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THE RYDER CUP MATCHES

September 29, 2002

Thomas Bjorn Niclas Fasth Sergio Garcia Bernhard Langer Colin Montgomerie Phillip Price Sam Torrance Lee Westwood

SUTTON COLDFIELD, ENGLAND

GORDON SIMPSON: Sam, your name was already linked with the De Vere Belfry before today, but you and 12 wonderful players will be firmly etched in their memories in the future. How do you feel about this one?

SAM TORRANCE: Very proud. Very proud. Apart from my marriage and the birth of my children, without doubt this is the proudest moment of my life. I've got 12 guys here, two background boys, and one vice captain who have done an incredible job to get our team psyched up and ready to beat the Americans here. It was always going to be a challenge. They're very tough opponents, but we were great. We were absolutely great. And out of the shadows come heroes, and that's where Phillip Price and Paul McGinley came (applause.) There are 12 guys here, but we were led by the infamous Colin Montgomerie who was magnificent all week. Bad heart, bad back, and he'll have a bad head tomorrow (laughter.) I'm very proud to be here. All I did was lead them to the water, and they drank copious amounts, fantastic.

GORDON SIMPSON: I think it might be an idea to start with the "infamous" Colin Montgomerie, and give us a brief synopsis of the day, Colin.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Without using the word "fantastic," it's been a privilege to be captained by a truly emotional Scot in Sam Torrance, and it's been a delight for me to be captained by him and vice-captained by Woozy, and to be part of this fabulous, fabulous team and people spirit that we had to week. It was superb from day one, when we all arrived on Monday. And somehow I had a certain feeling that this was going to work out. And it did. And when the draw came out last night, and many of you asked me, did I want to go one or did I ask to go one or whatever the case was; I had no idea that I was going to go first in the draw. None of us knew as players what the draw was going to do. Sam had an idea of the draw and it worked out brilliantly. It was a risk, but in life you don't get rewards without risking. And Sam risked today and it came off. And I'm so proud to be part of his team this week.

GORDON SIMPSON: Lee, you came out of the stalls incredibly fast this week, didn't you?

LEE WESTWOOD: When you've got a partner like Sergio, you have to come out fast to keep up with him, because he runs everywhere. He is fairly hyperactive. We gelled well from the word go in the practice rounds. And when the match kicked off we got off to a quick start and formed a good combination, and that drags everybody along, right from the first match today, blue numbers were on the board for Monty. Darren and Sergio were in the blue from the start. They may not have finished that way, but gave a good feeling for the rest of the team, fantastic performance right through the team, really, Phillip Price, unbelievable result against Phil Mickelson, to actually win the match. I was in the middle of the 18th fairway, and I couldn't hear the radio. I obviously knew they'd holed a putt, but somebody was saying to me, and they didn't need to tell me. And then two incredible shots from Niclas Fasth under that kind of pressure, even from their side we've seen great shots. The bunker shot of Paul Azinger in the last was probably the best bunker shot I've ever seen. All in all the week was a success. They probably didn't feel like it was a success because they didn't win. But I think golf was the winner this week. I think the spectators were the fairest I've ever seen. There were times when we were in the hole for a birdie and they had to putt for birdie for half, and there wasn't an immediate cheer, but there was a silence, and then I cheer, like they didn't want to cheer that their team would miss the putt, but they wanted to cheer that the Europeans had missed the hole. All in all I think it was a fantastic week from everybody's point of view.

GORDON SIMPSON: Bernhard, not bad for the old man of the team.

BERNHARD LANGER: I have to take that, I guess I am the oldest by far, what else can I say to that. But it's been incredible. It's my 10th Ryder Cup and this certainly ranks amongst the best, even though I've been on the winning team five-and-a-half times now. It's been awesome. When we got here there was all this talk, well, you got some weak players on the team, and they're not in form, and off form, and all this kind of stuff. It was all rubbish; everybody was playing great. There wasn't just two or three or five or seven good players; all 12 were great. And they all did their part and it was just fabulous. And to be age 45 to be part of this, it's just unbelievable. And this will make me try even harder to maybe be part again if two years time, just because it's such a great memory and such a great feeling to be playing in front of these people. And they were our 13th man. And Monty already said we can't say enough about our leadership with Sam and Mark, they all do their fantastic job. It made it easy for us to concentrate on the game, everything else was taken care of. And we were able to do just that. And we were better than the other side.

GORDON SIMPSON: Phil, I think you'll be man of the century, now.

PHILLIP PRICE: When I came here Monday afternoon, I suppose I've had quite a period of time with a lot of negativity been surrounding my form. It's probably made it worse. I heard one comment that said "do you think you should withdraw from the Ryder Cup," and I was quite hurt. So I lost yesterday, although I practiced great. I had a good feeling with the team. My partner, Pierre Fulke, I've got a partner the next time we're together. I felt good all week. The team was just such a pull. Our top players are just so strong. To me they seemed so strong, anyway. And I think the rookies who were appearing weak to the press were -- Niclas was great all week, Pierre, Paul, I just felt good about today. I could see the draw, and I thought we've got some strong rookies around here. And I think obviously to get a point, I think somebody said to me a long, long time ago, we're throwing you to the wolves. I think I got thrown to the wolves today. I'm glad I won today. Unbelievable, just to get it over with. The team pulled me along, and I thank Sam for treating me like I was a serious member of the team; not just some guy who was out of form, that just got on the team. I appreciate that. They pulled me along. Thanks.

SAM TORRANCE: You were a serious member of the team, and you still are.

GORDON SIMPSON: Niclas, have you ever been involved in a game like that one today?

NICLAS FASTH: No, I haven't. Coming here as a rookie, of course you never know what to expect. But this was all I expected and more. I knew I would enjoy it and I knew it would be tough. Again, as a rookie I felt I played two good matches, two losses -- woops -- it was tough. But we were still in it. And when we saw the draw yesterday it was, wow, we all just loved it, I can't believe this. And Sam pretty much told McGinley that he outsmarted himself. But it worked. We were really, really happy with that. It was a great move. And we all felt really, really good going into the singles today, which is great. When I was playing my first hole, the boards were all blue. And that helps. My match was blue too. And I spoke to Phillip and Pierre and McGinley before we went out, we might get to do the honors today if the stars behave. And they certainly did. And it looked like I was doing the honors, played a good match, just didn't finish it off and got hit hard on 18. But I left it to McGinley, and I'm sure he didn't mind. It was a great week.

GORDON SIMPSON: Jesper, can you tell us who Ellen was rooting for?

JESPER PARNEVIK: She better be rooting for me. It's been a great week, except for my partner here next to me has been unfaithful to find a mistress (laughter.)

SERGIO GARCIA: I won't do it again, I promise.

JESPER PARNEVIK: Lee, you can have him this week, but next time he's mine, all right? (Laughter.) No, it's been a great week. I have to point out, though, the importance of the rookies this week. I told everyone yesterday, you're going to be surprised tomorrow to see how the rookies are going to pull through. And when you think about it to have four rookies and none of them lost a match today, it's very impressive, I think. (Applause.) And like Niclas said, I've told a lot of you in Brookline when Monty and I looked at each other at pretty much the same time when the draw came up and we stared into each other's eyes and said, "Where are we going to get the points tomorrow?" So it was a very tough feeling about that draw. But like Niclas said the opposite was last night. Everybody on the team just knew we were going to win tomorrow. And it was not one of those wishful, I hope we're going to win, it was we know we're going to win tomorrow. And Sam did exactly what we wanted or what we needed when he made that draw. And I think that was the best move of the week. And I can't say enough about my team members, here. It's been the best one for me, put it that way.

GORDON SIMPSON: Sergio, you looked just a little bit excitable today.

SERGIO GARCIA: It was absolutely amazing. Apart from the birth of my child -- (laughter.) And my wedding --.

SAM TORRANCE: One moment, here, I tell you one thing. You will have a kid and you'll know how important it is. It was more important than today.

SERGIO GARCIA: Now where was I? No, but --.

SAM TORRANCE: You were taking your foot out of your mouth.

SERGIO GARCIA: No, but it's been an unbelievable week. All my teammates said, from the beginning of the week we felt great. I've just got one thing to say, you know, yesterday I missed a short putt on 17 and missed a short putt on 18, so you could at least say we've won three and a half, and I won only three with Lee. I'm glad to be European, let's put it that way. I don't think anything in the world can get -- the atmosphere we get, how much we all get involved, from what looks like is the highest player to what can be the not as high, and to put everybody down, just believing in your promise, it was unbelievable. I was there in '99, and unfortunately I was on the other side of the interview room of how everything finished, and to be on this side now it's unbelievable. And I really think -- I thank my teammates. I think that they all played great. I had a great week with Lee. I'm sure that if he kept up with me along the course, he probably lost about five or six pounds (laughter.) And I'd just like to thank everybody. The people were amazing out there. For both teams, too, they were great. They were cheering -- there was a time yesterday where I didn't know if we made a putt or they made a putt, it was amazing. So I'm glad to be here and I can't wait hopefully for it in a couple of years.

GORDON SIMPSON: Pierre, another rookie that came through today?

PIERRE FULKE: I couldn't really finish it off, but we decided on the fairway -- as I went over to Davis, and I asked him if we should pick the balls up or whatever, because it was already done. And at the start of the week Sam said it's up to us to finish the match, if we wanted to, for our personal records in the Ryder Cup, but that doesn't mean anything to me. We'd already won it as a team and that's all that matters, really. So we picked the ball up there. But I would have beat him on the last. (Laughter.) Otherwise this week, this has been the greatest week of my life, without a doubt. No individual wins makeup for this. I'm doubtful whether even a major does, but hopefully we'll wait and see. I have to say something about my partner over there on the left, Price. We knew we were going to play together this week since May, because we came here -- when we played the Benson & Hedges here on our first team meeting, and we had a little match going on Tuesday and Sam put us out against all the other top, sort of top pairings, because we were the worst players we had, he said (laughter.), At that time. That's what you meant, Sam, wasn't it?

SAM TORRANCE: Absolutely.

PIERRE FULKE: We went out on that Tuesday and shot 11-under, and we won all the money from all these guys, here. So we pretty much knew back then that we were going to play. And, Price, you're a great partner, and I'll have you any day.

Other than that, I just have one more thing to say to go on with what Niclas said back there. Pretty much the rookies of the team had breakfast together this morning, because we all teed off late, and we all pretty much said one of us is probably going to be the hero today. And there are 11 heroes on this team and there's one that's slightly a bigger hero today and that's Paul McGinley.

GORDON SIMPSON: Darren, I think you set the tone for the week. You started on Friday, with three straight birdies, and the excitement never started after that.

DARREN CLARKE: After a good start on Friday, it's always nice to see blue numbers, especially today whenever Sam put us off to a good start. And certainly I know from a couple of previous experiences what it's like to look at the board. We're always told, don't look at the board, but you can't help yourself. You've got to take a look now and again to see what's going on.

SERGIO GARCIA: He said no looking at the board unless you see a lot of blue.

DARREN CLARKE: There was a lot of blue. So it's always good to see that. It gives you a little bit of impetus. As regards my game today, I had a nip-and-tuck game with David Duval, but looking at the board and seeing everybody else doing so well obviously makes it a little bit easier to perform, when you know everybody else is playing well. And afterwards sitting there watching players coming down the stretch, Pierre to get the halve at the 18, to win the Ryder Cup for us, that was fantastic. For one of the so-called weaker links in the team, I think he's made you stand up and take notice, to stand up and take that putt to pin, takes a lot, as every guy in this table will say. He put it straight in the middle and won the Cup for us, which is fantastic. We came here as a team, we dined as a team, we talked as a team and we won as a team, ask that's all I can say. The team spirit has been the best. This is my third one now, and the team spirit this week, everybody has been involved, everything has been talked through with everybody, and to Sam, thank you very much, it's been an unbelievable week, thank you.

GORDON SIMPSON: I think as everyone knows, the next Ryder Cup in Europe is being held in Dublin, so I suppose it's quite appropriate that the man that holds the winning putt was Paul McGinley.

PAUL McGINLEY: I'd like to be there. What can I say? Unbelievable day. Jesper talked about having a mistress, I feel I've been unfaithful to Padraig by playing with Darren yesterday. Darren was fantastic. This was very much a team event. And I think we very much won it off the golf course as well as on the golf course. I think Sam, Jesse, Woozy were fantastic. I think it was all very important that Jesse was part of the team. I think a lot of lessons were learned from Brookline, not that Jesse was a bad captain, far from it. I think that we certainly learned lessons, we were more experienced off the field as well as on the field. I think that's just as important in a Ryder Cup. And it was just great. I think as Monty says -- I was surprised Monty didn't know what position he was playing. It was very much a decision -- I wasn't consulted anyway, I was told afterwards what I would be doing. And I think they were spot on. They didn't outsmart themselves. They were very smart. But it was very much a team and I enjoyed it. To have the opportunity to hole the putt was magnificent. And to actually hole was it magnificent. What more can I say? Thank you very much.

GORDON SIMPSON: Padraig, you suffered on the other side, the losing side in '99; how does it feel this time around?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: When you win a tournament on a team, backing up your teammates and them backing up you in a given week, there's nothing that compares to that. And obviously you are on such a high from it, it's fantastic.

The only thing I will say about the team that possibly people didn't perceive, normally teams rely a lot on their top guys, but this week there was tremendous confidence in the rookies. There was four rookies in the team, and every player on the team trusted their ability. We were very confident with those guys at the end of the field today. We were sure they would get points if needed. We weren't going out there trying to win the first six matches or anything like that. We knew that we had guys at the end that were going to be able to handle the pressure and play golf in that situation. There was a lot of confidence this week from all the players in the new guys. So it was a well-balanced team, a very well-balanced team. And that's why the guys could be rested the first two days, and I think it made a difference.

GORDON SIMPSON: Last, but not least, Thomas.

THOMAS BJORN: You know, one thing that was very important for me today was to see four guys go out there and produce exactly what we needed; Monty, Bernhard, Padraig and Darren just went out there and did exactly what we talked about last night, get blue numbers up there. And as good as a team is, you need experience and you need strength to go out and produce the goods, and that's what these guys did. And that's -- they were heroes before they came in here, but they were certainly fantastic today. They were magnificent in the way they led from the top. And I think that was the key to everybody else out there, to just play their game, because we knew we were going to get some points up early and then we had a chance of winning this.

We talked a lot about the rookies here tonight. Heroes are made in the Ryder Cup. Paul McGinley, Phillip Price, big heroes today. For Phillip to go out and beat the world's No. 2 and do it in style was just magnificent. And to hole a putt like Paul did on the last, it's just outstanding. He's been great all week. He got in yesterday and got a little bit more experience yesterday when Sam felt like it was time to rest me, when I was hitting it left, right and all over the place. But I think the key to today was really our top guys that went out this morning and just put the blue numbers up there. They were magnificent. And Monty was, as he always is, fantastic this week. And thank God he doesn't hole that many putts every week (laughter.)

GORDON SIMPSON: Sam, I think you also have something else to say?

SAM TORRANCE: The team has been great. I'd like to say that Curtis is a great friend of mine, and they were immensely gracious in defeat. And hopefully we can be just as gracious in victory. Thank you.

Q. I'm from Norway, and I have to say that this victory has to be more uniting for Europe than the Euro ever will be. And I really must say I congratulate Europe. Since we are not a star on the flag, I have to also say this is not a part of Norway's victory. But still, General Torrance, you led the field today with Field Marshal Montgomerie. This also has to be a red week for Scottish golf.

SAM TORRANCE: It's a great week for European golf. We're a European team. Obviously Colin led us off this morning, and he was magnificent, as he always is, but we're all European here.

Q. My question is for Colin. My question for you, is could you compare, contrast your experiences in '99 to here. For those of us in America it appears that you really took this on as a mission, you had a great Cup. Would you comment about that whole scenario?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Regarding '99 and the differences?

Q. Yes.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: '99, yeah, it feels a little better, actually, this. (Laughter.) Funny, but it does. It's lovely to have that support. And it's also good that as my wife said to me, it's important that the American team realize actually how popular I am here in Britain. (Laughter.) I think that sums up your question.

SAM TORRANCE: "We love you Monty, oh, yes, we do." (Singing.)

Q. Phillip, you had to wait around quite a long time for your match, and you were also up against Phil Mickelson.

PHILLIP PRICE: I played with him yesterday. I played -- I felt like a played well for 12 holes, and I didn't think he was comfortable. I played particularly well -- I felt like I played really well in practice. I needed to stop. I needed to -- I was just going to be as tough as I could be today and things went for me, I putted well. The guys said, "You have nothing to lose." Just as we were going into the match -- it didn't turn out this way, but I had a sense that -- while -- my putt was so important, and I was clinging on really hard. And to make the putt on 16 was -- well, I didn't think I had it in me, but it was awfully nice to find out that I did. And I think for me to make a contribution to the team, as I said earlier, that maybe the press had said that I was out of form, which was pretty true. It was making me feel like probably I would be better off not playing, but I wanted to be a member of the Ryder Cup years ago, and however I was going to play, I was going to be here, giving it my best. And to be able to win a putt in the singles when it mattered meant more to me that anything you can imagine. I feel like I made a contribution when it was possible that I wouldn't before the week came along. So I'm pretty proud of myself.

Q. This question actually is to a couple of players, Jesper and Colin. Can you talk a little bit about if today felt a bit of a reverse from Brookline, in terms of the way the momentum went early. Obviously Brookline there were a lot of red numbers up early on the board. And what effect that had.

JESPER PARNEVIK: Like I said earlier, Saturday night at Brookline, when the draw came up me and Monty looked at each other, exactly at the same time, and we looked into each other's eyes and said, where are we going to get the points tomorrow? But it was like 180 degrees opposite this time around. We felt very good about the draw. We could not have picked a draw that was better for us than we got today. And Sam is probably a lot smarter than he looks. That was an unbelievable draw. Everybody on the team was unbelievably happy when they saw the draw.

Q. Could I ask Sergio to sum up the spirit of this Ryder Cup in terms of rapport with the crowds, rapport with your fellow competitors from the other team. Talk about the spirit of this Ryder Cup and the rapport with the fans out on the course and the U.S. opponents, as well.

SERGIO GARCIA: It was unbelievable. I don't think I got as excited as I did in '99 because it was my first one and I like to keep some energy for today and hopefully win an important point for Europe. But the atmosphere was absolutely incredible out there. And the cheers you were getting when you were getting to the greens and to the tees, it was amazing. It was like if you made the putt before you hit it or hit a great drive before you even hit it. It was an unbelievable experience for me. And I'm so pleased to be here. I'll probably have to thank Sam for picking me two years ago and last year, he's the guy who was responsible for me being here. I can't remember who I played with. (Laughter.) No, but Lee was great this week. To come through after what he's been going through and play --.

LEE WESTWOOD: Playing with you is twice as bad as what I've been going through. I can tell you that. (Laughter.)

SAM TORRANCE: At least twice as rewarding.

SERGIO GARCIA: Every time I was out on the hole, he was there. And that shows a lot from a guy like Lee. And it makes you relax a lot.

Q. Lee, the friendship and yet respect you've got with your American teammates.

LEE WESTWOOD: I think the captains summed it up in the speeches. The crowds this week were incredible, they didn't cheer when they missed a putt. This is by far the nicest Ryder Cup that I've played in. Myself and Scott today were laughing and joking with each other and in the previous rounds with Davis and Tiger and Sergio and myself were laughing and joking, until the last couple of holes.

GORDON SIMPSON: Bernhard would like to say something before we wind up.

BERNHARD LANGER: Before we do, I'd like to propose two toasts. The first one is to all of you and the huge support you give us over the years, and you're a great part of making the Ryder Cup to what it is. I'd like for the team to stand up and have a toast to the press. (Applause.)

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: You were our 14th man.

BERNHARD LANGER: And the second, but certainly not the last toast is to our wonderful captain, Sam Torrance. (Applause.)

SAM TORRANCE: Actually he took the words out of the my mouth. I'd like to thank you guys, you've treated us magnificently this week. There's been no controversy to talk about, but still you didn't look for it. Thanks very much.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you, everyone, and we look forward to Oakland Hills in two years time.

End of FastScripts....

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