Wow, it doesn’t get much — actually, any better than the singles matches at the Ryder Cup and Team Europe’s unbelievable comeback. Well done. Kudos to the Europeans.
I’m sure you’re all itching to chime in on the epic loss and win. First, I’ll share the way Sunday unfolded from my viewpoint, and then I’ve posted the full transcripts of both teams press conferences. You may have heard about the legendary drunkenness of the European team. (Can anyone say best presser ever?!)
Again, in case you missed the press conferences, I’m posting the full transcripts. As you can imagine, the American team’s was like a funeral, while the European’s was like a keg party (which was amazing and entertaining — but sounds like it didn’t translate on TV in the same manner for everyone, so you gotta trust me on this one, it was great in person).
KELLY ELBIN: Captain Davis Love III and the United States Team are joining us after the Americans fell to Europe today 14½ to 13½ in the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club. Opening comments, please, on what must have been a very difficult loss today on home soil.
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it was certainly a difficult loss. I think any Ryder Cup loss is difficult. There are some guys on this team that have lost and it’s never fun any way it happens. Today was certainly not what we expected.
I’d have to say that I’m very proud of this team, though. They played very well. We had a lot of guys today that played well and just got beat. They got beat by some holed putts, chipins, some incredible shots, and some matches got flipped at the end on long putts and great saves by the other team. I have to congratulate them on the way they played. They played great.
But I can’t be more proud of this team. They conducted themselves with class all week. They inspired the fans to get behind them. But they showed the fans what golf is all about and how to act. I think this is I said this is one of the most powerful teams ever put together. But it’s also one of the classiest teams put together.
We had a great time in the team room. We had a great time on the golf course.
They did everything we asked them to do, and I can honestly say that I’ve been a part of a lot of teams and I’ve never seen a team of golfers like this, and I’m proud of them.
KELLY ELBIN: Thank you, Captain. Let’s open up for questions for Captain Love and the United States Team.
Q. Tiger, why did you concede Molinari’s threefoot putt on the last? Had he missed it, it would have been a tied match, 1414 which is a lot better from a U.S. perspective than a onepoint defeat.
TIGER WOODS: It was already over. We came here as a team. This is a team event. And the Cup was already been retained by Europe, so it was already over.
Q. Could you walk us through the last two holes, just give us the details of 17 and 18 from your perspective?
JIM FURYK: In exactly what way?
Q. I’m just hoping that you can walk us through the shots and how difficult was that bunker shot at 17 and then where you were on 18; there seemed to be a lot of shots that went long today on 18. Wondering what was going on there.
JIM FURYK: I think the wind was a little confusing to the players. 17 I was a little bit inbetween clubs. Did not want to go long there, and you know, tried to give I took the lesser of the two, tried to give it a little bit more, and in doing so, you know, hit the ball a little hard, came over it. It rode the wind, got in that back left bunker, which had I hit it short of that and on the green, it would have been a much better spot. I hit a great bunker shot but it caught the collar and shot to the right and left myself, what, about a 12footer straight uphill that I misread.
Then I heard that most players missed that putt out to the right today.
18, I hung my drive a touch to the right. I was actually surprised it was in the bunker. I hit a very good second shot. I actually had the identical yardage I had yesterday playing in the foursome matches. Hit the same club, and I just feel like the wind was probably a little bit more righttoleft than it was into and righttoleft; and was a little surprised to see it went as long as it was. I hit my first putt exactly how I wanted; I thought I hit it within three or four feet, but it just kept trickling out; and hit my second putt pretty much exactly where I wanted to, and it never took the break. I hit it what I thought was right edge or outside, and it stayed there the whole time and caught a piece of the hole.
Q. Can I ask you in hindsight, is there anything differently you would have done as a captain? And I’m thinking specifically about leaving Keegan and Phil out from one session when they were obviously playing so well together.
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, in hindsight, we would have done a lot of things differently, I guess.
No, these guys asked to do certain things during the week, and there are some guys that didn’t want to sit out; but guys that felt like they needed to rest, we let them rest.
I I’m going to secondguess myself for a long time. Could have done a lot of things differently, but I’m proud of
PHIL MICKELSON: Hold on, Davis. Hold on one sec, Davis.
As far as playing Keegan and I, you need to hear something. Keegan and I knew going in that we were not playing in the afternoon, and we said on the first tee, we are going to put everything we have into this one match, because we are not playing the afternoon. And when we got to 10, I went to Davis and I said, listen, you’re seeing our best; you cannot put us in the afternoon, because we emotionally and mentally are not prepared for it. And I know you’re going to get pressure, because we’re playing so good.
But we have other guys that are dying to get out there, and we have mentally put everything into this match; we won’t have anything later, and so you need to stay to our plan. So you cannot put that on him; if anything, it was me, because I went to him 10 and said that to him.
DAVIS LOVE III: I’ll add to that. Michael Bamberger has been asking me every night and some mornings, what’s my most special moment of the day was, and one of my most special moments this week was some of the guys back in the team room and the guys on my radio were calling for Keegan and Phil. So I rode out to 10 and popped under the ropes and Phil came running over and started yelling at me, we are putting the most effort into this, we are giving you our all and we are going to win this match and do not play me in the afternoon. And I thought that was the funniest thing I had ever heard.
He was really adamant that he did not think that they should play in the afternoon; that some of the other guys would have a lot more energy and would play well.
It was a tough call. We had a lot of tough calls. You know, Tiger not playing was a tough call. Tiger had, I think we figured out if it was a strokeplay event the first two days, Tiger might have been leading, and it’s hard to sit a guy out that’s making seven birdies a round.
We felt like alternateshot, that that would be a good spot for him to rest. You know, would I have liked to have had everybody on our team play four matches the first two days? Yeah, because they were all playing really, really well.
Q. We were all incredibly impressed as ever with your sportsmanship against Justin Rose. Could you just talk me through how pivotal those last two holes were for the European momentum right at the top of the order?
PHIL MICKELSON: Where are you, Handsome? I don’t see you. (Laughter.)
As far as the last couple of holes, I don’t know what else to say. I mean, we played some really good golf, didn’t make any mistakes throughout the entire day, won every hole with birdies. Got to 16, and after I made a 12footer for par, he knocked a 10footer in right on top of me.
17, I thought I won the match, I thought chipped in. I can’t believe the ball didn’t break that last inch in there. And after that ball didn’t go in, he made that long putt. That was a huge momentum boost. What a big turnaround, because it looked like I was going to be dormie, if not close him out.
On 18, when it looked like I might be able to stop some of momentum on the board, they were able to get another point, and I thought that match, as early as it was, was a very pivotal one.
Q. Could you tell me were there points of the day that stick in your mind as when you really started to believe that this could be going against you, because you were obviously very confident at the start. And was there a point when you felt that the pressure was starting to tell on your players?
DAVIS LOVE III: We felt like we had the back end right where we wanted it with Tiger and Strick and Duf and those guys, Furyk at the end.
Phil just described the whole Ryder Cup right there. We played well. We had a couple matches get flipped by guys that made incredible putts. I mean, I was behind 16 green, I came to watch Phil play 16, 17 and 18, and when Phil made that putt at 16, I thought he had just done something spectacular for The Ryder Cup.
And then right on top of him, two putts, boom, boom, boom; three putts, boom, boom, boom, and all of a sudden he got beat. I don’t think he lost, he just got beat by a guy that finished well. Poulter’s last five birdies, just to get to a win on 18, was incredible. Things like that kept happening to us. You know, Phil played great. As I said, Tiger played great. A lot of guys played great and just got beat by a guy that played a little bit better.
Q. Obviously just a phenomenal first two days for you, and as a rookie, can you talk about the difference in the emotions in today and not winning and how you are feeling?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It was a difficult day for most of us. It was really neat coming back into the team room and having everybody kind of come together and let each other know that we all had each other’s backs.
And it just made you feel really, really good. I’ve never really felt more on a team in my life. I mean, we are all very close, and it was just such an unbelievable week to share with these guys and the captains and one that I’ll never forget. And I’m going to be disappointed that we are not going to get together tomorrow to all get ready to play.
Q. The ending there after Kaymer made the putt, the idea of a tie is awkward, but yet it still was there, and there was that big celebration and everything, and Tiger and Molinari are in the fairway with that point still at stake. I’m just curious your take on that; did 1414 not matter? I think it left the players maybe a little bit confused as to what they were playing for at that point.
DAVIS LOVE III: It always leaves me confused at The Ryder Cup when we’re all standing around knowing the outcome and matches have to be played to their conclusion. I think it’s very awkward.
I saw some confusion on both sides of, what do we do here; it’s over. There was a lot of disappointment, a lot of emotion on our side. You know, I saw Molinari looking around; what do I do here.
I just think when it’s over, we all shake hands and go. It doesn’t really matter the score. They had the Cup, and they knew it. They were celebrating while we were trying to get out of Tiger’s way and Molinari’s way to hit shots. It was very awkward. I don’t think any of us that haven’t played Ryder Cups and stood out there on that green know that kind of feeling. I know I’ve had that with Darren Clarke, and I’ve had that several times where either we’ve won or they have won, and you still have to keep playing.
So I think it’s very awkward.
Q. For the guys that were around in ’99, have you ever paused to think about what the Euros felt like at that period, and just kind of what this feeling is like, if you’ve had time in the last whirlwind hour or so to think it’s going to come around to you guys?
DAVIS LOVE III: I thought about it last night when we put our pairings together. I thought about it when I woke up about 6:15 this morning on the morning we were supposed to sleep in.
I know what we felt like going into it, and you know, the stunning defeat that they had that day. We knew that they remembered that, as well. Exact same score.
So I tried to remind the guys a little bit yesterday, even after the third session, that the tournament was not even halfway over yet pointwise. We had a long way to go. We tried to not focus on results, but we talked about it a little bit last night; that all we could do was just go out, play one match at a time, everybody go out and have fun, try to win their point.
You know, and when Hal Sutton sent his two best teams out Friday morning in Detroit, I thought it was a great plan. The first two teams that were supposed to win didn’t win. It didn’t work.
I’m sure there’s a lot of great plans in a lot of sporting events that sound really good the night before, before the game starts, and then there’s a fumble or a turnover or something happens and it doesn’t work.
What didn’t work today is they played a little bit better than us and got some momentum and made it tough. But, again, should record these conversations that we had last night of why we put people down, why we slid names around on the board, and I thought it was very interesting, some of the things guys came up with.
But when you end up with the power and the excitement that we had in those first groups, and we had what we felt like was the steadyEddie guys in the back, we thought it was a great lineup.
Again, a few putts they made, a few putts we missed, and it would have been a huge difference. We had a couple matches flip that we didn’t expect. At one point I think we had five or six allsquares. That means it can go either direction, and it’s whoever makes a putt.
KELLY ELBIN: Phil, Jim or Tiger, care to elaborate on anything Captain Love said?
JIM FURYK: I couldn’t hear that.
KELLY ELBIN: Any further comments to the question about how it compared to winning in ’99, if any of this has gone through your mind?
JIM FURYK: How this compared to ’99? Well, that was fun. This was pretty miserable. So I mean, it was very similar circumstances with the four points. Very similar score today, if not identical score.
You know, it was a hell of a lot of fun being on the other end. It wasn’t very much fun today.
Q. You had some tough finishes in events this year; can you describe the difference as an individual, versus this kind of maybe letting your teammates down or your captain who picked you to be on the team?
JIM FURYK: Well, first of all, I would gather that you probably haven’t been on a team to ask that question.
Losing the U.S. Open this year, losing Bridgestone, I’ll be honest, it’s been a very difficult year. But if you had been on a team or if you had been on this team, I’ve got 11 guys, I’ve got a captain, I’ve got four assistants that I know will pat me on the back; that know how I feel, understand how I feel. You know, we came here as a team. We wanted to win The Ryder Cup as a team, and we didn’t do it, but we are going to leave here in the same fashion. And I’ve got 11 guys here and I have a captain and I have four assistants that have my back.
It’s been a low year. I’ve played very well this year but haven’t closed the door. I’m pretty sure Sergio would tell you that I outplayed him today but I didn’t win and I lost the match. I’ve had a lot of that happen this year.
As far as team versus individual, it’s the lowest point of my year.
Q. You know Ian Poulter and you’ve played against Ian here; what do you see in his sort of psychology, his makeup, that turns him into Superman when The Ryder Cup comes around, and do you think that’s peculiar to a European player?
TIGER WOODS: I think Monty was probably the same way. Monty had a fantastic career and an even better Ryder Cup career. I think Poults is about the same. He’s say again?
Q. Why, though?
TIGER WOODS: I don’t know, you’d have to ask him. I just play against him. I know that he plays well in this event, and he’s tough to beat.
Q. Sort of a followup on an earlier question, just curious what was going through your head on 18 as you’re standing there in the fairway, and at that point, is there motivation or do you feel it’s worth it to actually play for a tie at that point?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, well, I’ve been in that situation before. If you guys remember in 2002, I was in that same position against Jesper on 17 when McGinley won the Cup.
So you know, you come here as a team, and you win or lose as a team, and it’s pointless to even finish. It’s a little different than a Presidents Cup, because The Presidents Cup, you can keep playing until there’s a tie and basically every match is pretty much done.
It’s interesting being out there; as I said, I’ve been out there twice when that’s happened, and it’s a tough spot to be in, because you know, you’ve got to finish out the match, even though it’s useless because our team didn’t get the Cup and they did.
So 18 was just hey, just get this over with, and you know, congratulations to the European Team. They played fantastic today, and they deserve the Cup.
Q. When did you know that your match had become increasingly more important, and then maybe could you walk us through the last two holes?
STEVE STRICKER: You know, had a pretty good idea it was going to be important pretty early in the round, really, maybe even at the turn. When I went past the board at No. 10 tee, saw a lot of blue up on the board, started doing the math. Kind of figured that it was going to come down to Tiger or I in the last two groups.
Yeah, I just, you know, knew it was going to be important, and we just I didn’t get it done. Had a couple opportunities. Just let a couple putts slip by, a couple shots here and there.
Yeah, pretty disappointing, but still a great experience again. We really came together I thought as a team this week, and we had so much fun. And to see everybody get together after it was all said and done, and still be a team, be united as a team, I thought was pretty cool to see.
Yeah, disappointing, but still, I love all these guys. We all played I thought very well all week and just came out on short end.
DAVIS LOVE III: The only thing I would add is we had the whole staff of The PGA of America, Medinah Golf Club; we had my brother and support staff that we brought with us; we had four assistant captains; we had 12 players; and Ollie summed it up best: Everybody in America can be proud of this team. Thank you.
BUBBA WATSON: Thank you for your questions.
KELLY ELBIN: Matching the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history, the victorious 2012 European Ryder Cup Team and Captain José Maria Olazábal are with us here at the 39th Ryder Cup.
Captain, you had momentum coming in today, a guiding force watching over you, incredible play from your team, and congratulations on a stirring victory, the fourth for Europe on U.S. soil.
JOSÉ MARIA OLAZÁBAL: Yeah, it’s been an unbelievable day. It’s true that yesterday I think we felt that something was going our way in those last two matches. They were crucial for the outcome of this match. And last night, when we got together at the team meeting, all I did was just tell the boys that I still believed that we could turn things around, that all we needed was just to be a little bit more effective on the greens and to make a few more putts, and that would change the tide for us.
I think the players believed, and you know, what happened today, I think it will go it will go down in the history books of The Ryder Cup. You know, it was a huge comeback, and I’m really happy for these 12 wonderful men.
Q. Ian, question for you, please. Poults, we know everyone on the top table is passionate about The Ryder Cup, but you seem to put so much fire and energy into it; where does the energy come from, and how long does it take you to come down from a week like this?
SERGIO GARCIA: Two years. (Laughter.
IAN POULTER: I’m officially taking two years off, and I’ll see you at the next one.
I don’t know. It’s a passion I have; it’s a passion I’ve seen at The Ryder Cup for years and years as a kid growing up, and it’s something that comes from within. I don’t know. I just love it. I love the whole fact that I’ve got 11 great teammates, a fantastic captain and vice captains, and I love the team atmosphere. It’s something very, very special to be a part of, and you grow a lot closer to 11, 12, 13, 14 other people, and it’s very, very special moments that you get at a Ryder Cup.
LEE WESTWOOD: We have got is this on? We have actually revised the qualification for next time. It’s nine spots, two picks and Poults.
SERGIO GARCIA: (Laughs.)
LEE WESTWOOD: Poults clause.
Q. Back in 1999, you stood on the 17th green as America celebrated and you waited patiently to get your turn to putt and so forth. Today the 17th hole proved pretty pivotal to your team. Wondering if you can just comment on the symmetry on that, or the irony that you flipped four matches at that hole.
JOSÉ MARIA OLAZÁBAL: Well, that’s golf. I think the atmosphere has been fantastic, especially around those last few holes, 16, 17, and 18. I think yesterday afternoon, the players noticed that kind of atmosphere, and you know, I think that’s what brings the best in every player when you’re playing in front of that crowd, that kind of crowd, so noisy; I think that’s what we really dream of, to be in that kind of situations.
You put that same hole with not a soul in it, and you wouldn’t deliver the same.
Q. Rory can I ask you to go through your rather interesting morning, please?
RORY McILROY: It was a rather long
SERGIO GARCIA: Rory, do you mind if I take this one?
RORY McILROY: Sergio, I’d rather you not.
LEE WESTWOOD: (Making siren noises.)
SERGIO GARCIA: We actually were talking yesterday after dinner, and he said to me, “You know, when you went through that year without warming up, how did it feel?”
I said, “You know, it’s quite interesting. The best thing about it is you always come out to the course with the right attitude, because it doesn’t matter how bad your shot is on the first tee; it’s the best shot you’ve hit that day.”
So he said, “You know, I might try that tomorrow.”
We knew he was going to make it. We thought it was going to be 15 minutes, not 10 minutes, but, you know, we were fine.
RORY McILROY: You know, the last couple days were very long. Captain Olazábal wanted to play me in all four sessions, so I needed just that extra bit of sleep no, to be honest, I looked at the tee times last night, and I must have saw them in eastern time and I thought it was 12:25 instead of 11:25. Walking out my hotel room door this morning at 11:00, and I get a phone call saying, “You’re on the tee in 25 minutes.” I’m like, oh I’ve never been so worried going to the golf course.
Luckily there was a state trooper at the bottom outside the lobby of the hotel that took me here and got me here a lot faster than we would have normally. I had just enough time to put my shoes on, have a couple of putts and go to the first tee.
JOSÉ MARIA OLAZÁBAL: (Shaking head.
RORY McILROY: In a way it wasn’t a bad thing because I didn’t have time to think about it, and I just went out and played, and I played probably the best I’ve played all week. I still would have liked to have gotten here sooner, but I delivered my point for the team, and that was the most important thing.
I was like, “Just get me there, get me there.”
He was like, “Do you have motion sickness?”
I’m like, “No, I don’t care, just get me to that first tee.”
Q. How fast?
RORY McILROY: Fast enough.
Q. Paul, you’ve now been on both sides of the greatest lastday comeback in The Ryder Cup; how does it feel to be sitting up there as a winner this time?
PAUL LAWRIE: Obviously a lot better than ’99 felt. That was pretty tough. We were 106 ahead in Brookline, and obviously the American Team played fantastic in the singles and deservedly won.
But today, you know, especially at my age, to be part of this team and to come back from 106 behind on American soil, doesn’t get any better.
Q. Just wondering given the fact that the team jumped out to a quick, you know, won the first five matches today, whether that might have taken the home crowd out of things a little bit, whether that could have had any effect on how things went for you?
LUKE DONALD: Well, I think that was our strategy was to try and get
LEE WESTWOOD: (Having separate conversation with photographer and Justin Rose.)
LUKE DONALD: Do you mind? The strategy was to get out early and get some blue on the board early. That’s what happened in Brookline in ’99. We missed the first six games
SERGIO GARCIA: You weren’t even in Brookline in ’99; what the hell do you know?
LUKE DONALD: Hey, you told me.
NICOLAS COLSAERTS: He’s got the DVD at home.
Q. Obviously you haven’t been on form; what did it mean to you to deliver the winning point and after the way you’ve been struggling a little bit the last number of months?
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, on one hand, I must say, you know, it was not only me; obviously I made an important point, but on the other hand, you know, what the other 11 players have done the last two or three days, you know, it’s a team here, and that is I think Graeme had the same experience as me two years ago, and I didn’t know how much pressure he must have felt until I get to 16 today and José Maria told me, “We need your point. And I don’t really care how you do it; just deliver.”
But I like those; that’s very straightforward. That’s the way we Germans are. Fortunately I could handle it, and I made the last putt. But I think it will give me a huge push, a huge confidence for the next few months, and definitely for next year; if you know you can make those important putts in I don’t even know if important is the right word, but it’s probably more than that; important situations; then pretty much you can do anything.
And then just knowing that, and getting the job done, not only for the team, but for me it was very important to get the trophy for José Maria, because I know how much it means to him, and I think we can be very, very proud and very happy to have such a strong man behind the team.
I really mean, that because it’s been a great journey for us the last few months. And especially this week, he’s such a great man for us.
Q. Being the only rookie here on the team, how would you describe the magic of this team, and who will start the party tonight?
NICOLAS COLSAERTS: Undescribable. When I was given a chance to be part of this experience, I have never thought it was going to be this intense.
I’ve had so many dreams about being part of experiences like these, but this has just been mindblowing since practice rounds day one. Hanging out with all these guys, discovering all different personalities, and seeing them deliver on a day of the highest pressure like this in front of the whole world, is, like I said, it’s just undescribable.
Q. You said earlier in the week that playing in Wales opened your eyes to The Ryder Cup; as the world’s best player, No. 1 player now after having gone through the downs and ups this week, what do you think about this thing?
RORY McILROY: It is the most special and unique golf tournament we have, period. To bring this group of guys together; to all play for the same cause; we win together, we lose together, and luckily the last two Ryder Cups, we have won together.
I said this at the start of the week: There’s nothing better than celebrating a win with your teammates. We don’t get to do it very often, and you know, when we do, it’s just so nice to have these guys around and to celebrate it with them.
Q. When you were standing over that putt on 18, did you think about Bernhard Langer and his putt in 1991?
SERGIO GARCIA: I did.
RORY McILROY: Me, too.
SERGIO GARCIA: But I thought, he’s going to turn it around.
MARTIN KAYMER: I mean, I don’t like the question, but it’s true; yes, I did.
I did think about him, especially when I walked around the hole and read the putt from the other side. And to be honest, there were well, there was a footprint in my line, but it was not that bad. So I thought, okay, it’s not going to be it’s not going to happen again, it’s not going to happen again.
And to be honest with you, I didn’t really think about missing. There was only one choice you have; you have to make it.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, boy.
MARTIN KAYMER: I was not that nervous. I was so very controlled, because I know exactly what I had to do. But if you ask me now how that putt went and how it rolled, I have no idea. I can’t remember. When it went in, I was just very happy, and that is something that I will remember probably for the rest of my life and hopefully I can talk about when I have some grandchildren one day.
Q. Amazing performance, the reaction to your performance in particular has been phenomenal, and I see your brother sent you a message last night saying how proud he was of you; your kind of relatively humble beginnings of this sport are welldocumented, and you’ve come from that to in many ways be the emotional leader of Europe’s greatestever Ryder Cup victory. I wonder if you have had a moment to reflect on those terms at all
IAN POULTER: I don’t think I’ve really had a lot of time to reflect. I’ve kind of been enjoying it with all my teammates.
It’s been a truly inspirational day. It’s been history in the making. It’s been one that I’d like to obviously I’m taking three weeks off after this to sit down; I’m definitely having a few drinks, and I’ll have a very good reflect back on what’s been an incredible week. I think I’ve had huge support from so many people this week, and it’s been amazing. You know, from the captain to the vice captains, to everybody in the team room, you know, it’s been a long week, and we was being beaten, but yet yesterday, there was something in that team room which ignited everybody, and it was inspirational, just to see everybody’s kind of personalities change and the atmosphere change in that room; and I knew there was a glimmer of hope.
So I’d like to take a bit of time next week and the week after and the week after to sit down and really enjoy what’s been a really memorable day and week.
Q. Question for Justin.
LEE WESTWOOD: Here we go.
JUSTIN ROSE: Is that David Facey’s voice?
LEE WESTWOOD: Is that David Facey’s son?
Q. First of all, it is easier to keep the Chicago crowds quiet or Westwood?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, Westwood’s chirping at me. He seems in good form right now.
In terms of keeping the crowds quiet, we knew that that was possible. We felt that last night, really, with Poults and the guys winning their two games down 18 last night. And coming down the stretch this afternoon, there was some amazing periods where you just didn’t hear anything on the golf course, and that’s really what we were striving for today.
Q. Is there a case to be made that the last two points last night were as big as any points today, and can you speak to the role of momentum in this event?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. Go on, Luke, hammer it hard.
LUKE DONALD: Absolutely. I think the whole atmosphere of the team changed last night. Sergio and I hanging onto that point who is it, Sergio? (Sergio Garcia’s phone ringing.)
Obviously getting that point and the celebrations that went with that, that was just a huge boost to our team and our morale, how we felt about our chances. It gave us a huge lift. You know, I think Poults making that putt on 18 in the dark last night was the difference.
Q. Some of the things that went down this weekend, y’all are complete legends, Luke, the 7iron you hit yesterday on 17, the putts you made Rosey what are some of the thoughts going through your head as you’re making these putts? Do you notice what’s going around you and how do you get it done?
NICOLAS COLSAERTS: Like I said the first day, man, you go with what’s in your pants.
SERGIO GARCIA: Well said, Dude.
LEE WESTWOOD: I like that, dude. I liked it. (Laughter.)
Q. Martin, how did it feel yesterday when you had to sit out the whole day, and also, can you tell a little bit about the words of advice that you received from Bernhard Langer?
MARTIN KAYMER: To be honest it was very difficult yesterday. You want to prove that you can do better than what I showed on Friday, because on Friday, I didn’t show good golf, and so I didn’t get the possibility yesterday, which was fair enough, it was José Maria’s decision, and we have to respect that, but I definitely want to show him that I can win a match here. And I didn’t know that it’s going to be that important, but it was very important for me to make that experience, as well, yesterday, because it didn’t feel good, and I don’t want to be in that situation again.
And then I took the possibility to talk to Bernhard a little bit yesterday. I texted him on Friday night and asked him if we could sit down on Saturday morning and talk about the Ryder Cup, because my I felt like my attitude and I would say I was not as inspired as I should be, I thought.
We talked a little bit about a bunch of stuff, and he has been a fantastic role model for me, and he’s always there if I need him. And that is very rare to have someone like him that you can ask whenever you need to.
But I got even more inspired to be honest with you by Poulter yesterday. I told Ian after 18 that I thought about him on 16; when I had the par putt on 16, I thought, come on, if he can do it, you can do it, too. So show him that you have that he inspired you for that special event.
And so he has been fantastic for the team great pick by Olazábal. Ian should be set in the Ryder Cup forever.
Q. Can I ask the players, when the Americans woke this morning, they were 106 in front, and when you’re in that position, you’re expected to win and you’re meant to win. I just wonder whether that transferred the pressure to them that way and enabled you all to relax and play your natural game without the pressure of expectation.
SERGIO GARCIA: Anyone? Well, I’ll try my best.
I guess it does in a way. Some of us were in this position in ’99, and you know, we knew what happened there. We knew that
GRAEME McDOWELL: Pass the drinks along, Sergio.
PAUL LAWRIE: (Passing drinks down the table to rest of team.)
SERGIO GARCIA: We knew if we got going
PAUL LAWRIE: (Laughing.)
NICOLAS COLSAERTS: We are still missing a few.
SERGIO GARCIA: We knew if we got going early, we needed to put the American Team in a situation where we wanted to see how they felt with a bit more pressure on. Obviously everything was going their way throughout the whole week. You know, they were making the putts, they were getting the good breaks here and there. We were just waiting to change that a little bit and see if we could do the same thing they did to us in ’99 and see how they could react against that.
Obviously a lot of the matches were won because some of my teammates played amazing and some others, you know, we took the possibility or the opening that they gave us; and you know, I have been in that position; Lee has been in that position; José has been in that position; I don’t know who else obviously Paul has been in that position in ’99, and we know how it feels, and it’s not easy.
So we wanted to see how they would react and see if they could hold it; and it was a combination of playing great and maybe then that little bit of pressure getting to them.
Q. Tiger’s match ended up not mattering today; how crucial was that that he was effectively shutout?
JOSÉ MARIA OLAZÁBAL: Well, not at all, because actually they were four points ahead coming Sunday, so they must have done something right.
This is a team event. Obviously all players have to contribute in order to win. But I don’t see that being any in any way special in that regard. There is 12 players, there is four matches played in the morning, four in the afternoon, and you have to try to win as many points as you can.
We were four points behind come Sunday, and that was, yeah, in effect, Tiger without winning a single point; yes, that is true. But at the end of the day, we were four points behind.
Q. It’s possible that one of your four vice captains will be named as your successor; can you speak a little bit in detail about what each of the four brought to the team and how that might have made the difference perhaps between winning and losing?
JOSÉ MARIA OLAZÁBAL: Well, obviously they bring a lot of knowledge, experience; but at the same time, a lot of diversity. All four guys are completely different. They have their own way of thinking. And I think that combination is very helpful or has been very helpful in this case for me, because I could have the view from a different perspective of how things were going.
And that’s what they bring.
Also, they have the respect of these 12 men here. They have done they have played great golf for many years. They have won Darren has won a major event and Thomas has been fighting for it, and they have been great golfers for many, many years and these guys respect that.
Q. Sergio, please.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, sorry.
GRAEME McDOWELL: (Holding rabbit ears over Sergio’s head).
Q. Wondering if you can describe the last two holes, and were you aware of him tensing up with the pressure getting to him?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think the 16th hole was well, there were a couple moments, but I think the 16th hole was probably heartbreaking for him, because he hit a great putt. I managed to get a great up-and-down from the front bunker. I hit a great putt to win the hole and go 2up with two to go and he lipped out.
Obviously the last couple of holes, 17 is a tough hole with the pressure. He pulled it left and I hit a decent shot to the middle of the green, and he didn’t manage to get up-and-down.
And then, 18, you could see, as reliable as he usually is, you could see he was feeling a little bit. He didn’t hit his best drive. He hit a good second shot, but probably a little bit too much adrenaline and went over the back. And then you know, I hit a bit of a girly putt to try to win the game, but he still had a seven or eight-footer to halve, and he missed that.
You know, it was one of those moments that you obviously feel it, and when you are up for a long time and you feel like things are going the wrong way, it’s hard sometimes to stop it. And unfortunately for him, he couldn’t do it.
Q. Francesco, were you surprised to be given that putt on 18 by Tiger in the last match? I know you probably would have got it, but it changed the match to a European win
SERGIO GARCIA: Not probably. He would have definitely got it.
FRANCESCO MOLINARI: He’s an optimistic.
No, I mean, I don’t know, I was a little bit not surprised; I was getting ready to hit the putt. You know, I thought about giving him the halve on the fairway, but then the Captain was there, the Chairman was the there, they told me, it’s not the same, winning or halving, so get focused and do your best, and that’s what I did. So I just tried to win the hole, to win the tournament, basically.
I was getting ready to hit the putt. I wasn’t expecting him to give it to me.
Q. You learned how to win at The Ryder Cup from Seve; you dedicated this Ryder Cup to him; you wore his name and silhouette on your sweater today; what does it mean to you to win in his name, and how emotional did you get thinking about him as you won it?
JOSÉ MARIA OLAZÁBAL: Obviously emotional he’s already smiling about it and laughing about it. This has been a very special week. Seve, it’s the first time that he’s not here with us at The Ryder Cup. He passed away last year. I do have wonderful memories from my matches with him. He was a very special man, and he’s very close to my heart.
All these guys sitting here on this media room know how much this week has meant to me. And you know, I get emotional about it; but I want to thank them for what they did today. They gave me the best week of my life. And I’m just glad that I had the 12 men on my side ready to give their best during the whole week.
The start of the week was a tough one. Nothing went our way, but these guys kept on believing, and I’m sure that not just the silhouette, but the phone call Seve made last time at Celtic Manor in 2010 and all the images of Seve around the clubhouse, the locker room and things like that, kept that spirit alive.
So it’s not just me. I think these guys did it also for him.
Alright, there’s SO MUCH MORE MATERIAL, but it’s late (and I need a drink badly — and sleep).
It’s been one hell of a marathon. Thanks to both teams for the absolutely amazing show. It goes without saying I won’t ever forget the first Ryder Cup I had the privilege of experiencing and covering (and I reckon it’s the best one so far). Don’t forget to check out the latest PGA Tour Confidential over at golf.com.