September 28, 2014
Jamie Donaldson Sergio Garcia Graeme McDowell Paul McGinley Rory McIlroy Ian Poulter Justin Rose Lee WestwoodAUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND
STEVE TODD: Paul, Team Europe, many congratulations, 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 victory. Paul, start with you, you spoke all week about a plan, a template, I think that's a plan well executed.
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I didn't execute the plan; all these guys sitting at this table did. It's easy to put it in place. It's one thing to execute. I did the easy bit. They did the hard bit and I really mean that. I know what it's like to be there as a player. I know how difficult it is to play in a Ryder Cup. I know when your heart is jumping out of your chest how incredibly excited and nervous you are. But we relish this challenge. We did it with a smile on our face, which is so important, and we did everybody proud I think.
STEVE TODD: Jamie, you secured the winning point. Give us your thoughts.
IAN POULTER: (Leading team in a round of applause for Jamie).
JAMIE DONALDSON: Yeah, you know, it was lucky it came down to my match and just happened to be that way. But the most important thing this week is that the team won. We had an inspirational captain this week, and we all came together as a team to play well enough to win The Ryder Cup, which was the main thing.
STEVE TODD: Graeme, you were sent out first this morning. Give us your thoughts on a battling match there at the top.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, the idea was to go out first and put some blue on the board. It was looking awfully red early on.
IAN POULTER: Took you a while.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, took me a while. We talked about it in the team room last night, whether you're 3-up or 3-down, the key is to try to win the next hole. Playing a home Ryder Cup, winning a hole or doing anything, just kind of sends a message to the rest of the team. That's what kind of kept me going on the front nine was just the fact that I wanted to try and prolong the match as long as I could, try and get a couple holes under my belt and send a message back to the rest of the team that, you know, things were okay up at the front of the order. I made a few birdies and Jordan kind of wobbled a little bit and it was awesome to put that point -- I was going to say first point -- I forgot we had Rory. Rory just birdied every hole anyway. Doesn't matter what number Rory plays, he puts the first point on the board. It was special to go out number one. The captain trusted me with a leadership role today. I was very proud to do so, and to get that point was huge.
STEVE TODD: Rory, you did secure the first point this afternoon, so could we just hear from you?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, you know, I think that was our whole game plan going out was to try and put blue on the board as early as possible and I guess try and get this thing won as soon as we could. You know, G-Mac and Henrik before me had a couple of tight battles, and I just went out there and got off to a really, really hot start, 5-up through six and didn't really give Rickie a chance. It was great to put that blue on the board early and let the boys behind me see and see that there was a little momentum on the scoreboard for us.
LEE WESTWOOD: (Not-so-discreetly popping bottle of champagne and sending cork flying) . Sorry (Laughter).
RORY McILROY: Ladies and gentlemen, Lee Westwood. Yeah, it was great to be able to put that first point on the board, and yeah, I personally am just really proud of how I played. I went out there, I was probably up for this match more than I was the final two (passing glasses of champagne down the table) the final two --
^ Ck PLAYER: Keep going. Keep going.
RORY McILROY: -- the final rounds of the three majors that I won this year, I was more up for it today. It just meant so much to be to be a part of this team and to win --
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Save me a sip! Save me a sip!
RORY McILROY: What I'm trying to say is I'm just delighted that Europe have won.
JUSTIN ROSE: What he's trying to say is that he's had more champagne this summer than any of us combined.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, all this winning isn't good for my health.
STEVE TODD: Justin leading points scorer --
LEE WESTWOOD: Wait until you're on the back nine, Lee.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, yeah, just like you, 15th green.
LEE WESTWOOD: (Laughing).
STEVE TODD: Justin, leading points scorer. Could you just give your thoughts on the Ryder Cup. Justin?
JUSTIN ROSE: Sorry?
STEVE TODD: Are you awake at the end? Leading points scorer, if you could just give your thoughts on the team performance.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, great partner, obviously Henrik at the beginning part of the week and things went our way. First match was probably a scrappy match that we actually won 5 & 4, but that got us off to a confident start -- what happened next? Yeah, obviously I think the week, obviously Henrik and I did really well together. But the two half-points, that was huge for me, playing the 18th hole 1-down both times and managing to get myself out of trouble there. And I give a lot of that credit to Martin Kaymer who said to me coming up the 18th hole, "We deserve half a point after this match." I was a little down on myself and we had not necessarily played a great match, and he sort of made things clear coming up 18 and we managed to win that point, or win that half-point, which it's a full-point swing, losing 1-down to winning half a point. It's a one-point differential between the two teams. So it was huge. And Martin put that in play on Saturday evening, and I thought about that once again playing 18. Hunter and I played a great game today, and once again I was 1-down. And Martin's words were there and also Captain Paul McGinley was there. He said, "Listen, you don't deserve to lose your singles match this week." Just the fact that Paul walked the last couple holes of my match means a lot to me today, too.
STEVE TODD: Victor undefeated in your first Ryder Cup, give us a sense of your enjoyment of it.
LEE WESTWOOD: (Popping another bottle of champagne) (laughter).
VICTOR DUBUISSON: This week has been amazing, playing with Graeme, the two foursomes, it was like a dream for me, and I really tried to do my best. I played really well. I think the reason why I was in my game this way was only because of Graeme, because I was so nervous from Monday to Thursday. But I mean, walking with him to the first tee, I mean, when I hit my first shot, the stress was gone, and then I really played -- I think I played really well.
JUSTIN ROSE: It's called talent.
RORY McILROY: You did play very well. No one thinks you played well; you did play well.
VICTOR DUBUISSON: But really, the way G-Mac's been with me was amazing and really helped me to play well this weekend.
Q. Paul, a lot of people were very confident coming in that you would be a winning captain. Did that create any extra pressure and have you done the job so well that you might be a hard act to follow?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, we had pressure on us, but I referenced Rory McIlroy there, No. 1 player in the world, he has pressure on him and he knows how to deal with these situations when you're favourite. Obviously one of the reasons why Alex Ferguson was a guy that I asked a lot of questions of, was that reason. Most matches Man-United would have played in, they would have been favourites, and dealing with favourites was something he was used to and comfortable with. He gave me a couple of pointers in that direction, and like I said, I had a view and I've said it in the media the last few months: Let's embrace this situation. I had lunch with John Jacobs, the very first European Ryder Cup Captain a couple of months ago, and there was tears welling in his eyes as we spoke about the fact that we were now Europe going in to be favourites and how strong the players were and the No. 1 player in the world and four of the top 5 players in the world were European and how proud he was of all that. I always had the view, let's embrace this. Let's not be embarrassed about it or think it's a disadvantage. These guys here have earned to be slight favourites, and let's embrace it and go with it.
Q. Jamie, your recent journey has been the most remarkable given you were not sure you would be on the team not so long ago. Can you describe your journey and how you're feeling now, and can you tell me, have you not been sleeping very well this week? I've just seen you yawn twice (laughter).
JAMIE DONALDSON: No, I've been sleeping very good actually. The beds are very comfy here. Yeah, it's been remarkable sort of journey for me, I suppose, over the last couple of years and what have you. You know, I spoke to Paul before the team was selected the week after America. I had just had two weeks in America playing the Bridgestone and PGA and hopefully securing it there, and I didn't. And then I spoke to Paul on the phone and he said, "Listen, you're going to have to go to Czech and you're going to have to go to Italy or just one of the two to make enough money to qualify for the team, because the picks usually go to experienced players." Granted, that's just the way it is. I went to Czech and played really well and did enough there to secure my place on the team. So yeah, it's a pretty incredible experience for me to get on the team and then be part of a winning team, as well. It's been an amazing few weeks.
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Well, Jamie, you did play like an experienced player.
JAMIE DONALDSON: Thank you, Sergio.
SERGIO GARC√ćA: I love you.
JAMIE DONALDSON: I love you, too (laughter).
Q. Can you just talk us through the detail of that final shot, please, what club it was?
JAMIE DONALDSON: The final shot? Yeah, I hit a really good tee shot down 15 and I had 140 yards to the hole which is a perfect wedge for me. Sometimes you can hit a really good tee shot and not have a good yardage and you've got to make something up. But it was a perfect number for a wedge with it being downwind. So all I had to do was get it on line and it was going to be the right club. For it to finish a foot from the hole, you know, it's obviously quite a bonus. But, you know, I just had to get it on line and make good contact and I did that. In the air, you're just hoping it's going to be good and it turned out spot on. So, yeah, it was quite a way to finish.
Q. I know you respect Tom Watson, but can you analyse why you think you got it right and he got it wrong to the extent that Phil Mickelson has just launched an extraordinary attack on him from where Justin Rose is sitting now?
PAUL McGINLEY: I'm sorry to hear that if that is the case. As a man, I have a huge respect for Tom Watson. He's been a great talent in this game and a great figurehead in this game for so many years. I'm not privy to what goes on on the American Team and to be honest I didn't really pay a lot of attention to what they were doing and the pairings. I was much more concerned with us setting our stall out and us being strong, and us going out and us being motivated and us being correctly tuned and focused. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to what was going on honestly. I can probably give you a better analyse at the end of the week or next couple days when I look at it and how it all evolved. I was more concerned with where we were and what we had to do and where our players were at and what decisions I had to make to get the most of our team to get the 14 1/2 points.
Q. All the experiences you've had in life and all of the things you've achieved in golf, where does today stand and was there anyone today that was in your thoughts at all?
PAUL McGINLEY: Well, obviously Sam on my shoulder. Of course, Bob Torrance was there, he's been with me all week. I didn't want to say it to Sam on the first tee, and I thought it a number of times, should I say it to Sam: Bob would be proud. I could just see him standing behind there drinking all this in, being Scottish. I didn't want to do it, because I knew Sam would have cried, and I probably would have cried myself, too. So I didn't do it. It's been tremendous. But I said to the players last night, as much as I've enjoyed being captain and it's been a real honour and a real privilege and a lot of these guys at this table pushed me over the line to be the captain and it was a real honour to represent them and do a job for us and for them that was going win the trophy. Still nothing beats playing and they have to enjoy that and enjoy what they were going to face the following day. There's nothing like the adrenaline of walking to that first tee with the home support bellowing, bellowing at you. It's a great thrill, and I wanted the players to enjoy that and drink it in and enjoy every moment of it, because your career goes very fast. I'm now in the twilight of my career and I've loved being captain. It's been fantastic, but there's nothing beats playing what these 12 guys have just enjoyed today. There's nothing can compare to that.
Q. Victor, how do you think that your performance here will go down in France? You're going to be hosting this wonderful event in four years' time. It's not known as the people's game in France, but do you think that you could maybe generate more interest?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Yeah, we've got The Ryder Cup in 2018, so yeah, I hope what I have done this week will motivate more people to play. They are building a lot of nine holes, a lot of short nine holes, par 3, everywhere in France. I hope it's going to be good and, yeah, I hope that more people will play golf in France now. Ryder Cup is such a huge event. I mean, so many people are coming there, so I really hope it will be the same that we had this week here in France.
Q. I hope it hasn't been discussed, I'm a little late coming to the party, but nobody has done what you did since 1977, and that's win two majors and win a Ryder Cup in the same year; and ironically enough, it was Tom Watson who last did it. Were you aware of that, and how does that make you feel?
RORY McILROY: No, I wasn't aware of it. And it's obviously a nice honour to have. I said earlier, it's the icing on the cake of what has been a very special summer for me, to win back-to-back majors, The Open Championship and then the PGA, and then to be a part of this fantastic team led by a wonderful captain, I couldn't have asked for the summer to end any better. I didn't know that it had not been done since 1977, but you know, if it's not me in a couple years' time again, I hope it's one of these guys that gets two majors and gets a Ryder Cup, as well.
Q. One of the things Phil Mickelson said was he felt the U.S. had gone away from a winning formula and that winning formula was involving the players and the vice captains more in the decision-making. How important was it for you to have that sense of cohesion and everyone feeling involved?
PAUL McGINLEY: Well, I'm not really aware of the American template. As I said, I'm not privy to what goes on and where they are at with everything. Certainly our template is very much involved with player discussions, and the captain's been -- knowing the players very well but also knowing the caddies, as well, too. The caddies are a great source of information, and also their coaches and also their managers and the people they have around them. They are all important and I've spent a lot of time over the last few years gathering information --
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Paul, Paul, please, don't give all the secrets. Just some, not all of them, please. (Laughter).
PAUL McGINLEY: All right, I won't say anything else. I think I gave you enough there. Well said, Sergio.
Q. Segueing into what you were saying about how well you got to know your players and everything like that, how many events did you attend this year; and secondly, I believe you went and visited Victor at his home for three days, can you explain what your thinking was behind that?
PAUL McGINLEY: No, I haven't been with Victor in his house, no. But I spent time with Victor at the EurAsia Cup this year, which was great, and a couple of the other players, Graeme played, as well, too, and Thomas played, which was great. Big learning curve for me to be there as Ryder Cup Captain observing what was going on. Miguel Jim√©nez was the captain this week who has gone on to be a vice captain. There was a continuity in what we were doing and how we were going to try and approach this week. I have spent time with Victor, as well, too, down in Monte Carlo this year when I was down doing a corporate day. We had dinner and got to know him. Yeah, it's gathering information over a two-year window. But I still play on Tour. So I see the guys a bit, not a lot, but I have done a little bit of TV work the last two years to coincide my captaincy which has been a reason for me to be in America and at the majors and the World events, as well as observing and communicating with the players.
Q. How many tournaments --
PAUL McGINLEY: I did six this year and I did five last year.
Q. It was obviously a big win for The European Team, and also a big win for The European Tour. Just thinking about your role on the Tour, can you sum up how you feel about it?
THOMAS BJ√ĖRN: It's massive for the Tour. We are going through a transition of a lot of things within the Tour changing, and to stand up as a tour and have these players representing the Tour this week, Paul said it all week, it's shown how far we've come. You know, to go in as favourites and win it is a special thing, and it's something that goes through the whole Tour. We are extremely proud of our players. I'm with George standing at the closing ceremony and I said, "If you can't sell this, you've got problems." This table is unbelievable, of players, and we go forward with this. We have got new guys coming into this team, Stephen and Jamie and Victor coming into this team and performing extremely well worldwide and that's what The European Tour is all about. We'll just keep feeding players into this team, and make them -- hopefully help them become worldwide players and world stars. There are certain guys sitting at this table that's come through the Tour and turned into the best players in the world. And you know, as a Tour, we're so proud and we'll go forward from here and try and win it in America, as well.
Q. You said that Paul was an inspirational captain this week. Can you expand on that a bit and how he inspired the team?
JAMIE DONALDSON: Yeah, Paul captained the first Seve Trophy that I played in, and he was brilliant there, and I always thought he would be brilliant here, because he did so well at the Seve Trophy and he followed up and did great in The Ryder Cup. You know, the Seve Trophy is a great warm-up for this. It's not the same, but it's a great warm-up. It's a great event for us and to breed younger or less-experienced players into playing into The Ryder Cup. Paul captained there, like I said, and did a fantastic job, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing under him in that event. It was a fantastic experience for me then, like this has been a fantastic experience for me now. And Paul being captain this week made my life easier because I knew what to expect, and what I expected was, you know, inspirational speeches, and motivation to get the team up and ready for the task. And obviously that worked and did enough for us to retain The Ryder Cup.
Q. Rory, there was a time when there were a few seeds of doubt as to who the captain would be and you came out publically supporting Paul. I just wanted to ask what inspired that. And if I could get Lee and Sergio after that to kind of talk about where Paul rates in terms of all the captains you guys have had in The Ryder Cups.
RORY McILROY: As Jamie was saying about the Seve Trophy, I played under Paul, and a few of these guys did play under Paul in the Seve Trophy in 2009 in Paris. And you know, I was going on that experience and how much of a great job I thought Paul did then, and I knew he was the right man to lead this team here. And not just me. It was a real -- I know Poults was really involved in trying to get Paul over the line, and a few of the more experienced guys, as well. But he has just been the most wonderful captain, and I can't speak highly enough of him. From the first day we got here, the speeches that he gave, the videos he showed us, the people that he got in to talk us, the imagery in the team room, it all tied in together; all part of the plan all for the cause of trying to win this Ryder Cup, and he was meticulous in his planning. He left no stone unturned. He was just -- he was amazing. I think I speak on behalf of all the 12 players up here and just say that, you know, he couldn't have done anything else. He was absolutely fantastic.
PAUL McGINLEY: Thank you, Rory.
STEVE TODD: Sergio, did you want to add to that?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Excuse me?
IAN POULTER: Thanks for listening, Sergio.
LEE WESTWOOD: What was the question again?
HENRIK STENSON: About previous captains.
SERGIO GARC√ćA: No, I mean, without a doubt, Paul was amazing. I was talking to Thomas the other day -- no, actually yesterday, on the way back to the hotel and he was mentioning that he strongly feels that Paul is the new wave of captains: A lot more modern, every detail, it was right there. He thought of everything this week. So I mean, for me, it was amazing. I've talked so much to Paul throughout this past, probably, four months, I mean, he obviously really wanted me on the team. He said that probably like a year and a half ago to me, and it meant a lot. I think it helped me to motivate myself to play even better and make sure that I made the team, and not have to be the possibility of being a pick. So I think that the job he's done has just been amazing, and you know, I couldn't be prouder of being a part of this team and part of him as a captain. It was just unbelievable.
STEVE TODD: And Lee?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I think Paul got a great template and a model for captains going forward. I think you could base your captaincy and your future captain around the way Paul did it this week. I think he took -- he cherry picked from maybe captains he played under and spoke to other captains, maybe -- I don't know if he conversed with Bernhard Langer, but certainly Jos√© Maria Olaz√°bal. I'm sure he spoken to Sam --
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Do you think he talked to Faldo? (Laughter). (Entire team cheering, room erupting with laughter.) Just a question.
LEE WESTWOOD: I don't think we need to lower the tone in such a positive moment, do we (laughter). I couldn't criticise his captaincy in any point during the week. I thought from start to finish, he got it all right.
Q. Funny you should mention Nick Faldo. Have you had a congratulatory telegram or message from him?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: I have not. I have not. I really wouldn't expect it anyway, but I've had it from everyone on this table and a lot of other people and that's really what means a lot to me.
Q. Would it make any difference if he apologised or took his words back?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Yeah, I mean, I'm not going to come here and -- I mean, I'm an open man and I'm always willing to forgive and forget. You know, it was just -- I think it was an unfortunate comment and something that -- I don't know if he regrets it or not, but you know, I think it was just unfortunate. I've moved on, and you know, I'm sure that everything will be okay.
Q. The comments from Lee and Rory, they are great comments and I was going to ask you on a personal level, how proud are you of your achievement at a team level, you've been on three winning Ryder Cup teams, unbeaten in Seve Trophy and winning Ryder Cup Captain. Will you quit while you're ahead or would you accept a vice captaincy role in two years' time?
PAUL McGINLEY: First of all, I'm incredibly proud that, first of all, the guys enjoyed the week. We set out the start of the week, the very first meeting we had on Monday, this was about having fun. Okay, we all know about the nerves and your stomach turning and all those kind of things and how nervous you are in a Ryder Cup, but it's also so exhilarating. Like I said earlier, these are the best days of your lives. These are the best days of your lives. Bob Torrance, his quote was right there outside our locker room. It was the last thing the players saw before they walked on to the practise ground: "Happiest days of your lives." And that really is there for a purpose, not just because Bob was my coach and a great friend and Sam's dad. It was there for a reason, because it's true. I'm in the twilight of my career now, 47 years of age, old man --
STEPHEN GALLACHER: He wears a vest (laughter).
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Come on, it has been --
PAUL McGINLEY: It's been cold out there hanging around on a cart. I don't understand, most of us wear vests don't we, nowadays?
LEE WESTWOOD: To be fair, they were more Spanx than a vest. (Laughter). (Players singing, 'Paul McGinley wears a vest.')
PAUL McGINLEY: I saw Rory wearing a vest when it was cold one day.
RORY McILROY: It had sleeves.
JUSTIN ROSE: If you're under 40, it's called compression.
JAMIE DONALDSON: It wasn't a wife beater. (Laughter).
PAUL McGINLEY: I'm very happy, The Ryder Cup has been very good to me and I'm quite happy now to take very much a background. I've got a role now in deciding who the next captain will be, and we'll see where that goes in the next few months on behalf of The European Tour. But certainly, no, I've done my piece and I'm happy to have the honour and happy to help in any way going forward but I don't think a vice captain -- I don't think it would be right for me to go into the vice captaincy role for me personally. I don't know if I'd quite enjoy that, having done it, and then stepped up to captaincy. Having said that, I had two guys today who were vice captains who were captains in the past in Jos√© Maria and Sam, and they were huge and a very big influence on me and the decisions I made this week. But for me personally, I don't think it's something that I will do going forward, but I'm very happy to helpfully captain in any way. On the European side, obviously (smiling).
Q. I know that you guys enjoy winning The Ryder Cup, but now that Europe has taken six out of seven and eight out of ten, is there any concern that the event is going to be diminished if the U.S. can't win?
RORY McILROY: Nope. We have an image in our team room and it shows how much red, white and blue is still on that, if you look at the Honours Board of The Ryder Cup, America have still won a lot more than Europe. And that's what we're going towards. Okay, we have won eight of the last ten or seven of the last eight or whatever it is, but we are still very much behind the U.S. in terms of Ryder Cups won. That is our goal and that is our main objective to catch them up and overtake them as quickly as we can. No, I don't think this diminishes the competitive aspect of The Ryder Cup at all, because you know, even though we've won the majority of the last, you know, ten or whatever it is, they have still been -- not all, but a lot of them have been very competitive. The last two Ryder Cups previous to this one, Europe only won two of the sessions. At Celtic Manor we had to combine two sessions and have all players out on the course. We won that session 5 1/2 to 1/2, and then everyone saw what we did in the singles at Medinah. So those two previous Ryder Cups that we won were very, very tight, very tight matches. I have no doubt that come Hazeltine in a couple years' time, it will be a very tight match again. The Ryder Cup will go on, long past the years that we are living and it's a great event. It's a great spectacle of sport between two very competitive teams, and Europe have just been getting the better of the U.S. the last few years. But that's not to mean that the U.S. won't bounce back and win a few over the next five or six.
Q. You referred earlier this week to three or four key messages that you kept going back to in everything you did. Can you tell us what those were now, and how you managed to push the guys towards them, what ways?
PAUL McGINLEY: I think the players can all answer that, as well, too. Wave after wave of attack -- I mean, come on guys, help me out.
RORY McILROY: "Complacency," "concentration."
GRAEME McDOWELL: "Wave after wave."
JUSTIN ROSE: "When the storm comes, we'll be the rock."
RORY McILROY: There's another one.
PAUL McGINLEY: "Have fun." Westy remembers that one. (Laughter).
LEE WESTWOOD: I'm nothing but consistent.
STEVE TODD: On that note, go and have some fun.
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