An Interview with Team Europe - Final Day
September 20, 2004
JULIUS MASON: A very depressed European Ryder Cup Team at the head table at this moment, ladies and gentlemen. (Laughter.) While we are waiting for the rest of the team --
THOMAS LEVET: (Introducing team). On his left, the midget. (Paul McGinley).
Just next to him, one guy, he works out so much we call him, "Arnold" (Laughter.) (Paul Casey).
On the extreme left, Mr. Ryder Cup, the mean machine, don't play against him in singles, you lost already. (Colin Montgomerie).
And on his right, from England, is the bad man, he's got the good drive. And he shows it on the course, Mr. Trousers, Ian Poulter. (Laughter.)
And here on my left, the guy that when he wins one point, it's not one point he puts on the board, it's ten. (David Howell). (Laughter.)
You ready? (To Julius).
SERGIO GARCIA: Bernhard's not here.
JULIUS MASON: Folks, for the sake of time, I bet there are probably some questions you might have, so we'll go ahead and take some questions while we wait for the captain to join us. First of all on mic No. 3, please.
Q. For Sergio, sorry to interrupt your ice cream.
SERGIO GARCIA: It's not ice cream, it's a crab leg.
Q. In your match when you went down two, at that point, the top 5 matches, the Americans are leading, what did you say to yourself or what was your thinking when you went down to Phil to kind of change the tide there?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I was just mainly trying to be positive. I knew that the way I was playing all week long, I knew that I had a good chance of winning. I just had to probably relax. I think I came out probably wanting it too much. You know, I was a bit nervous at the beginning and it showed up in a couple of shots. But, you know, thankfully, I got to the ninth hole, I hit a great tee shot and I had a huge putt there. Since then, you know, I was totally under control. I felt like I was doing the things I wanted to do. I felt like I was having a chance on every hole. I knew that if I get something going, just at least show my partners that I was getting back into the game, and having a chance of winning that point, I knew that it could help a little bit.
Q. Could you talk a little about Bernhard Langer, the job he did as captain and why you think he was such a good captain this week?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, quite good, actually, because he's not here so I can talk about him. (Laughter.)
THOMAS LEVET: Did he really?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: We in Europe have been very fortunate over the years to have such great captains and I've played for a number of them. No one better than Bernhard.
We in Europe are quite close. You know, we all travel together and we all spend a lot more time together than possibly the U.S. Team do as a whole. As we've been saying all week, that we tend to play for each other, and it's huge, that. You can see how delighted we all are, not individually, but as a team. And it's most important to have that feeling. That was brought together by Bernhard very, very much over the last year.
I didn't know I was in this team until half an hour before the selection was made, but I knew that Bernhard would get this team together and play for each other and that's what we did this week, and it proved conclusively from Friday morning what a team we were. That's what I'd like to thank Bernhard for, and also, for picking me.
Q. Just talk about what this week was like for you and whether or not you would like to try to be a captain again and maybe even try to play as a player again on this team.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Maybe both. I might be too old to be on this team as a player, I don't know. I might try in two years time, but I'll have to wait and see how things go.
I haven't been asked to be captain again and I'm not sure -- I need time to think about that. But I think there's other guys who deserve a shot at it and I don't want to take that opportunity away from them. But obviously, we'll have to see and wait what the Ryder Cup Committee comes up with, who they think is the best man for the job, and then we'll take it from there. We've got a whole year to think about it.
Q. Talk about what it was like this week.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: It's hard to put into words. I can't talk enough about these 12 guys here, the three assistant captains that I had, the caddies, the wives, even the staff, I mean, just everybody did an outstanding job. They all gave 100%, and sometimes more. As I said earlier in the year or in the week, the players do the job. You know, I can only prepare the way and make them feel comfortable, encourage them and provide everything they need. But in the end, they are the ones who hit the shots and holed the putts, and they have done an incredible job.
Q. Monty, you've had a difficult time with the American crowds over the years, and this time it was a little bit different. They received you very warmly. Can you talk a little bit about that?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I don't want to go into the past. I'd like to talk about today and I think that it was not just myself that was received warmly, I think all of our team were. I think we made a huge effort to make that happen. I think from the first day, we arrived here, Bernhard's decision to allow us to sign autographs and be open with the crowd worked in our favor and not just myself. I think everybody was treated well here in Detroit and Michigan and it worked well for us all.
Q. Colin, you have a great Ryder Cup record obviously and have talked about your love for this format, what do you think makes Sergio such a good player in this format, and can you discuss what his impact is on this team, his importance to this team?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, since he's here, I would actually possibly ask him. (Laughter.)
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. You guys are supposed to say what I mean to you guys.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I think --
SERGIO GARCIA: Sentimentally.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think anybody that gets 4 1/2 points is bloody good.
LEE WESTWOOD: Thank you. Thank you. (Standing up) (Laughter.)
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I did say anyone, and we have a couple here that have achieved that feat and there's not many Europeans that have done that. I think that speaks for itself. But to be the youngest on the team and to have that effervescent personality that he does add a great deal to our team, and a very reliable character. Even when I think Sergio went 2-down, early on, we knew that that game wasn't over and he proved it yet again. So that's what he means to us.
Q. Colin, you've quite publically thrown your hat into the ring for captaincy in 2006. I just wonder after this weekend, are you tempted to try and make it as a player, or are you still keen to have the captaincy?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: He will play. He's too young to be captain. He needs to play.
You agree, Monty? Come on, say the truth.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's not for me to say. If I happen to be in the frame of mind to play, I've love to play again. There's plenty of time to be a captain, possibly. It's been a difficult time to get to this stage this particular year, and I'm only glad that Bernhard had some faith in me, and I'm only glad that I managed to perform half-decent and help the team cause.
And if I can do that again, I'd be delighted to do that.
Q. Question for Sergio. You guys seem to be having a lot of fun from the practice rounds up to and including this press conference. Was there any point during the week where you felt like the Americans were having as much fun as you were?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. I hope they didn't. (Laughter.) Because that's --
THOMAS LEVET: No chance.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Well, we actually never saw the Americans. They were always on the other side of the golf course, different part of the clubhouse, different part of the hotel. We never saw them so we don't know if they had fun or not.
SERGIO GARCIA: Just talking about some of the guys I played against, I think they did have a good time. I'm sure they wanted to do better than what they really did. But I can only say what a great time we've had. You know, it's been an unbelievable week, not only game-wise, but, you know, with the whole people. I think everybody in the clubhouse has treated us unbelievable. The crowds around the golf course.
It's just been an amazing week. You know, to tell you the truth, I thought it was going to be a bit rougher than this, but, you know, you have to give a 10 to the people around this event.
Q. Bernhard, it honestly seemed like everything you touched this week turned to gold. Sergio just referred to it. Did anything go wrong for you guys this week?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I can't think of too much. Everything went our way. I'm pretty sure.
Padraig said I scolded him, maybe I shouldn't have done and I didn't mean to. (Laughter.) It might only have come over that way, so maybe that's what I did wrong. But I think most other things went very well. Things were great. I just want to reiterate how great the American players were, as well. The whole team was very gracious. They one by one came up and just said, "You guys played better, you deserved win this and you were great sportsmen" and so were they. I once made that mistake in English and said they were great losers. I guess there's no such thing, but they were very, very gracious. Just understood that we were more fortunate or just a little better this week and their time will come again in the future.
Q. I have two questions, one for Sergio and one for Paul McGinley. Sergio not that stats mean anything to Ryder Cup results, but if you look at the PGA TOUR, putting stats you are way down the list. Yet all week long you made everything you looked at inside six feet. Is there an explanation for that?
SERGIO GARCIA: Probably that I managed to find the hole every time from six feet in.
To tell you the truth, I mean, I really, as I said the other day, I think that this whole team and also myself, we just live for this. We can't wait to play on this event. You probably try even harder and believe in yourself even more than in some other tournaments.
I also feel like, you know, I've been working on very nice things on my short game. I feel like things are starting to come around. I'm hitting a lot better putts. Not only this week but also in Switzerland. I felt like I putted pretty nicely. I think it's just a matter of just hard work and just believing on it.
Q. And then for Paul, it seems like you are the epitome of scrappiness and toughness, mental toughness on this team, but is there an explanation for why this entire team always shows up with so much grit at every Ryder Cup?
PAUL McGINLEY: I think -- I think the only way you can answer that is what somebody said earlier, I think it was Monty. We are really good friends. You know, we do travel a lot together. We spend a lot of time together, practice together, a lot of us live beside each other. The makeup of the European Tour makes you sort of stay in the same hotels and travel more or less at the same time and play practice rounds at the same time.
Another factor I think to which doesn't happen in America, it happens on the European Tour, is we are always grouped together the first two rounds in the tour. I know on the American tour they do it slightly different, they will have the star players playing with guys down the Order of Merit and that seems to be a good way of doing it, but we are grouped together a lot for TV. So we've become very familiar with each other.
You know, there's 12 good guys here, there's 12 good guys on the team, we are all good friends and that's important. I think the makeup of our tour makes us friends that way and when you have a bond like that with people, it's kind of hard to break. You know, it's a very, very strong bond.
Q. Two questions. One is, first for Colin or Sergio or Darren, Lee, Padraig, who have played on multiple Ryder Cup teams, you guys have to do this every two years. The Americans now, with the Presidents Cup, have to do it every year. Do you think that you come with a fuller tank of, I'd say gasoline but I guess it's petrol, than the Americans do to be able to get up for this event?
SERGIO GARCIA: Can I talk?
DARREN CLARKE: No.
SERGIO GARCIA: Sorry. (Laughter.) Go ahead, partner.
LEE WESTWOOD: He's like this on the course. He won't shut up.
SERGIO GARCIA: I thought we were playing foursome and it was my shot..
THOMAS LEVET: Sergio, you're like my wife, you talk too much. (Laughter.)
LEE WESTWOOD: Apart from my wedding day and the birth of my three kids -- four, four. (Laughter.)
SERGIO GARCIA: Sorry, Lee, go ahead, I'll go after you.
LEE WESTWOOD: No, you carry on.
SERGIO GARCIA: I want to say one quick thing.
I want to say, I don't think so, that's to start with. I think they have a year to get plenty of fuel in their tank and that's about it.
LEE WESTWOOD: Me?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah.
LEE WESTWOOD: What was the question about the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup?
No, I don't think it makes much difference that they play, you know, once every year. We've started playing the Seve Trophy, it means as much to me to represent Great Britain and Ireland as it does to the United States Team to represent, obviously, the US-of-A. So, I don't think that's any excuse whatsoever.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Could I say something to that?
I think if you can't get fired up for the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup, there's something wrong with you. And I think they are fired up.
Q. Bernhard, in the now it could be told department, last night was an uncharacteristic brash statement you made that you expected two of the first three points and you almost got it in the first three. What was the motivation of saying that and throwing out that challenge as it were?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: I didn't mean to be brash. I'm sorry it came over that way. You asked me what I thought of the first three pairings and I said I think we get two points. That was just a simple statement of faith I had in my guys. I didn't mean to be brash. I didn't mean to say anything bad about Tiger or Mickelson or whoever else was up there, Davis Love, I guess. That's not the way it was meant. I just felt that my guys could bring two points and they almost did it. So I was wrong and I apologize. We only got 1 1/2. (Laughter.)
Q. Bernhard, over the last five or six months of jockeying for positions and the problems that your star man has had, did you ever think for a moment that you might not have Colin on this team?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Not really. There was a short, brief time when obviously he went through some personal difficulties, when I wondered how he would take it and how it would affect his golf game. And it did affect it to some extent I think like anybody else would get affected. It would almost be inhuman if it wouldn't affect you.
But he handled it extremely well. I could see that he was, after several weeks and months, he was able to refocus and put energy back into tournament golf and his form showed it. And when I saw that, I had no doubt that he could make the team and will make the team.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: May I?
JULIUS MASON: Follow-up, Colin?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes. Thank you. May I just say to that question that I wouldn't have been able to make this team if it wasn't for the 11 guys plus Bernhard to give me the support over the last months. And I would like to publically thank them all here, the team here for their support in enabling me to get onto, get onto what I do best in life, and that's play golf. I thank them all, truly, for what they have shown me this week and how I've been accepted, and I'd like to thank you all.
(Standing up, applauding Monty, with the rest of the team following.)
Q. This is for Bernhard. Can you compare this achievement as a captain to your achievements as a player winning two Masters, and also, does this help makeup for Kiawah?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Well, you can't compare the Ryder Cup with majors and you can't compare it with anything. It's a totally different tournament. The Masters is, you know, individual achievement. Ryder Cup is a team effort. I've had some wonderful memories.
You know, you mention Kiawah, I'm not that sad or depressed about Kiawah, to tell you the truth. I was down for a couple of days, but, you know, every time I got up in the morning, looked in the mirror, I knew that I gave 100% out there. As long as I do that, it doesn't matter to me whether I have success or failure.
It's a famous story of which president is it of the United States who failed, whatever, 12 times and then he finally became president. You gain success through failure or you learn about things. And I've had some great experiences as a player in the Ryder Cup. I've had some other ones. And this obviously was my first time as a captain. And I don't think it can get any better than this has been this week, just from the very beginning.
I knew that we would have a great time once we got here. And they actually exceeded everything that I was hoping for.
Q. Darren, early in the day when the Americans were hot and there was a lot of red on the board, how concerned were you that that would touch off a lot of momentum and what do you think stopped it?
DARREN CLARKE: I think, you're right, looking at the board early with all of the red up there was not a great sight for us. But, you know, we as 12 team members here have great confidence in each other and we had a chat last night about everybody playing for their own point as if he was playing for the Ryder Cup. I think that showed through this afternoon; that everybody kept on going and we managed to reverse a lot of those red numbers this afternoon. I believe, did we won -- we won singles what did we win? 7 1/2, 5 1/2 or 4 1/2, whatever it was. That's the way we've been all week. No matter what is going on the other guys are going to pull for each other. That's why at the end of the week we have ended up with as many points as we have.
Q. Any of you guys can take a crack at this, but in international match-play, like this, you invariably hear from the losing side that, "We played great but they just made more putts than we did." Now, obviously you guys have made a heck of a lot more putts than the Americans in the last 11 years, can you explain that phenomena somehow?
LEE WESTWOOD: We're better putters.
DARREN CLARKE: Are greens in Europe are not exactly pure. They are a little bumpier, so we have to putt a little bit different.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: We all know they are great players, all 24 and it does come down to who makes the putts. You would rather have a 10-foot uphill putt than a 20-foot downhill putt with a huge break. Bottom line is, they can all hit good tee shots and hit the green most of the time but whoever makes the putts, wins most of the time anyways and that's what we said. Hal and I said that early in the week when we had press conferences, the team who will putt better will most likely be the winner.
Q. Anything in preparation or is it just placement of your second shots more than anything?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Well, on these greens, it's a lot of placement for second shots, very much so. And it starts from the tee. If you hit the fairway, and I believe my players here hit more fairways than the U.S., it would actually be interesting to see those statistics, but I thought they were driving the ball very well. If you hit the fairway, you can attack certain pins. If you're in the rough, you have no chance.
Q. Bernhard, earlier in the week, you all but dismissed the idea of being captain for a second term. Now you seem to be wavering a little bit. Can you just clarify, if you were formally asked to be captain again, would you give it serious consideration? And up to this moment in time, what do you think, could you assess your legacy to the Ryder Cup Captaincy?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Oh, that's a big one. They are both big questions.
I wouldn't be ready to answer the first question right now. I need a bit of downtime, and they need to figure out who they want as captain first, and then ask that person. If that should be me, then I will consider it, talk it over with my wife and look at it, I said consider, it doesn't mean I would accept it right away.
Just right now, I'm just enjoying this moment with my team. We've had a fantastic week. We want to celebrate. We usually don't appoint another captain for another ten months or 12 months because we only have a 12-month period of qualifying, so we have plenty of time to go that way.
And what was the second part of the question?
JULIUS MASON: Your legacy and place in history.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: I don't know. I have no idea if there is a legacy or whatever.
I think the team made history today by their fantastic performance, and this will be very difficult to be repeated in the future. Because it's not easy to beat a very strong other team by this margin, and that just shows how well these guys have played.
Q. This is for anybody who would like to respond, how important, how gratifying is it to be able to perform for a captain that you care about and a guy that you know as well as Bernhard?
DARREN CLARKE: Monty.
SERGIO GARCIA: The ones that haven't said anything. Come out.
DARREN CLARKE: Go Monty.
PAUL CASEY: Luke Donald, have you spoken yet?
SERGIO GARCIA: How about my foursomes partner?
LUKE DONALD: I think Bernhard has put a lot of effort into this Ryder Cup. I mean, he seems to have gotten every detail right and, you know, it's great, obviously, for the team to play as well for him as well as for ourselves and as a team to come together and win for him. I mean, you know, he's been someone I looked up to when I was growing up. I remember watching him win the Masters on both occasions and somewhat of a role model to me, and to play under him is a privilege for me and I'm sure some of the other guys.
It's a special feeling to win for the whole team and to win for Bernhard.
Q. Question for Padraig. Coming into the Ryder Cup, you were the highest-ranked European, did you feel some added pressure because of that position and having delivered four points how do you feel now?
PPADRAIG HARRINGTON: Coming in I was the highest-ranked European, but to be honest, I was putting my own pressure on me just to play well. You know, I said all along, I didn't feel like I was in any sense going to be an on-course leader. I left that job for Monty. He's the one to do that. He's the more experienced, the older guy. (Laughter.)
SERGIO GARCIA: You didn't mean to say that second part. (Laughter.)
PPADRAIG HARRINGTON: Experienced, yeah.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: You could have left it at experienced, that's fine. The word "old" didn't really hit it. (Smiling).
PPADRAIG HARRINGTON: So I kind of was just trying to look after my own game, get my own game in shape. Obviously I came in after I won last week and it feels like I won last year, it's amazing how long this week is. I was thinking today, I can't remember last Sunday, it feels like it's so long ago. It was just a question of me looking for my own form, just trying to produce the goods, really get my game in shape and not necessarily worry so much about trying to lead anybody else, just really do my own thing.
Q. A question for the captain, you couldn't let us in on your tactical thoughts before this happened, before you won, you gained a lot of ground during the foursomes and part of that was your instinct to put certain players together. Can you please give us some thoughts you had before you put them together and why you were picking them?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I think some pairings just came natural. You know, I have known these guys, many of them for years and years and others for a shorter time. I know their strengths and parts of their game which might not be quite as strong, and I just knew that whoever I put up there would do well together. I mean, we've had pairings like Clarke and Westwood, you know, they have proven over and over and over that they are just great together whether you play them in foursomes or four-balls it doesn't matter. As I said earlier, they like each other's company and they just do well and they can, when they are out there in the Ryder Cup you have memories --
LEE WESTWOOD: (Wrapping arms around Darren Clarke, smiling together).
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: I could be your PR manager soon. (Laughter.)
When you go out in a Ryder Cup, you obviously, you have memories that come back from past Ryder Cups. They have, I believe, won far more matches or points than they have lost and that just gives them an up, you know. It just gives them confidence. They just know they are going to do well together. You know, then I looked at Garcia and Luke Donald and they are just great friends. They, again, like each other out on the golf course, they like being together.
You want me to talk more but you, Lee?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Okay. (Laughter.) And I think their game just complements each other.
As I said earlier in the week, I was extremely surprised that Jimenez and Levet didn't win the foursomes. I just thought this was a no-brainer for me. I think they might have struggled a bit because Jim?nez had to play a different golf ball. He wasn't used to it, and I think that might have cost him a couple of holes. I mentioned that already. But I'm not sure, maybe just the putts didn't drop or whatever. But I thought that was, you know, a bank. I could have put anybody against those two and I would have thought they would bring me points.
THOMAS LEVET: Believe it or not, next time, I'll smoke the cigar, don't worry.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: You play his ball and you smoke his cigar.
THOMAS LEVET: But no ponytail, please, please, Bernhard.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Anyway, I knew I had very strong foursome pairing and I knew there was some other guys who might not be foursome-type players. But out of the 12, I knew there was at least 10 or 11 that could have played foursomes very easily.
Q. Darren and Lee, this one is for you. Given the flight home is at 8:00 in the morning, how do you two particularly intend to celebrate this victory?
DARREN CLARKE: We will be on the flight.
LEE WESTWOOD: I intend to set my alarm for 8:30 now. So I'm definitely going to make it.
DARREN CLARKE: We will be on the flight, Charlie. I don't know how, but we will be on the flight. (Laughter.)
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: They might have to carry them out of the hotel.
DARREN CLARKE: I think sleeping is definitely going to be overrated tonight and tomorrow on the flight. But we will be on there.
Q. Just what I expected?
DARREN CLARKE: Exactly. Predictable aren't we in our old age.
THOMAS LEVET: And we have drunken caddies to carry us on the flight, so don't worry about it.
Q. Colin and Sergio, coming into this competition, did you honestly and truly feel that you were an underdog against the U.S.? And, as a follow-up, who do you think will be a favorite at the K Club in two years?
DARREN CLARKE: Go on Monty.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Playing the Ryder Cup in America is always difficult. And it needs 12 guys though to come over here and perform well. I think we were slight underdogs at the start of the week. As that week progressed, no, we weren't. And coming into Sunday, we were obviously hot favorites.
And this is a record, I believe for the European Team to win by nine points. It's remarkable, and I don't think we even in our wildest dreams expected to do that. It just shows and proves the strength of this European Team.
I was asked this morning about the draw for the singles and it's the first time that I can say and I'm sure Bernhard would agree, that we had strength at the top, we had strength in the middle and we had strength at the end and that's the first time I could ever say that. That's why we won, because we had strength everywhere.
Q. Sergio? Could you talk about the underdog topic?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I think as Monty said, yeah, we were underdogs. We knew we were coming in playing well, though, the whole team, so that's always a good factor to keep your confidence up.
But, you know, as the week went on, we started becoming more and more favorites. You know, anything else I think is great, so double that.
Q. Colin and Bernhard. Colin given the journey that you made, how meaningful and could you put into words what it was like to hole the winning putt? And Bernhard, did you put him in the sixth slot thinking there was a chance he would be the man that would make the winning point?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Go ahead, Colin.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It doesn't -- holing the winning putt, I mean, yes, someone's got to do it, I suppose, but if I wasn't doing it -- (Laughter.) -- I had another six games after me that someone was bound to do it.
LEE WESTWOOD: I took all of the pressure off you, didn't I?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I had breakfast with Lee Westwood this morning and him at 5 and me at 6, it could have been the third point that we needed was going to be sort of one of us. It just so happened it fell to me on this occasion.
DARREN CLARKE: I did try myself, I have to say, before you keep on carrying on. All right.
LEE WESTWOOD: We're a team.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: You came close.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: But it doesn't matter who holes the winning putt. I've often said this to me personally means bugger nothing. This tournament, nothing. My personal record means nothing, this tournament. I'm here as part of a team and whatever I play in the Ryder Cup, I'll always be that.
THOMAS LEVET: Just to give you an idea about the European feeling, I didn't put a point on the board before today but I felt like I put 15 points on the board and that's what, you know, the entire team is feeling. It doesn't matter who makes the putt. It's just, you make the putt, I make the putts for Monty for Sergio, for Lee, for Darren, for everyone this week.
SERGIO GARCIA: The important thing is to make the putt. Whoever makes it. (Laughter.)
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: No, I didn't put Monty in the 6th place because I thought he would make the winning point. I had no clue who would make the winning point, I was hoping, you know, we would make it even sooner. As I said, I was hoping we would get two points out of the first three matches and then it could have come down to Lee or even David I guess could have secured it, anybody could have secured it. You never know what happens out there.
You know, it just so deservingly happened. That's the most important thing. We set out to, as I said this morning, we set out to get at least 14 1/2 points, but our real goal was to beat them today. I told them to start off at scratch today, we are 0-0, we want to win at least 6 1/2 points today, and they won 7 1/2. Now, how good is that.
Q. Bernhard, much was made before this week about the team not having any major winners on it at all, and it clearly made no difference whatsoever, I wonder whether you believe whether or not any of these guys can kick on and make sure there's a couple of European major winners on the team at the K Club?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: I already said that yesterday, the same question was asked in here. And I believe very strongly that we have major winners in this group of golfers. I'm convinced that several of these guys in here will win majors, it's just a matter of time, this is a very, very young group of golfers, and they can all win majors. It's just a matter of, just do they play well that given week.
You know, we play whatever it is, 50 weeks in a year, and there's only four majors, so you've got to be on top of your game that particular week, because if you're not, somebody else will. But I'm convinced some of these guys will win majors.
Q. Darren and Bernhard, were you aware of the situation Davis had with the drain on the 18th and I know American TV was saying he possibly could have taken a drop there if he set up for a high cut?
DARREN CLARKE: No, I was not aware at all about Davis's -- no, I wasn't aware about Davis's drop. If he had set up for a high cut and claimed a drop, that's not Davis Love. He doesn't -- that's not him.
Davis and I are very, very good friends. I've been smoking his cigars all the way around the golf course, the ones that he's brought for me. You know, he didn't take the drop. He played in the manner in which the game and the Ryder Cup is supposed to be played, and that says an awful lot about Davis Love.
You know, on 18, he had about a 6-footer and I had a 4-footer. I wanted to say, "Good/good", Hal was there, I didn't know -- we didn't see the score, how the teams were doing. If I had seen the score board, I would definitely have picked his up and said, "That's good/good", because the way our game had went, it deserved to be a halve and no other result.
He's disappointed in his putt on the 18th green and so am I, but a halve was a very fair result for the both of us.
Q. Obviously as the score showed, but is this the best European Ryder Cup Team ever?
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: That's a very difficult question to answer, but I certainly think we have far more depth than we ever had on any of the teams that I played on, or even have seen. It might as well be the best. I'm not sure. That's a tough one. But we have never had this kind of depth. I said that yesterday, we could have come here with 18 or 20 guys and given the Americans a good show. Because 20 years ago, we didn't have this depth, we had five good players and then we really struggled towards the end of the 12-man team and that's why we struggled a bit, or struggled a lot, years ago. Because it was always a very, very tight match, we lost many of them, too.
Q. Question for Ian, there's been a lot made about how you won it as a team, how would you have felt personally if you had been through it without sticking a point on the board and how much better do you feel for having done that?
IAN POULTER: I think as all of the guys said, you know, we've played for each other this week, and I wanted to put a point on the board especially for my teammates today. Obviously yesterday was a little bit disappointing. We didn't hole any putts out there, Darren and myself. I really focused hard today. I was told not to look at leaderboards and I did. You know, I saw a sea of red and I guess that made me try even harder.
I didn't want to let any of my teammates down and that is the team spirit that we played with all week. You know, I really wanted to do that for everybody and I'm so glad that I managed to win my game and that everybody played so well.
Q. Sergio and Ian Poulter, what do the World Rankings mean after what happened this week, and if they mean anything do the Europeans deserve to be at the top instead of the Americans?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think that the World Rankings, they have to be there just to show who is the best, the best player at that moment. It could be that in a way that probably helps the guy who is playing better at that moment and not has built a huge lead and just holds onto it.
But I guess this week it didn't mean much. You know, I've always said, unfortunately, you can't play in Europe and become No. 1 unless you win 20 tournaments every year. You know, it's a shame that it has to be that way, but that's the way it is.
IAN POULTER: I think in this format, the World Ranking points go out the window. Any one of the 24 guys can beat their opposition on any given day. I mean, everybody is world class. Whether you be No. 1 or No. 80 in the world, if you play well and you're No. 80, you will beat No. 1, there's no question about that. I think you definitely saw that this week. You know, you can't equate this to World Ranking points this week.
I love you, too, Lee.
(Lee Westwood holding up sign that says 'I love you'.)
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's to me.
JULIUS MASON: We have a final thought from European Ryder Cup Captain Bernhard Langer, ladies and gentlemen.
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: I would like for my team to stand up, please, and here is a toast to y'all, to the press. Thank you. (Applause).
(Team toasts members of the media. )
CAPTAIN BERNHARD LANGER: Thank you for your support.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports ...
- Team U.S.A. (9/19/04)
- Team Europe (9/19/04)
- McGinley & Harrington (9/18/04)
- Clarke, Garcia, Westwood, & Donald (9/18/04)
- Bernhard Langer - Afternoon (9/18/04)
- Hal Sutton - Afternoon (9/18/04)
- Toms & Mickelson (9/18/04)
- Chris DiMarco (9/18/04)
- Bernhard Langer (9/18/04)
- Hal Sutton (9/18/04)
- Casey & Howell (9/18/04)
- Stewart Cink (9/18/04)
- Garcia & Westwood (9/18/04)
- Haas & DiMarco (9/18/04)
- Chad Campbell (9/18/04)
- Colin Montgomerie (9/17/04)
- Chris Riley (9/18/04)
- Woods & Riley (9/18/04)
- Clarke & Poulter (9/18/04)
- Europe Secure Ryder Cup After Singles Success
- EUROPE WIN THE RYDER CUP
- All the Drama from the Final Afternoon
- Europe Take Record Lead into Singles
- Langer's men set for singles showdown
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