An Interview With: VAUGHN TAYLOR
September 20, 2006
GORDON SIMPSON: Okay, everybody. Well, Vaughn, you were here three weeks ago and you got caught in the rain then and it looks like you're caught in the rain again. What's your experience of Ireland so far apart from getting wet?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: It's been great. I've had a lot of fun. The weather isn't under our control but hopefully we can get out there today and play in the rain a little bit and get used to it and have a good time.
GORDON SIMPSON: This is kind of disruptive for the preparations a little bit. But you're going to go out and play this afternoon?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, we're not fully sure, but yeah, probably get out there and play a little bit.
Q. Can you just talk about how important it was to make the trip a few weeks ago, especially for someone like yourself who is a rookie on the team and if you're feeling more comfortable this week?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: It definitely does. It was a really good trip to come over and be comfortable with our surroundings, golf course, clubhouse and pretty much took a tour of everywhere we'll be this week. If the weather is bad, you know, we might not get to play tomorrow, and it's really good that we came out a couple of weeks ago, and if worse comes to worst and we don't get to play, we've already seen the course and we feel like we're ready.
Q. Have the rookies gotten together and bonded? Tiger has given you advice, everybody has given you advice. What's the best advice you've gotten? What's the biggest rookie mistake you've made and how are you guys doing?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: We're doing great. I don't think any of us have made any rookie mistakes. We had a lot of good advice from the veterans just about keeping our cool and just the way to handle things and carry ourselves.
I think us four rookies, we all know each other from Nationwide and amateur golf, we're all around the same age. So we're familiar with each other and friends, and we've hung out in the past. It's a good week for all of us to be together.
Q. Can you just talk about what the dynamic is like to have Tiger as a teammate and what you've learned about him in the time you've been around him over the past few weeks?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Tiger is a great teammate. He's had his arms open to us as rookies and had a lot of advice. He's a guy you just want to model yourself after. He handles himself the way that you should handle yourself, and he's good to watch. I just listen to him and learn from him.
Q. Can you give us an example or two of what sort of things you learn from him?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: I just watched his interview, so I learned a lot from those ten minutes or so.
Q. Tiger was just in here a few minutes ago talking about how the story surrounding his wife put a bit of a damper upon his time here. How has the team felt about that, and how have you reacted to it yourselves?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Well, I think, you know, those questions are for Tiger and I don't really have a comment on it.
Q. Who do you think you're likely to be playing with and when, come whenever this thing gets started?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Not really sure. I don't know who I'm going to be paired with. I think Tom is just trying to figure it out and see how we're playing since we've been here. I'm really not sure.
Q. Secondly, you're famous for never having competed in match play in the history of your life. Can you tell us if you've at least played some Saturday stuff when you were a kid, something, and lots of details?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Well, at college I played at Augusta State, and every year we had four or five English and European players on our team. We always did a Ryder Cup kind of over the wintertime. We played, we kind of had a simulated Ryder Cup within our college team. So that's probably about the only match play that we played.
Q. Didn't you have one of the Walker Cup players on your team?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: David Park was one player.
Q. A couple of questions. One, could you just talk about the atmosphere over here being in this environment with the crowds and everything like that, and what that's been like and how eye opening?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: It is pretty exciting. It's really good to see so many people so passionate about this tournament and coming out to watch. It definitely has a different feel than regular tournaments and majors. It's very exciting. It's kind of awesome to know that this many golf fans have come out to watch and are so passionate about it. It's really exciting.
Q. Secondly, in the team room, there's been a lot of things going on, singing and having a few pints of something. Can you talk about being in that room with those guys and what's been the most enjoyable part of it for you, and have you ever kind of pinched yourself?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: I think it's just bonding. It's great when we all get together and just cut up and have fun, talk and have a beer and play ping pong and just have a good time. So it's fun, it creates unity and we all feel comfortable around each other.
Q. Did you sing?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: I did not sing.
Q. Did you ever go to Europe before?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: British Open this year was my first time.
Q. What did you think? When you come here, of course you come here unheard of more or less. You go in a bus and go there, what do you think of the change?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: It's different than back home of course. But at the same time, it's awesome. It's a great experience and I really like it over here. Everyone's been very, very generous and open arms to us. It's a great experience.
Q. Wondering if you say to your parents in the United States, "When I've been to Europe," what do you mean then, what is Europe?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: I can't quite hear you. I can't quite understand your question.
Q. If you were to describe Europe to your best friends, what would you say, the taste of beer
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, I wouldn't know how to put that in one sentence. There's a lot of different things that's different from back home. But, you know, I really can't put it into one sentence.
Q. When did making the Ryder Cup Team first get on your radar, if you will, and did it come earlier than you thought, and has it been overwhelming at all?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: It's definitely been earlier than I thought. This is my third year on Tour, and you know, it's kind of happened all pretty fast.
But at the same time, I've thought about it and dreamt about it, and, you know, hopefully being here, just taking it all in, I'll be ready by Friday.
Q. Can you recall the most nervous you've ever felt on a first tee? How did you hit the ball? And do you anticipate feeling worse this weekend?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: The Masters this year on the first tee was by far the most nervous I've ever been on the first tee. I hit it right down the middle straight as an arrow.
I'm sure this week will be very, very similar from Augusta, so that first tee shot was a big deal to me, so I'm sure this week is going to be right up there with it, if not more nervous. We'll see.
Q. Those Ryder Cups you had at college against the British and European players, did you win those or do you remember?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: I don't remember. Someone asked me that yesterday, and I can't even remember who I played or who won.
Q. When you guys, the rookies, had dinner with Tiger in Akron, what are the things he warned you about that would be so different?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: He just talked to us about the atmosphere and just trying to stay in our comfort zone, most importantly. Just try not to get out of your routine with everything going on. Just most importantly, just staying calm and kind of stick to your routine.
Q. Did he talk about his own nerves at all?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: No, he did not.
Q. Does he have any?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: I'm not sure that he does. It doesn't look like it (laughter).
Q. You say that you dreamt about the Ryder Cup, is that right? Have you had any specific dreams about it at all? Have you seen yourself holing winning putts or something?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: No. I've kind of visioned myself playing out there and definitely trying to see positive things and good things happening to me. So hopefully those will kind of become reality.
Q. Just going back to the dinner with Tiger, how did you get the invitation? Did he leave a note in your locker or something? And then a little bit about, I assume he picked up the tab; did you guys load him up as much as you could?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, he gave us a call and left a note in the locker, as well, so he did both. We all had fillets and loaded up the tab for him a little bit.
GORDON SIMPSON: Vaughn, thank you, have a great week.
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