayed in there, and hit a great ball on 18 to put the pressure on him.
Q. Was it everything you wanted it to be?
DAVID TOMS: Absolutely. It's been a wonderful experience, and I just hope we can come out on top, make it a sweeter week for us.
Q. Here with a very excited David Duval. You lose the first two holes of the match. What was your mindset at that point?
DAVID DUVAL: It wasn't down, really. The first hole played really well, the second hole I kind of gave it to him. I had some experience from just yesterday being down early. And so I wasn't too worried about it. I figured I was playing well, and some good things would happen for me.
Q. Tell me about the two putts you made at 17 and at 18. We're going to watch them right now.
DAVID DUVAL: 17, I hit a nice drive. It's a tough hole to get it into the fairway. I hit it in the green-side bunker, and hit a nice shot up to about 18 feet and he made it. I thought he would, so I was ready to putt for a half. And that one went right in the middle.
On 18, I should have choked down on my club, the ball was a little bit above my feet. I hit it fat because of that. But then I had a bad lie over on the bunker, but managed to hit a good shot. And Darren hit a good shot. I had no intention of him putting, regardless of whether he made his -- whether I made mine or not.
HAL SUTTON: Well, really everything is close. We had a couple of bad losses up early, but this is a strong-willed team, and I'm sure they will fight to the finish. These guys are all great players, and they're very capable, and we'll just have to wait and see to the end.
Q. The Americans have never had a great record on the 18th hole for some reason, do you think that's going to be a keyhole, and has there been anything said to try to turn those finishes around?
HAL SUTTON: I think these guys are up for the challenge of the 18th hole. I've watched everybody play the hole this week, and everybody's long, and they hit the ball in the right direction. I look for good things to happen out of the Americans on 18.
Q. If you were the captain of this team right now, what would you be feeling?
HAL SUTTON: Uptight, just like I'm sure Curtis is. We've got a bunch of great players on this team with a lot of heart. We'll have to sweat it out until the end.
Q. Scott, you're a Ryder Cup rookie, but you seemed calm all week; were you aware of the worsening situation as the day went on?
SCOTT VERPLANK: Well, yes, because it's been a little too loud all day. And we were hoping for it to be a little more quiet. But it's not over yet.
Q. We talk about you being a rookie, you're not exactly 22 years old. Number one, I wonder how much that helped, and No. 2, I wonder what your first Ryder Cup experience has been like?
SCOTT VERPLANK: It's been great. Hopefully these guys at the end here can kind of success it up and get us home. But I've had a great time. It's been a fabulous week with Curtis and all the guys on the team. It was everything I expected. Personally I'm pleased. I didn't really have any nerves. I had a ball today. I played great today and had a great time.
Q. The shot you holed against them at Muirfield was very similar; did you think about that?
PAUL AZINGER: After I hit it I thought about it. I was struggling, and trying to play one shot at a time. I wasn't nervous at any point, even toward the end. I was in trouble and I knew the team was in trouble. And we need to get this point right here.
Q. I know you know it was important, but did you know the graft of the shot when you holed it to keep the thing alive?
PAUL AZINGER: I knew I needed to make a birdie. My only hope if it didn't go in was that he would 3-putt. I just got lucky.
DAVIS LOVE III
Q. Davis tell me what happened at 18?
DAVIS LOVE III: We knew it was over right after Pierre teed off. And Pierre, the gentleman that he is, offered in the fairway, he said do you want to take a halve. He actually offered me my point, he was going to concede the point to me. We asked Andy McFee, the rules official, if that was okay, and he said it's not very good form, but you can do whatever you want. I said we'll just play it. And then Sergio ran out and was laying in the fairway. And I said, "Look, we don't need to play with a celebration going on and people on the green." We agreed to take a half.
Q. Were you upset with the fact that Garcia was in the middle of the fairway?
DAVIS LOVE III: It was -- they won. It's over. And it's hard to not celebrate. And -- but it wasn't the way to finish the match.
Q. How are you feeling now?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not feeling great. I didn't play well enough to win. And Phillip Price seemed to have an answer every time he hit a good shot. Every time I knocked it close, he followed it up sometimes from out of the rough. And he played great. He shot a bunch under par, I don't know how many exactly, didn't make a bogey. And it was difficult for me to make up ground.
Q. I think it was five birdies and no bogeys, to be exact. Any way you underestimated his ability going into these single matches?
PHIL MICKELSON: The reason I did not underestimate his ability and I played against him earlier in the week, and he was playing fabulous, and making a bunch of putts, I knew he was going to putt well. He made a bunch of putts, just like expected. Unfortunately I didn't make enough birdies.
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