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An Interview with Clarke, Garcia, Westwood & Donald


September 18, 2004

JULIUS MASON: Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood. Instead of opening comments because of deadlines, let's go to Q&A, folks. What have you got?

Q. Can someone up there talk about the importance of the win in this morning by Howell and Casey, how that affected the team?

SERGIO GARCIA: First of all, I want to say I've never seen so many media waiting for us. This is great.

Next? (Laughter.)

DARREN CLARKE: I think Paul Casey and David Howell this morning did an unbelievable job to be 1-down with two holes to go, both of them playing the first Ryder Cup, for David Howell to make birdie on 17 and then Paul Casey to make 4 on the last is an unbelievable achievement. That's the way that we looked upon it as a team. Certainly Lee and I were on the first tee ready to go out and start off the foursomes this afternoon and the feelings we got from those guys, turning a potential loss into a win, certainly put us on a high before we went out this afternoon.

I mean, it just, we were looking at a whitewash almost at some stage this morning in the four-balls, and these guys came through and got a halve. Then the other two got the full point and it was massive for us. Huge, can't say enough about it.

Q. Can you talk about your partner, Lee, and maybe what has made him so successful here?

DARREN CLARKE: He can play.

SERGIO GARCIA: That's my partner.

DARREN CLARKE: It's his partner half the time as well.

SERGIO GARCIA: It's his half-partner.

DARREN CLARKE: No, I think from my point of view, I don't know about Sergio's but Lee and I have traveled around the world and played together many, many times. Whenever we're playing in foursomes, I don't care where he hits it and he doesn't care where I hit it because we both have trust in each other's ability. That makes it an awful lot easier when you are not worried about where you are hitting for your partner.

Q. For Lee and Darren and Sergio, the three guys who were here in '99, regarding the singles, obviously you had a large lead back then. If you could just quickly say what you feel like you learned that day, that Sunday, and how you'll avoid that tomorrow?

LEE WESTWOOD: At Brookline we knew what to expect on Sunday. We expected the Americans to come out quickly which they did. Seeing as we didn't get off to a solid enough start, I think I went out first and lost my match and Darren went out second and lost his. I can't remember the order from there but I don't think they were too successful, either. So you really need to get some blue on the board from our point of view early on to give the team kind of a comfort zone, make them feel relaxed.

DARREN CLARKE: Same sort of thing. You know, I don't think we did anything wrong at Brookline. We certainly were not complacent. We certainly knew we still had a job to do. But we went out and didn't play well enough. The Americans simply played better than we did. Enough people have been talking about momentum this week and certainly that Sunday at Brookline, the American guys got the momentum and rolled it like we have done so far this week.

SERGIO GARCIA: I've got nothing to say. They have said everything. But --

LUKE DONALD: Can I say something?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, what do you think?

LUKE DONALD: I wasn't there, but I think I remember some of the players had not even played before the singles. Everyone has played on this team now, and the rookies have done reasonably well. So, you know, with Paul and David winning, that's obviously a huge boost to their confidence. I've been playing well, and I think everyone has had a taste for it right now. They are ready to go for tomorrow.

So, you know, it's not a case of some of the guys haven't even teed it up. So we're all playing well. It's going to be a good day tomorrow.

Q. One of the reasons that Hal said that he chose to play foursomes in the afternoon was that the Americans traditionally did better in that format and that he wanted to save that for the end in case he needed some points, I think you guys are 6-2 in foursomes the last two days, what do you attribute that to?

DARREN CLARKE: We can play an early game. We can play now and again.

SERGIO GARCIA: Believe it or not, there's people that can play golf outside the States. (Laughter.)

Q. Did any of you in your wildest dreams ever imagine you would have a 6-point lead at this stage?

LEE WESTWOOD: Well, it's the kind of lead you hope for going into the last day but not the kind of lead you expect to have.

I can't stress how important the Casey/Howell result was this morning. Not only is it, you know, like winning two points, because they go from, you know, like a certain win to us winning it's demoralizing for their team, as well. Myself and Sergio were on the end of a similar sort of treatment at the hands of Tiger and Davis at the last Belfry and it sort of makes you sick in your stomach that you let a 1-up lead with two to go slip away. As far as momentum on our team, I know the feeling, with the 6-point lead we are obviously buzzing and happy but at the same time just taking an element of caution to tomorrow's singles because we don't want to think complacent and certainly don't want to be complacent. We want to finish the job off.

Q. As a group, you guys seem absolutely ego less. How has that contributed to your success here this week?

SERGIO GARCIA: I definitely think it's been huge. I just think the atmosphere within the group of the European Team is just, it's just unbelievable. You know, everybody cares about everybody. We try our hardest to please everybody, make everybody as comfortable as they can be. You don't see a bad face. You don't see anything that can break that great, you know, team spirit that we have.

I just feel like we all get along with each other very nicely. You know, we care about each other, and that's really big in this type of event.

Q. For Lee and Sergio, can you go over 18 this morning, I know that hole, you jumped in and tried to hit the ball obviously to give him a little better line and then went over the green, and then were you trying, Sergio, on that putt, were you thinking about giving him a line coming the other way when you decided to go ahead and putt that ball or what was your mindset on that?

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, what were you thinking? (Laughter.)

SERGIO GARCIA: I wish I knew. What was I thinking on the fourth shot and on the fifth?

I thought about it. When I saw the ball run to the other side, I thought, well, maybe I can give Lee a nice look at it. But then when I got to my ball, I was like, wow, no, I can't, because I just have to hit this thing so much higher than his putt is going to be.

So I thought, you know, just hit it out there and, I don't know, maybe you'll hit the jackpot and Lee can go for his putt a little bit more of a free-wheel than he would if I would have made 6.

So I just got lucky and managed to make that putt. I thought Lee, he hit an unbelievable putt. It was just a bit unfortunate that it didn't go in.

Q. Monty said this afternoon that he simply enjoys playing as a team more than he does by himself. Is that true for all of you, as well?

DARREN CLARKE: We are all really pulling so hard for each other this week. Week-in, week-out we are trying to beat each other. But this week, everybody's, the team spirit, the team bonding this week has been incredible. You know, there's so much support for each and every player in our team room from everybody else. I think that's what's proven to help us be so successful so far this week.

JULIUS MASON: Questions thanks very much, guys, for coming down.

SERGIO GARCIA: One thing I want to say, because if not I'm going to get kicked. I want to say that the caddies have been great this week, they have been doing a great job and we'll go get them tomorrow.

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