Quotes from: EUROPEAN PLAYERS
21 September 2006
Q. Thoughts on a mouthwatering first match?
A. Really looking forward to it, really looking forward to it. Padraig is a great partner to have and I wanted to partner him again and we will try our best to lead off in style. It will be a fantastic occasion and the first tee will be very very busy I can only expect and all I can say is that we are both really looking forward to it because I am a great believer that if you enjoy something you are usually quite good at it, so we will enjoy it tomorrow.
Q. Against the Americans number one and two as it was the last time with you and Padraig leading the charge?
A. Yes we are leading out as I have done a lot in this event and it is almost my role here and whether I play again I don't care, to start off this thing is great and we will try our best with it.
Q. You will be trying to build up good momentum again for the team as you did in Oakland Hills?
A. Of course we will because the first morning of a Ryder Cup is a very important morning. This is obviously Woosie's idea of the team he wanted to put out on the first morning and here's hoping we can do what we did in 2004.
Q. Are you excited?
Q. It is the opening match everyone was hoping for, what are your thoughts?
A. Well it is as expected I suppose, no surprises there. Obviously they are World Number One and Two so Monty and I will be up against it but we will wait and see what happens. It is going to be a very difficult match for us but we will have to rise to the challenge.
Q. Of course you and Monty beat the American One and Two (Woods and Mickelson) on the first morning two years ago in the first match?
A. Well that maybe puts them a bit on guard I suppose. Tiger has a point to prove and I think he has a good partner in Jim Furyk so it is going to be very difficult. I feel myself and Monty are going to have to bring our games tomorrow.
Q. Are you excited about the prospect?
A. I am excited now yes. There are a lot of emotions going around at the moment but I am definitely excited.
Q. Although the Americans will tee off first, will you hit Europe's first ball in the 2006 Ryder Cup?
A. No, I'd say Monty would hit our first tee shot. If we were were teeing off first I would probably like to try to hit the first shot but I think, given the fact the Americans have hit before us, I think I'll let Colin hit the first shot, that is generally what we have done in the past.
Q. What do you think the atmosphere will be like?
A. Well it is building already, you can sense that out there so I'd say it is going to be spectacular tomorrow. I think it will definitely be a case of the hairs standing up on the back of your neck and not just for the first shot, for all the shots.
Q. Important to try and get Europe off to a good start?
A. It would be nice but it is a long week and if it doesn't go, it doesn't go. We can put too much emphasis on one match. As for the session as a whole, I think they have gone with a bit of experience as well as a bit of length as well so it was probably what we would have expected from their team and we have done the same. It is difficult dropping four players on either side but now the selections have been made it is now a case of getting out there and getting playing and hopefully we will get the breaks at the right time.
Q. Your thoughts on being in the starting eight?
A. It is fantastic, really fantastic. I feel great about being selected to play in the first session, it is a great honour and I think it will be a lot of fun to play tomorrow. They will be difficult opponents. I actually played with JJ a couple of weeks ago in the Deutsche Bank tournament in AmericA. He is a nice guy and a good player so I am looking forward to it. I have never played with Stewart but I will just go out and try to enjoy it.
Q. When did Ian tell you you were in?
A. On the fourth green today during our practice round. My initial thoughts? Great, and a lot of excitement. As for playing with Paul, we are similar type of players and our games are similar so I think we will fit in well with each other.
Q. Nerves starting to build?
A. Yes they are, what with the opening ceremony just about to start, but that is good. That type of nerves are good and they are what you want to have.
Q. Thoughts on your match and being involved on the first morning?
A. Very excited to be playing, happy to be playing. We have such a good team that it has been tough for Woosie to leave anybody out but I suppose it is a good problem for him to have. I am excited to be playing with Robert, we played today together in practice. I've said all week that I have been happy to be paired up with any of the other team guys and we played some good golf today together. Robert is a very tough competitor as he has shown by the standard of golf he has played all year and he is up there on the order of merit so I think we will make a good pairing tomorrow. We both hit the ball a long way and therefore I think it is a good match up apart from the two feet in height difference!
Q. You might have to jump up to high five him?
A. Or he could kneel down!!
Q. Thoughts on your opponents?
A. They are both good guys, I know them. Stewart is a fellow Nike guy and I know him very well and JJ, I remember him from college days, I think he played at TCU. They are both wonderful guys so it should be a friendly game tomorrow but hard fought.
Q. Important for you and Europe as a whole to get off to a good start?
A. Well yes, the key is to get off to a good start. It would be nice to put some blue on the board early but looking at the pairings, you just don't know which way it is going to go. I think both teams are so closely balanced that, crikey, I wouldn't like to pick. They could go either way but hopefully things will go our way.
Q. Is there a different excitement for you this year compared to your debut at Oakland Hills?
A. Well it is building now and we have the opening ceremony happening later and when that is going, it will really begin to feel like the Ryder Cup is upon us. When you get to this stage, all the fans are out and you can sense the buzz in the air and the players are just ready to get going.
JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL:
Q. What do you think of your draw tomorrow morning?
David Toms is a very strong player, Wetterich can hit it long which is something good around this golf course. At the end of the day we have to just play and hopefully play better golf than they do.
Q. And the partnership with Sergio?
We understand each other quite well on the golf course. He is hitting the ball well and hopefully I will be a good help.
Q. Toms is a tough competitor?
A.Yes. He has proved himself. He won in very special fashion the match play at La Costa He is the type of player that hits a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and if he gets his putter going he is a tough guy to beat. Wetterich, I don't know much about him but played with him at the PGA. He played awesome for a stretch of holes but lost it for a while and he has potential obviously.
Q. You must be relishing the opportunity to play again tomorrow?
A.Of course. I am really eager to go out there and play some golf and compete against the Americans and hopefully we will get something positive out the first day.
Q. How important is the Spanish partnership?
A.I am quite easy playing with everybody but you feel more comfortable when you speak your own language and you can talk to your partner in your home language.
Q. Have you ever partnered Sergio?
A.Never. We will have to wait and see how things deliver. There is going to be a lot of great golf to be played.
Q. Your thoughts?
A.It is going to be a tough match as David Toms, we know how well he can play. Brett could turn out to be a really good fourball teammate. We have to go out and play the way José and me know we can play and hopefully carry each other and give ourselves a lot o good chances and keep the pressure on them. Hopefully we can do that and sneak up point for the team. David is a very steady, good putter and knows how to get the ball in the hole. Brett is dangerous as he can make a lot of birdies and hits the ball quite far. It is going to be a tricky match and we have to give 100% and try to get on top early and see how we go.
Q. How good is the partnership with you and José?
A.Good. We get along nicely. I played with him a couple of days. I enjoy playing with him and I think he enjoys playing with me. Hopefully we can get our games to gell nicely and think it will be a good pairing.
Q. José Maria, of course, formed a great partnership with another Spaniard - Seve Ballesteros - is this going to follow suit?
A.I hope we can be as good as that one, I really so. It would be something nice to be as successful as he and Seve were. Hopefully we can start something new here.
Q. The old partnership is back?
A.We are delighted to be playing together again. We have a tough draw. That is a very strong partnership of theirs but we are looking forward to it. We are both playing very well and hopefully we can perform as we have been in the practice rounds.
Q. No surprise you two playing together?
A.No. I think it was fairly obvious we would be paired together having played three practice rounds together.
Q. Mickelson - DiMarco is a tough pairing?
A.They are both very good match players, steely competitors but we are confident in the way we are playing.
Q. You and Darren know this course pretty well?
A.We have three European Open titles around here together and know it probably as good as anybody, certainly of the combinations that are going out tomorrow. We are right up for it.
Q. How important is it to have Darren out in the first session for the Irish fans?
A.They have an Irishman leading off in Padraig in the first match. I should think there will be a fairly large cheer when we step on the first tee. I would hope so anyway. Woosie has a difficult job to drop anyone from a session as everybody is playing so well but it is a nice problem to have.
Q. Disappointed not to be playing the first session?
A.There is always disappointment when you are not playing but it is the captain's decision and we all abide by that and play whatever role he wants us to throughout the week.
Q. It is a tough call for Woosie?
A.Tom Lehman will say the same thing. It's what the Ryder Cup is all about. It is about the top players competing. I will be out supporting the team tomorrow morning, practising and preparing so if required in the afternoon I will be prepared and if not I will be cheering on in the afternoon too.
Q. Not in the first session - is that disappointing?
A.There are only eight places and Woosie has to do what he thinks is right. Hopefully the boys can go out and do well and we will be ready in the afternoon. We are all playing nicely. It takes a few seconds to sink in that you are not playing as you are always intrigued to see if you are or not but we soon got over that and we are all hopeful to be playing in the afternoon and to do a job when called on.
Q. Tough job to have to only pick eight for Woosie?
A. I am a little disappointed as I would have loved to have played but the aim of the game is to get 14 ½ points as a team and Woosie has a tough job. He has 12 players to pick from and compared to some Ryder Cups in the past the team shapes up pretty easily. You could predict what was happening but this one is a lot harder. In a way this is a nice thing for Woosie to have, to have a lot of choice but in the same way it is tough as he has to leave someone out. I wish the team all the best tomorrow morning. I will be there rooting them on and hopefully I will be out tomorrow afternoon.
Sunday Video Recap
Check out all the great highlights from Sunday's European victory. Watch
- 1969: Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus on the final hole of the final day.