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Quotes: Sutton, Harrington, Garcia, McGinley & Funk - Final Day


September 19, 2004

FRED FUNK: We wanted it so bad for our team for the U.S. and our coach, Hal Sutton, for everybody, it was hard to loosen up. We've got to work on that.

Q. The chemistry on their team was superb, do you have any comments on the lack of success in the Ryder Cup in the last few years?

FRED FUNK: I'm going to use an analogy like we are the big boys and we're kind of like back in the gold medal with the hockey, when we beat the Russian team. They get really up for it. The media always plays on them as the underdog, but they are really good players. They are by far not underdogs. I think it's -- I don't think either team is an underdog, it's so evenly matched from top to bottom, and the nature of the matches normally make it a close match anyway, but this year was very big upset as far as the margin, not only the upset -- I don't consider it an upset that we lost. I consider it an upset that it was such a wide margin.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: I had a real sense of '99, you know, all of a sudden they started making the putts and we started missing them and we're back to where we were.

Q. How long will this stick with you Hal?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: It will stick in the record book forever, but I'll move past this.

Q. There will be another captain announced in about a month or so, what piece of advice would you give him?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: I couldn't give him just one piece of advice. I'd have to talk to him for a while. (Laughing).

This is a tough job, there's no way around it. You're living in a fish bowl. I got a little small glimpse of what Tiger Woods must feel like. Every decision that he makes is under a microscope and I just caught a glimpse of it with people wondering whether I've done the right thing or not done the right thing. Most of the time it's just my wife and kids wondering if I'm doing the right thing. When it turns into the world beginning to second-guess everything you do -- you know, we wanted to win and we didn't. That's the way golf is. We are accustomed to losing in golf. You can't win all the time.

Q. Does that mean you're not running for office?

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: Not running for office. Absolutely.

What a great event this is, what a great honor it is to be asked to be captain and to lead the Americans in an international competition. Absolutely. They just outplayed us, you know, and that's not any discredit to the Americans. Sometimes you're on and sometimes you're not. We just weren't on with our putter this week and they were. They are great champions and great men. It's painful for them to have to suffer through this, and it pains me that they have to.

I was trying to tell them, when you're that close, you think you're trying with all your heart; and they were, they were trying so hard that they wouldn't let go.

Q. The Europeans seem to have that spirit.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: They have that intangible, they hit a lot of golf shots and made a lot of putts, it would be hard to deny that they are missing that intangible.

Q. They really seemed to have something.

CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: You know what, my brain is not thinking fast enough to figure out intangibles, we have had years to figure it out, we can't figure it out. I can't get it this minute.

KENNY PERRY: This team, this team has been great together all week, whether it's Phil or Tiger or Riley or Haas, everybody contributed. We came out today thinking we might win. You know, we didn't give up, against all odds. We kept positive and trying. Nobody ever gave up. You get that far behind, it's hard.

It's just like you're ten shots back with two days to go in the U.S. Open. You could have done Brookline all over again, you know.

It's getting very hard for us to win either one of these type of events when the rest of the world other than the United States is getting bigger and better at golf. You know, why are they equal or favored? Just think, you know, you've got countries, you've got Russia and China and all of these other countries that are playing golf -- seriously, wait 20 years. Who will be the No. 1 ranked player in the world? He's from Fiji. He's not on our team. He lives in the United States and plays on our Tour and he came up on the European Tour. You know, K.J. Choi, now here is a guy from -- or Russia in 25 years, we don't even know.

In two years we'll be back and hopefully we've got the core of our team right here and we know how badly this stings and we'll come back and get them next time.

SERGIO GARCIA: Just real excited. It's good, I mean, I had the feeling of winning one a couple of years ago, but winning here in America, it's just unbelievable. And for Monty, a guy like him who has done so well in Ryder Cup, to have the winning putt I think is great.

Q. Is this the future of the European Ryder Cup Team?

SERGIO GARCIA: I think so. It's a young team and I think that if we can get a team similar, we can do that.

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, Casey and Howell winning yesterday morning was huge in terms of the overall -- great day for Europe.

Q. You've now won the Ryder Cup seven out of the past ten times, there's got to be something you can point your finger to.

PAUL McGINLEY: We're good players. The bottom line is, we played well. I wouldn't blame the American team. Just look, we are a team that played fantastic golf.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think the emotions, it's been a long week. As I said to somebody this morning -- now it's all over we can go celebrate.

Q. Did you ever imagine a margin of victory being this big?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The margin of victory is irrelevant. It's irrelevant. We're not here to try and, you know, have a big victory or anything like that. We are here to try and win it. Whatever comes out at the end of the day, it could swing the other way. The U.S. Team will probably be up for it the next time.

Q. Did you play some of your better golf this week?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I played some good golf. I think the Europeans, we had momentum. I think all of the players in practice were playing great and carried it on into the tournament.

Q. Your cousin he won today's game.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 24-16, yeah, I was hearing it on the golf course as I was going around. I was getting reports all the way around. A good day for the Harringtons.

Q. Where does this one rank for you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Only time can tell. Only time can tell. I think Brookline was the most intense. This is probably the greatest experience I've ever had on the golf course, you know, winning at The Belfry was probably just unbelievable because it was so tight at Brookline. Brookline made The Belfry.

This time around, it's a little bit different. I have to sit back and reflect on it.

Q. To win with the largest margin of victory in this Ryder Cup format, did you ever think it was going to be this big of a win?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Europe this week, we played great. We couldn't have expected anything like this. We were hoping for a very tight match all the way through the weekend. If we could have a tight match, you know, who knows what could happen the last couple of holes. It was a surprise to win. As I said, Europe, we were playing well in practice. We had momentum all week. The only time the U.S. really came back at us was Saturday morning four-balls, Paul Casey and David Howell, to win that it came to stop the U.S., it was going pretty strongly in their favor. That one match probably ended up with the result of us winning by seven points, nine points, whatever. It probably came down to that one match.

Q. Some of your counterparts are going to be in Ireland next week.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, two weeks time for the American Express, a great event the last time and it should be a great event this time. I'm sure they will enjoy going there. When you go to a tournament in Ireland, it's not just playing golf. There's a lot going on around us. Whether you win the tournament or you finish down the field, you can enjoy the week.

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