Featured Golf News
Americans Tip Caps to Internationals
Team USA won the Presidents Cup for the fifth straight time, beating the 12-man International squad by an 18½ to 15½ margin. The victory at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio was fairly secure entering Sunday's singles matches as the Yanks held a 14-8 lead.
But the Internationals, facing what turned out to be an insurmountable task, gave a solid effort in singles, winning seven matches, halving one and losing four.
Because of the wet conditions at Muirfield Village (heavy rains caused postponements of play in the first two days of the biennial competition) the awards ceremony was moved indoors. After that, an informal press conference was conducted with the captains and members of both teams. Also on hand were Muirfield's host, Jack Nicklaus, and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
Here's a full transcript of the press conference Sunday evening.
MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us for our hybrid press conference as well as the trophy presentation. We first wanted to give the International Team captain, Nick Price, a chance to make some remarks, as well as open up the floor to media.
NICK PRICE: Thanks, Laura. How about a big hand for these guys. That was a pretty impressive day. These guys gave their hearts and souls this week. I was there to witness it, and we had a tall order this afternoon, nine and a half points, against a team of the stature and the ability of the American Team was a really tall order. We were all a little down in the room this morning after the close, after the finish of the team matches.
I can't tell you the effort these guys made this afternoon. I am proud and honored and I will say it again, and I'll say it again - to be the captain of this team. We came together Monday for the first time at a meeting in the hotel, first time I think all 15 of us - sorry, 16 of us, had been in the same room at any given moment. From then on, it was just an absolute pleasure to be around them. I think we saw, you know, three or four of the guys, Graham DeLaet, Brendon de Jonge, Hideki Matsuyama, just to name a few, these guys are going to be around the Presidents Cup for a long time and they played so well all week.
And I want to thank this team for making me look good, because I haven't looked this good for a long time. I want to thank Jack and Barbara and everyone here at Muirfield. I want to thank the grounds staff, the superintendent and his staff, because however hard we worked this week, they worked ten times harder. The effort that they put in to make this golf course playable was phenomenal; the volunteers, as well.
This was just a phenomenal week for all of us and I want to congratulate the U.S. Team. They played golf that was just - it was incredible to watch. Not only did they hit the ball well, they made a lot of putts. They combined well, but for this team, I would be honored if they ever asked me to be captain of this team again, don't care where it is. Thank you. (Applause).
Q. Adam, start with you, before this tournament, you talked about the relevance of the competition and how important a potential win was; did this rally at the end do enough for you to bring relevance to it, or is it still in the struggle zone that you were talking about?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I've been pretty open about what I believe should happen with the event and I don't think that's changed. But our rally this week in a couple of the sessions, and particularly today, showed how much fight we've all got in us. We all wanted this badly, and nine and a half is almost an unobtainable task. We kept it very interesting today, and, you know, all of us up here are champions and we wanted to be champions, and we gave it a good shake. I think with so many new faces on the team, they got a great first experience here with the Cup; guys like Graham, unbelievable what he achieved the last couple of days, chipping in on 18 twice, it's incredible. I hope he embraces that and brings that forward for the future of the tournament.
Q. There was a possibility of a No. 1 versus No.2 match up in singles with Tiger and Adam. How much thought did you give to that pairing, trying to make that happen through the draft, and ultimately, why did it not? I think you picked Adam to fill out a pairing, so making it impossible.
NICK PRICE: I did my pairings this morning to try and win the Cup, not to put 1 or 2 together or 3 or 5 or whatever. And if I think - I can't remember who had first pick this morning, but that was the whole idea of the three of us, the four of us getting to do the picks this morning was to put what we felt was the best strategy forward to win this Cup this afternoon. And you know, sometimes when you have - what happens is Fred has a pick, he puts down first or I put down first, and then he puts down.
So you get basically six what you want and six of what he wants, which makes it very difficult. It's very hard to hide what your intentions are when you have to do that, because if I wanted to put all the guys who are playing the best out first, who had played the strongest this week, to get some momentum for the guys at the back end, you know, after I put two or three names down, Fred new exactly what I was doing. So he kind of counted on that.
When you've got to win nine and a half points, you don't really want to see the opposition to see what you're trying to do. But you know, I'm going back to these guys; they played phenomenal golf this week, and today just showed the grit and determination and the resilience that they have. You know, we play - for all of us here, we have played 95 percent of our golf outside of our home countries. To come together as a team like this against the might of America, this was an extremely strong team, and I'm just so proud of them. I can't say enough about that.
Q. The U.S. dominance has been well documented, obviously, in this event, having won the last five; why do you think that is, and secondly, is there any changes you'd like to see in terms of the format or anything structurally?
NICK PRICE: Oh, yes, there's lots of changes I would like to see but I don't think we should discuss those now. Let's let the Americans enjoy this win and let's look to the future as to what we can do to make this perhaps more competitive.
Q. Why do you think it's been so dominant on one side versus the other?
NICK PRICE: I don't really want to get into that right now to be honest. I think, as I say, let's let the dust settle and let's look and see which way we're going to go to the future on this.
Q. After it got close, obviously it looked to be coming down to your match as far as them clinching. You haven't been in a lot of situations like this in your career, and I wonder what your emotions were coming down the stretch trying to deny Tiger that point?
RICHARD STERNE: No, I was fairly relaxed, I was actually enjoying the match. You know, we played pretty well, but neither of us really made any putts. But obviously 16 was the turning point in our match, and that was unfortunate that it didn't go my way. But it was a good experience.
Q. Ernie, just talk a little about your match with Steve Stricker and perhaps what you found in your putting stroke over the last maybe session and a half or whatever that really made a difference in your game.
ERNIE ELS: I think playing with Brendon helped me a little bit. You know, we had a couple of really good days, both of us really struck the ball unbelievably well. I was struggling a bit on the greens earlier in the week, and you know, thankfully I played a lot of matches and I started finding my putting touch. We had a good match against Steve today. I knew it was going to be tough. You know, the first four or five matches we knew everybody had to come out and so forth to have half a chance. It was a big match, and both Steve and myself knew that. So we played pretty well.
Q. How much does brand of ball play in all of this, especially in foursomes, because you're forced to play the same ball and players might be used to playing specific brands.
ERNIE ELS: You go, Jas. What brand - how do you adapt to the brand?
JASON DAY: You know what, I played with Graham all four matches with him, and we played earlier in the week and we played in alternate shot, and he was hitting my TaylorMade ball to the Titleist ball, and he didn't think there was much of a difference with the TaylorMade ball and vice versa. But just to make it simple, I said I'll switch to Titleist during the alternate shots. And I think the ball manufacturers are pretty close to each other. The top balls are very close, and you know, there wasn't much of a difference there. So I was happy to play Graham's ball and I think we did a pretty good job. Cheers.
Q. You've played in a bunch of these now. What do you think is the difference in terms of the Internationals versus the Americans, and what was the turning point for you guys? Obviously at one point this week, all blue on the board early in the week and so forth.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I thought - I mean, obviously we've got a strong team here. I just thought the American Team played exceptionally well, really. Their level of play was really up there and they made a lot, a lot of birdies. They seemed like they got momentum in most of the sessions, and we were trying to fight ourselves back into it. There were a couple instances here and there, maybe it's a lack of experience, but we just let some matches go here and there, maybe a tee shot here and there or a putt. I think the Americans putted a little bit better than us. But we weren't far away. You know, this morning was a bit of a blow in the morning session. I thought Brendon, myself, the first match we played, I missed some really short putts I think on 16 and so forth. We could have had a point there, also. So it was just - it's closer than you think. We made a nice rally, but like Nick said, it's an awesome team here, seven rookies on the team. These guys know what it's all about now. They are up for it and they showed it this afternoon. We're getting there.
Q. You've played in just about every Presidents Cup, you're certainly the veteran of the two teams; how did this competition rank with all of the ones that you've played in in terms of the stiffness of the competition and in terms of the weather, and the effect that it had on everybody's physical fatigue and so on; where did this one rank in the previous ones you've played?
ERNIE ELS: Well, the weather was probably - I think quickly now, this was the worst weather week we've had, and I think that made it very tough on the captains, making decisions on getting pairings together, getting match ups together, match ups that they thought maybe they could get. But with the timing of certain matches ending and then getting players to play again, made it very difficult on the captain to get some momentum flowing. So I think that made it difficult on that point. But playing Muirfield Village is just an unbelievable experience. These guys love it. We've all played it before. So the course was great. And as I say, the level of play - I said to some of the guys earlier, if you have to count the number of birdies that was made in this Presidents Cup compared to other ones, I think - I feel this one had a lot more birdies in it, so the level of play was outstanding.
Q. With respect to your first Presidents Cup, you didn't play to the level you would have liked to, and especially in your singles match. How much was that weighing on you this week, and is that part of why you wanted to get out so impressively today, and what did that do for you, how you played today and obviously the whole week being this is your home area?
JASON DAY: You know what, looking back on it two years ago, I just really didn't know what to expect. I'm so tired because of the last couple of days with the weather delays, but just learning and getting that experience, I tried to pass it along. It's just tough to play as a rookie, unless you're Graham here (laughter). I played good here. It's my home course, and I really wanted to play well. I played in Australia two years ago and I'm playing here in my second home away from home. And I wanted to get off to a good start, and the confidence is building, which is nice. I played great all week, and I had so much fun. It just feels like we're a family now. We've only been here for a week now, and it's been fun.
Q. You've talked a couple of times about nine and a half points about being a tall order during the singles matches; when it started getting close, did you start thinking it could happen?
NICK PRICE: When the Americans had posted 17 points, if that had been about 45 minutes later, I think it would have been a big difference. But I can't remember who posted the 17th point, but there was still five matches out there. Was it Zach? Yeah. So had that been 45 minutes later, I think it would have been extremely exciting coming down the finish.
Q. There's a lot of work with this, a lot of stress and probably not much sleep; why do you want to do it again?
NICK PRICE: I think this was probably, of all the Presidents Cups I've been involved in, this was probably the hardest because of the weather conditions. These guys got out of bed 4:30 the last two mornings. Come play 36 holes yesterday in very sloppy conditions, and again today played, what, 25, 27 holes. For me, the hardest part was trying to figure out the pairings. I felt like I didn't have enough time to do the pairings the way that - particularly yesterday. You know, we did some pairings yesterday morning and again at about, I think it was one o'clock yesterday afternoon while guys were still on the golf course, and that was hard. It just seemed like we were rushed a little bit. It's the same for Fred, so that's no excuse.
But I think Fred may have had a little experience in that as well ahead of me, and with Davis and Jay, having been captain before. That was the hardest part for me. And also trying to tell the guys this morning that the pairings didn't come out the way I thought they wanted to come out, and you know, that was probably the hardest part. But I tell you what, it's been so much fun, planning strategy the last 14, 15 months, getting to know all of these guys, going to some of the tournaments and meeting them and spending time with them. It's been absolute privilege.
Q. Nick said earlier you guys really only got together for the first time on Monday. Given the fact that you have got seven rookies on this team, you seemed to bond very quickly; would this perhaps be the best team spirit you've experienced in the Presidents Cup?
ERNIE ELS: We always have good team spirit, should I say. I've been playing this since the early 90s with Pricey and the guys. This is an exceptional group; I'm the old man in this group now, myself and my Argentine friend behind me. So we listened to the crap they talk about and we kind of laugh. (Laughter). It's great to see these youngsters be so excited. It's a great experience, through and through. Every year has been wonderful.
Q. For Graham, you've been complimented by Adam, by Nick Price, by almost everybody. Can you talk about just what this week has meant for your career, and what it means for golf back home in Canada?
GRAHAM DeLAET: Yeah, I know that everyone back home is super proud, and I mean, I'm a proud Canadian. It's awesome to be here with these guys representing Canada. You know, we're here as a team, and our main goal was to win, and it's slightly disappointing, but the friendships and bonds that we've made over the last week we'll carry on for a lifetime. That's what we are going to take out of this, and I think we are going to be stronger coming up in two years in Korea. I definitely hope to be a part of that team. We've got a lot of young players, and I mean, I don't think any of us could say enough about our four captains, especially Pricey. He's been unbelievable, and you know, a guy that I'm proud to call a friend now, an absolute legend in the game. It's just an absolute pleasure to be part of this team, and it's unfortunate that we didn't get the W.
MODERATOR: Thank you. We'd like to bring in the victorious U.S. Team players, captains and captains assistants. At this time, it's my pleasure to introduce PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Good afternoon, everyone. On behalf of the Presidents Committee and the members of which whom came from all over the word, all the other tours, the USGA, the PGA of America, we appreciate your cooperation in being here. We apologize for the necessary cancellation of the ceremony we had planned this afternoon due to the weather. We just couldn't see how we could conduct it given the ground conditions with the result of all the rain this week. The rain tried to putt a damper on what this week was all about, but it didn't succeed given, primarily, the efforts of the superintendent and his staff. And is Paul Latshaw in the room? Paul, congratulations to what you managed to do this week. (Applause).
The other shout out has to go to when the players were on and off the course and looking tired and we were tired, and you expect the fans to be tired, but then you look up when the rain abated and the players went back out there and all of these thousands and thousands of people were right there cheering just as hard as they could, and we couldn't be more pleased with having big galleries and enthusiastic galleries and committed, inspired galleries this week. It was just great for the competition.
I have to say that the tradition of each Presidents Cup being better than the last continues this week. By every measure, this was the strongest Presidents Cup we've had. I certainly want to thank Jack and his staff, the community here in central Ohio for that. And finally, to the players who put on a terrific competitive show that got that enthusiasm rolling, particularly I want to thank the captains. These two captains were instrumental in the development of the early years of what the Presidents Cup is all about. It's hard work. Fred's had two of these before this week, so he's been through it. I don't know of any player who has played the Presidents Cup who has been more enthusiastic about it, often calling it his favorite tournament he ever played, than Nick Price, and it was just great to see him take that leadership role this week.
The players and the captains continue the tradition of what the Presidents Cup is all about. They put on a terrific, competitive performance. The sportsmanship that was out there, I heard so many people around talking about how these guys could play so hard against each other and yet clearly have so much fun doing it; and it's hard to beat that as a definition of what sportsmanship is all about. Then of course, the charity heritage which will continue as these players distribute over $4 million in the coming weeks. Finally, I'd just like to add, as Adam and Ernie both mentioned, make a comment about the eight rookies who are on these two teams, seven of which are on the International Team. Watching these rookies play at the level they did, reminds me of how strong the youth movement is in golf globally. So many good, young players coming into the sport, it means we have a great future, and as has been mentioned, particularly on the International team with seven rookies, it means the future of these teams in upcoming Cups is secure, as well.
Congratulations to the first-timers. Before we do the Cup, I'd like to ask each of the captains, Nick and his team have been through some queries by the media, but the American Team wasn't here when those comments were made. So if I could, I'd like to ask first Nick and then Fred to make a couple comments and then we'll do the trophy.
NICK PRICE: Thanks, Tim. First off, Fred, you guys, thanks for a wonderful week. You guys played phenomenal golf this week. I thought I brought a pretty good team here, but the way you guys played was phenomenal. That first nine holes, when he knew what we were up against, and it was incredible to watch, although very hard for us, because we knew what we were up against, as I said.
Jack, thank you for your hospitality. I'm sorry it rains here like it does (shaking head) (laughter) I don't know what to say. I wish one day we would be able to control the weather somehow, but I knew we could all see how much work you and everyone else, all the committees, have put into this week with the stands and just it was incredible when we got here. And the practice rounds were fantastic obviously. And to Paul, the superintendent, again, I thank you for all the hard work that you guys put in. It's been a long week and I'm so glad we got it finished, and congratulations to the U.S. Team. Thank you.
FRED COUPLES: Thanks, Nicky, and what I'd like to say before we get going, is our team has a lot of respect for the International team. Even though they were long days, I can honestly tell you what little time their team probably had together, and ours did, too, we had a lot to talk about, and a lot of it was, the shot making and how you guys played. Now, I get it; that we have won this thing several times. I also get that there's another team competition that we haven't won that many times in the last, probably 20 years, so it's really not that fun to be on the losing side. But we do have a lot of respect for the way you guys played. And from Adam Scott's driving to how far Jason Day hits it to how young Hideki is to the Sterns and all those guys, we really do appreciate the competition.
Then when you get past that, we get to Jack's course, that we absolutely beat up with the galleries and everything else. I was here for the Memorial and I remember Jack talking about how much they spent to redo the clubhouse, and after this, I don't know if you need new carpeting, new flooring, new everything - he's over here shaking hands, and he'll get it done. We come to the Memorial every year and our players play, and so do a lot of Nick's; so it's kind of like home field advantage. But again, on behalf of our team, we would like to say to Nick, thanks for the two years you put in; I believe you've got more of this, and to the team, thanks for coming over and giving us a great fight. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: So the schedule has me conveying the trophy to the winning team and there's really only one person that should convey that trophy, and I'd like to ask Jack to come up and give this to, make a few comments and then give the trophy.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, before I give this to the American side, Nicky, your guys, it was so close. We all know how close it really was. Coming in this week, everybody said, well, the American Team is more experienced at Muirfield everything and else, but your guys were fantastic. Guys, well done, well played. I know you're looking forward to the next one. And to you, Freddie and your guys, and I'm going to let all these guys - I know everybody on every team. These guys played pretty good over here. You guys just played a little bit better. Congratulations, well done. And let me just say that from the City of Columbus, the City of Dublin, Paul Latshaw, Nick LaRocca, everybody here at Muirfield Village and the area, thanks and congratulations, Freddie, to you, and your team. Unbelievable. Davis, Jay, you guys were great. Nice going, guys. Here you go. (Presenting Presidents Cup to Captain Couples).
Q. Bill and Jay Haas, as father and son, does it mean something extra special to you?
JAY HAAS: Well, I appreciate Fred having me the past three times, and to be with these guys is just beyond belief; obviously to have Bill on the last two Presidents Cups was extremely special as you could imagine. It's almost not even a dream come true. I couldn't have dreamt anything quite like this. It's just been an amazing run.
BILL HAAS: Yeah, same for me. I love being a part of these teams, on my second one. It was fantastic. It's one of the few times that I'm treated as a peer by my dad in a sense and not his son (laughter) Well he treats me as another player of the team and I really enjoy it. I feel like I belong with these guys, and it's so much fun. Winning, obviously, coming down to Tiger there, very fitting, something I'll never forget. Playing with Strick, winning the alternate shot match; playing with my buddy, Webb, playing some good matches with him is something - these are weeks that I don't think I'll ever forget.
Q. I know you spoke throughout the year about how this wasn't necessarily a goal and you cut down on your schedule, but once you made the team, how important was it for you to get a win this week to sort of get the taste of last year out of your mouth?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, you know, last year still stings. If you ask the guys that were on that team last year, I guarantee every one of them would think that last year at the Ryder Cup still hurts a bit. So I think it's important that we came here and got a win. Moving forward in the right direction to try to win the Ryder Cup next year. But you know, as golfers, we're dealt with defeats all the time. Very rarely, you don't win that much. You know, you have your up and downs and you have to deal with everything. So it's more about picking yourself up I think and dusting yourself off and playing and getting ready to go again. But I think it was a good step for all of us to win again, and it was a tough day I think for all of us. I mean, it had a scenario brewing much like the Ryder Cup last year coming down to the end. So I think we can all take positives from this going forward to next year.
Q. Fred, you've made a career out of not looking nervous. On the back nine today, when I think it got down to three points, were you nervous?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I think Jimmy Gabrielson, who was my main helper in the Presidents Cup the last couple of years and a friend of mine, we were walking around and I must have asked 500 times, you know, how are we getting this fourth point, where is the fourth point coming from. And then for a joke, I kept texting Davis and Jay, because yeah, you're nervous. You're nervous, not for the players; the players know what they are doing. But we knew we needed 18 points, and we got them. I think it was a very, very good match today, and the matches were all close. At no given time was I a nervous wreck, but it was nice when Tiger 2 putted that last green to get the 18th point.
Q. Coming down the stretch, seemed like you were in a lot of pain; what was going through your head, especially with the Cup coming down to you?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I was like a similar position as Freddie; where is our fourth point going to come from. I was at a point where I wasn't feeling my best coming down the stretch, and happened to get a 1 up lead. I was just trying to just hang on to that. Problem was, I knew I wasn't feeling good, and if I happened to mess up 18 and we had to go down - we had to continue playing until it's been decided. I was like, I really don't want to play anymore (laughter). Just can I win, can I halve this last hole, somehow, and it ended up being that way. To have the opportunity to win the Cup for Freddie and all the guys on the team, it means a lot to me, and to be able to have trust in the guys and be able to go out there and earn a point, it means a lot.
Q. Really for anybody who wants to step up to the mic and talk about how much fun it is to play Muirfield Village in this format and perhaps maybe enjoy Muirfield Village as much as Tiger seems to every year.
PHIL MICKELSON: (Passing mic to Webb).
WEBB SIMPSON: Well, it's great to be here and come play Jack's golf course. I've played the Memorial now three or four times, four or five times maybe. Don't have the best record here but coming here, I knew it was going to be a great week no matter what. But you know, the greens held up well and I know the staff did a great job. But it's a golf course with all four par 5s being the odd holes and the par3s being the even holes; that it's fun to think about. There's different strategy. It seems like putting was pretty similar for the alternate shot format. But we all love coming to a place that we're familiar with, and you know, fortunately, I think our home course knowledge came out for our benefit.
Q. Three times you've captained this event, three times Tiger has been the one that clinched it. Even though you had a sizable margin going into singles, did you just have a hunch in the back of your head it could come down to his match with Sterne?
FRED COUPLES: No, not really. But once it got going, again, I didn't see Jay all day, I don't think, not one time. But I was all over him trying to get somebody to step up. We put Hunter out well, he went out first and got a huge point, and I watched him play a handful of holes. He was phenomenal. Then obviously Duf took charge in his match, and then it came down to really Zach winning his match and then it was going to be Kuch, it was going to be Strick. Turned out to be Tiger. You know, makes me look great to be involved in this, but you know, this is the third time I've had, as I said, All Star teams every single time. We've gotten nice leads. In a way, maybe they relax a little bit because they are all playing so well and it just turned out that Tiger ended up getting the point and playing actually 16, 17, 18 very, very well.
Q. Did the stop and start nature of this week, the weather, contribute at all to your back issues, and I take it you were probably looking at taking a few weeks away from golf now anyway. Can you just talk about that, as well? Thanks.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's been a long week for all of us. I think that a few of us are a little bit dinged up and our physios did a hell of a job this week of getting us out there and keeping us going. And especially with all of the start and stops, and as many holes; I've never played three matches in a day before. So that was certainly our first yesterday, and it's been a long week and you know, I'm a little bit sore, and certainly I'm looking forward to not touching a club for a while.
Q. Question to Davis and Steve, if you think the format should switch over to The Ryder Cup, to have it spread out to four days and where guys are not really sitting out and showcase the depth more.
STEVE STRICKER: No. (Laughter).
DAVIS LOVE III: We all think it's a lot of fun. We like this format. It's something different. You know, you can't hide any guys, and everybody gets to play, and it's always worked out well for us. I think it shows how strong our team is, so it's a fun format.
MATT KUCHAR: Steve, what are your thoughts?
STEVE STRICKER: I was asked this question earlier, and I said to leave the Ryder Cup alone the way it is, just because of the history that's been involved there.
MATT KUCHAR: (Reaching for microphone phone to ask Steve another 'media' question.)
STEVE STRICKER: I think the possibility of change - we have been coming out on the other side of the coin in the Ryder Cup, but there's just been so much history involved. The one thing is, the one part I do like about this format is the first couple of days, we get a little bit of rest. Whereas the Ryder Cup, it's 36 holes Friday and Saturday. Here, it's spread over Thursday and Friday so we can rest up a little bit and get ready for the weekend. I do like that part.
DAVIS LOVE III: I thought you were asking about this format. I like this format and I like the Ryder Cup format. I think it works out well to leave both of them like they are.
Q. Being a rookie, is it everything you thought this was going to be? Is it more than you thought it was going to be? How nervous were you?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's definitely more. Very nervous on the first tee, but very similar to any big event I think that I've teed it up in this year. But to be surrounded by the best players in the world, as my teammates, in the back of my mind, I guess wasn't too worried about it and gave me a little more confidence at in the beginning. Obviously having Steve as my partner the first couple matches, we were able to get out there and get a couple wins, which settled me down for the rest of the week. All in all, on and off the course, definitely more than I ever could have dreamed of.
Q. With the matches being so close in the end, could you talk about the importance of flipping the matches this morning and what that did for team morale? And I was hoping Phil maybe could address the closeness and spirit of this team.
FRED COUPLES: Well, great question. First thing, I knew Keegan lost his match, but gave him a big hug and said the putt he made after Graham chipped in was huge. And before that, I watched Zach and Duf play, I think eight holes the day before, and they turned that whole match around. You know, the whole thing, every match is important. I honestly believe it was closer, we still would have won - if they were ahead, they would have believed they would have won, too. Our guys, if they needed to play and get those matches won, a couple of those at the end, we would have. Just very proud of the way they played. So many putts were made and very few poor shots were hit.
PHIL MICKELSON: We've laughed a lot this trip or this week. It's just been a fun week for all of us to hang together. And what I have found, that over the course of my career, these weeks become some of the most special weeks of the year and of my career. They are weeks that we look back on fondly. They are where friendships form that last a lifetime, and they are the weeks that we look forward to the most. As the year starts, it becomes a goal of all of ours to get on this team and it's something we continue to enjoy.
At first when the Presidents Cup came about in 1994, I was concerned having a team event every year would become - it would become too much and lose some of its special feel. But it's the exact opposite of what's happened. I feel that we are the lucky side to be able to play in a team event every year, and we've really had a lot of fun over the course of the years.
MODERATOR: Appropriately, why don't we send you guys back out into the rain. Enjoy your celebrations tonight, congratulations.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.