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An Interview with: Nick Faldo and Paul Azinger
October 22, 2007
The 37th Ryder Cup is still 11 months away, but United States captain Paul Azinger and European captain Nick Faldo got an up-close-and-personal look at the host course, Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., Monday, then met with the media afterward to discuss what they saw. Below is a complete transcript.
JULIUS MASON: Good morning everyone, I'm Julius Mason, senior director of communications and media relations for the PGA of America. I'd like to welcome those joining us on the phone lines around the world, and those on site right here at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky to our one year to go to the Ryder Cup Captain's news conference.
We have some guests in the audience I'd trying to introduce beginning with Jim Remy, the vice president of the PGA of America in the front row. Honorary president, Roger Warren. PGA of America chief executive officer Joe Steranka. From Louisville, the founders of Valhalla Golf Club, Dwight, Walt, Gordy and Phil Gahm. Walt is also serving as the general chairman of the Ryder Cup, and by Dwight's side, his wife, Anna Lee. Anna, thanks very much for joining us today.
Kentucky PGA section honorary president, Patrick Barry; Kentucky PGA section vice president, Mike Riley; PGA of America incoming district director, Mike Thomas; Valhalla Golf Club general manager, Mike Montague; PGA head professional Keith Reese; golf course superintendent Mark Wilson. Ryder Cup tournament director Tara Guenther and a number of her staff.
And one gentleman that will be glued to Captain Azinger's hip over the next year, one of his assistant captains, PGA professional Olin Browne; and from NBC Sports, producer, Tom Randall.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, from Bend, Oregon, the president of the PGA of America, Mr. Brian Whitcomb. Brian?
BRIAN WHITCOMB: Thank you, Julius, and good afternoon, everybody. We're thankful that you are all here and interested in the 37th Ryder Cup, just one short year from now. So on behalf of the PGA of America and its 28,000 men and women members, we welcome all of to you Louisville and to the Valhalla Golf Club in anticipation of the greatest event that there is, the Ryder Cup.
I'd like to take just one moment and give a special welcome to Richard Hills and the European contingent for being with us in Kentucky this week. We're grateful for that and thank you very much. Special welcome to the Captain, Nick Faldo, a fine gentleman, great player. Nick, we wish you well and your team in your efforts.
And of course, obviously a special hello to our captain of the American team, Paul Azinger. Paul, look forward to your work in the coming months. You've done a great job to date.
As you saw today, Valhalla Golf Club has undertaken some changes and modifications to the golf course in anticipation of the 37th Ryder Cup, and we're very proud of that, as you can see, the golf course stretches now to over 7,500 yards. So the golf course has been it was a very good, fine golf course to start with. It's been modified, and it's ready to present itself to the world and to these elite players at next year's Ryder Cup.
And certainly, from the viewpoint of the great city of Louisville, from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, you won't find better hospitality, better fans, and better fit for the PGA of America than this great city of Louisville, and of course their fine mayor, Mayor Abramson, for his work and it should be a great week and we're looking forward to that.
And we are excited about this one-year-to-go celebration, and we look forward to hearing from our captain's and wish you all the best.
JULIUS MASON: Brian, thank you very much and now, ladies and gentlemen, from Wentworth Club, England, and the PGA European Tour, here with a very large contingent of his own staff, Ryder Cup Director, Richard Hills.
RICHARD HILLS: Julius, thank you, Brian, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Nick and all of us from Ryder Cup Europe, I'd like to thank the PGA of America for their hospitality here today. I'd also like to thank the directors and the staff at Valhalla for the tremendous welcome that you have afforded us today. Thank you very much indeed. Mr. Mayor, the City of Louisville and the State of Kentucky for handing the Ryder Cup back by The K Club and Ireland, I'm sure that you will do a magnificent job in hosting your guests from around the world.
Captain Paul, Olin, you've one less worry after today. I will not be one of Nick's captain's picks in the matches. (Laughter) Julius, thank you, thank you everybody for being with us here today.
JULIUS MASON: Richard Hills, his stand up act continues at 7:00 tonight. (Laughter) And now, ladies and gentlemen, the mayor of metro Louisville, Mayor Jerry Abramson.
MAYOR ABRAMSON: Thank you, Julius, and welcome to Louisville, Kentucky. It seems like just yesterday was 1996 and both Paul and Nick were here in Louisville for our first PGA Championship, and the next thing you know, we did so well that the PGA was kind enough to give us the support and to feel positive about the way we host major events, to bring back an award to Louisville the 2000 PGA Championship, the 2004 Senior PGA Championship, and now one of the real crown jewels of sports, the Ryder Cup.
This golf tournament means a great deal to us in this community. It will pump in about $115 million into our local economy. Nick, that's about ?80 million. Trying to make it, you know, a European deal.
It is a wonderful opportunity for us to share with the international television market this wonderful golf course and our wonderful community. We know that it's difficult to get tickets, and as a result, what we've tried to do in our hometown is to create a group that works with events that we can develop here in Louisville so that all of our citizens can engage and enjoy this wonderful event. And thanks to Stan Curtis and the team that he's put together.
We've got a group putting together what we call the Cup Experience, which will have multiple activities throughout the week here in Louisville, culminating with an event under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs to let the community know that not only is the Ryder Cup here, but it creates an opportunity for all of us to feel a part of this wonderful event and this wonderful experience.
So we feel the pressure, too, Paul, not as much maybe as you feel but we feel the pressure in terms of rolling out great events that will engage not only our visitors from abroad, from throughout the United States, but also to engage those in our community to let them know about this wonderful competition and this tremendous commitment that's been made by the Ryder Cup folks to our community here at Louisville and Valhalla.
So, we look forward to it, Julius, and thank you so much for the opportunity to be the host community.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you, very much, Mayor. And now the captains, ladies and gentlemen. First up, from Bradenton, Florida, the 2008 United States Ryder Cup Captain, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Paul Azinger, for some opening thoughts. Paul?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Thank you, Julius, everybody. And thank you everyone.
Richard, don't count yourself out yet. The way Nick's assistants are dropping like flies, you may be in there as a Captain's Assistant. (Laughter).
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: I'm ready for you. That's what we used to do on ABC.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: The stuff we did off the air, actually, was fantastic. Wish you could have experienced some of that.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Really.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Pretty much. I'm glad to be here. It's just an honor to be named the captain of the American Ryder Cup Team. I didn't realize that there's only been 25 men who have ever been asked to be captain, and it's just such a great honor and privilege to be here.
And I'm glad to be here, Mr. Mayor, it's a fantastic town. Really impressed with the big building scape that we saw on the way out this morning.
So just looking forward to a great week a year from now, and hopefully we'll be competitive and, you know, do what's best for the game of golf and get the Ryder Cup back.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you, Paul. And now, ladies and gentlemen, from London, England and several television stations in between, the 2008 European Ryder Cup Captain, Mr. Nick Faldo for some thoughts.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Thank you. Well, the Ryder Cup has been a major part of my career: 30 years ago this year I played my first Ryder Cup at Lytham St. Annes, and then 20 years ago I was part of that winning team at Muirfield Village, first time we won at America. And then ten years ago, again, part of that winning team with Seve captain at Valderrama. So you can see, now we've moved on, so extremely honored to be European captain here for 2008, although it's 30 years now.
It's been a major, major, as I said part of my career, great experience. Obviously looking forward to the event tremendously and I'm delighted that Paul has picked Ray Floyd and Dave Stockton to get more experience than my 11 Ryder Cups. (Laughter).
So, we're going to have a great time. The most important thing, of course, I'm building my team, I want to come here and win. There will be a winning team; there will be a losing team. But for me, the experience of it is always very important and I think Paul shares that; that we want to make it a memorable and a great experience for all of the guys here, the 24 guys that come here and compete.
So we're on count down now, so I'm looking forward to it.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you, very much, Nick. Ladies and gentlemen, we're now going to open the floor to questions.
Q. Paul, just talk about the course today that you saw and how different it is, and then maybe Nick, also, just how different it is than what it was in 2000.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: It's quite a bit longer than it was in 2000. I really had forgotten how much undulation there was here.
But it's, you know, I think it's going to be a bit hard, the redo of the four greens that they did, the greens don't look anything like the greens that have been here and been in place. They have been made very, very difficult. It's going to be even a challenge on a couple of them to find four pins I think maybe.
But I think it's going to be probably a little more difficult at 7,500 yards. Of course we may not play it at that length. I'm not sure yet. I think I'm going to have a little influence or say so in the course setup as the home team captain.
So it's going to really depend on the makeup of our team I think as to how long we'll play the golf course. I think Europe's worked a pretty good advantage in their home course setup the last few Ryder Cups, and if we can get any kind of an edge at all, I'll be looking for that; I don't know what it will be.
I just think the golf course is fantastic. It will be a great venue. It will hold a lot of people. There's going to be a lot of people here. You'll have some 40,000 people here and only four matches on the golf course in the morning and afternoon. So that's a lot to ask out of a gallery and out of a golf course to handle that, and I think Valhalla is very capable.
JULIUS MASON: Nick, some thoughts.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: The golf course, as Paul was saying, it's slightly longer and the greens have been altered. I don't think, especially with match play, really, that's a major part of it to be honest. As we were saying, Valhalla will host a great event. It will be a great spectator's golf course, great atmosphere. So, you know, I feel confident everything will be fine here.
Q. A lot of times we'll hear a hole described as "a great match play hole." Can each of you talk about what makes a hole a great match play hole, and specifically, out here, which of these holes do you think are going to be a great match play hole?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: I think a great match play hole, I think when someone says that, I think it's a hole that gives you a lot of options, maybe an aggressive option versus a conservative option where the guy maybe who is leading the match makes a conservative decision and presses a guy's hands who may be behind and have to make an aggressive decision.
I think there's a couple holes like that out here. I think namely the 13th hole, the tee looks like it may be moved up and guys may actually take a crack at that green. That could be an example of what you're talking about.
JULIUS MASON: Nick, thoughts on a good match play hole?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Well, I agree, it's risk and reward. 13 is one option. But as we discovered today, not too much bail out area (chuckling). Trees or water, there's your choice.
I can't see a true match play hole. It's a very good golf course and they are all very good holes, but for me personally I can't see a true match play hole at the moment.
JULIUS MASON: Let's go to questions from the phone line.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: It sounds like Wayne's World when the guy pulled up to McDonald's. (Laughter).
Q. A lot has been made of America's lack of spirit, and both captains have touched on the spirit of the game. We saw so much of the spirit of the Americans at the Presidents Cup recently, so it seems it's doable. Specifically for Zinger and Nick, what are you going to do to assure that we have this experience?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: I'm not sure Nick cares about our spirit but I think
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: I'm very happy with (laughter)
JULIUS MASON: Paul, some thoughts?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: I'm not sure what you meant by the spirit of the game, if it's the sportsmanship aspect of the game or if it's America's spirit's been broken because we're getting beaten so badly the last few Ryder Cups or not.
Q. Yes, that's exactly what I mean.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: The American emotion and that sort of thing? I think, you know, I've said this all along, but I believe when the United States Team gets behind as often as we've got behind at Ryder Cup, and as early as we get behind, I think it's really difficult to really look enthusiastic and like you're having a great time.
And I think that's been the case the recent competition in Montreal. America got off to a great start and everybody is happy go lucky and they are putting each other in headlocks and Woody Austin is taking nosedives. You know, maybe they were more relaxed going in and that's why they played better, I'm not sure. But I think that to suggest that, you know, the Americans are not trying and don't want to win and that they don't have the spirit or the energy or enthusiasm to do the best they can possibly do, is just a big misread.
I think you have to take your hat off to Europe and how well they have played. They have gotten us down and the gotten us down early in all these matches, and the it's difficult to show the kind of enthusiasm you might want to see if you're behind. Hopefully we can turn that around.
Q. Paul, it's a question for you, please. First of all, and I hope you won't perceive this as a negative question. How much of an effect, how unpleasant or disappointing an effect do you think there would be on the popularity of golf if you were the captain of the fourth team in a row to lose this competition?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Well, how bad can I look? (Laughter).
I'm not that worried about it. Really, in the end, it's just one of those things. You either win or you lose. You do the best you can, and you hold your head up high knowing that you tried your best. That's what we are going to try to do.
I'm trying to surround myself with the right people and I think so far I have. I've got Raymond Floyd, Dave Stockton and Olin Browne. I've got people that I this can help me. I'm not looking for baby sitters. I'm looking for assistants that hopefully can keep me from making too many mistakes, and I think that's the goal. I think the selection process has been, you know, dramatically changed, and I hope that the selection process gets hotter Americans there and that's what we are banking on and that's what we are hoping for.
Beyond that, there's not a whole lot that we can do. If you want to point fingers and blame, you know, the captains for America's not winning, I think you can, but I'm not sure that it's really the case. The players are trying their hardest to try to do their best, and one team wins and one team loses.
The reality is, Europe has played great, and it's hard to stop a team when they are playing as well as they have. If you go back and look at the tapes and see all of the great shots that have been played by Europe, you just have to really admire how well they have played.
Q. Nick, it's generally held that the team that wins is the team that's much better. First of all, do you agree with that; and secondly, do you have any explanation why the Europeans seem to have putted better certainly in the last three or four Ryder Cups?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Well, again, match play, putting is unbelievably important. It covers up a multitude of sins. You've got to be a good putter to play match play, and I think you get that from the psychology of match play. You're not worried about or not thinking about the next stroke. There's no lagging, or very rarely. Ninety percent of your golf when you're playing match play, you're trying to get the golf ball in the hole as quickly as possible, so I think that's what leads to that.
I wouldn't have a clue of any reason why, and I certainly wouldn't tell Zinger that, anyway, now why we are holing all the putts and they are missing them all.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: You hole a lot of putts in Ryder Cup, that's a fact; Sergio and Colin Montgomerie start making putts all over the place.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Fine by me. (Laughter).
Q. Can you both comment on, this is billed as maybe the most exciting sporting event in the world. For you having experience, what makes it so exciting to be out there in competition?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: You've made it to the top of your sport, and then you have to add the whole patriotism aspect of it, and I think once the flags go up, you feel it, and the fans feel it. You'll get to feel the energy here in about a year. You'll understand it a little better.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: I've seen men lying on the floor of the locker room either laughing or crying, and it's quite amazing what we will put ourselves through for one point, the value of winning a point. There's no prize money this week, or Ryder Cup week. It's very unique in any sport for us to have a team event like this. It's probably I'm sure it's greater than the Davis Cup in tennis, to have 12 guys playing purely for a point, it's quite something, quite electric. And you will sense from the emotion and the passion and the commitment, everybody takes everything to the max that week. It's quite amazing.
Q. The Presidents Cup team did very well obviously recently, why in the Ryder Cup do you think the U.S. has not been so successful recently?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: I don't pretend to try to know all the answers. I really don't know. They are two completely different events, that's for sure. The selection process has been different, you know, for our event, for the Ryder Cup.
So, you know, I'm not exactly sure why. It's a little more relaxed. Maybe the International Team I don't know. It's hard to say. It's hard to say. I don't have an answer.
Q. For both of you, there's been quite a bit made about the schedule next year, how the FedExCup Playoffs run right up to the Ryder Cup. Have you given any thought as to how that might affect the team makeup, or how do you feel about that?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Well, actually, I just found out that THE TOUR Championship only had three or four Europeans that were Ryder Cup players, so there will be more Americans that will be Ryder Cup players. So scheduling wise, it would affect us more, it would be more of a chance for burnout or whatever.
I don't know. I don't know what the PGA TOUR intends to do. There's some rumour that they may play THE Tour Championship the week after the Ryder Cup. The date of the Ryder Cup is written in stone; that's not going to change. We'll see what happens. I haven't heard from Tim Finchem or anybody from the TOUR and I don't think the PGA of America knows for sure yet. But we do have more players that would be apt to play more events in a row, so it would affect us differently for sure.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Sure, yeah, I'm conscious of that. The guys who come off a long season, and simply that; I'd be conscious of that and we'll adapt for it.
Q. Along those lines, how important would it be to move THE TOUR Championship after the Ryder Cup, and did you get a sense that having to play so many events in a row before matches, that actually helped the guys to get in better form?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: I'm not sure. I'm not going to lobby for a date change for THE TOUR Championship or anything like that. I liked the idea of the team playing right into the Presidents Cup.
So, I mean, I'll just accept whatever it is and just deal with it however it unfolds. That's the best way I can handle that.
Q. And I had a couple questions for Nick. Nick, you've been regarded as having so many great individual achievements in your career. I'd be curious, how would you rank a victory as European captain?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Well, obviously very important.
Q. Better than a major?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Well, it's very different. To be honest very different. Right now it's very important. My days of winning majors have gone and now this is the biggest project in my golfing career right now. So, yes, it's very important to me.
Q. Secondly, there was a lot of talk at Wentworth about how much you had made from Monty about the Seve Trophy. Have you talked to previous captains and do you regret anything you said?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: What comments are they?
Q. Just that Monty missed a few meetings.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Sorry, missed that.
Q. Well, the quote was that Monty was a tough one and he was the only one whose emotions you had to deal with.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: I can't hear.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: That you called Monty a really bad word or something, (laughter), horse's something I don't know. (Laughter).
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Are you the same as me? I can't hear the question.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Doug, you're a little waffly there.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Yeah, i can't get the question.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Ask it again, Doug. I want to hear the answer. (Laughter).
JULIUS MASON: We'll bring Richard back up at this point.
Q. You were quoted in the Times of London as just saying Monty was a difficult one at the Seve Trophy and didn't come to all of the meetings and was the only one whose emotions you had to deal with. Curious if there was any fallout or if you spoke to any previous captains who were critical of you being so open.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: No fallout.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: That was a horrible answer. (Laughter).
JULIUS MASON: Are you okay, Doug?
Q. For now, yes, thank you.
JULIUS MASON: We're still with the phone lines, ladies and gentlemen.
Q. Wanted to ask you, how the rivalry you guys had as players influences what's going on now leading up to next year.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Our what?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Our rivalry as players leading up to what's going on next year, between you and I.
Q. Yes, the rivalry you guys had, Nick Faldo versus Paul Azinger as players, how that will influence what's going on and leading up to next year.
JULIUS MASON: Mike, I'll get you in a second. They are wrestling right now. (Laughter).
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: I don't think Nick felt much of a rivalry against me. I probably felt a little more rivalry for him. You know, things have changed. I mean, I never heard the guy complete a sentence in the 20 years I knew the guy.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: There you go.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: And now his voice activation system has switched on and you can't turn it off. (Laughter) I think, actually, our relationship actually is quite a bit better. We know each other a little bit better. I don't know, I can't speak for him, but, you know, I don't think there's going to be any animosity at all.
Hopefully we'll bust out a couple quality quotes down the road here eventually but we'll see how it pans out.
Q. Nick, do you feel the same intensity with it being a year out that you felt in a tournament situation, especially when you went head to head against Paul in the British Open and the Ryder Cup?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Not really, no. I feel that our roles are totally different. We worked two years ago with ABC, obviously got to know each other a hell of a lot more than our playing days, and I think we both recognize the big picture of the Ryder Cup. There will be moments, I'm sure, where we will lock horns and there will be moments where we have a damn good laugh.
So I think it's going to cover everything. But we're still competitors and we want to do better for our team and I will hold my cards close to my chest in what I believe will be advantageous for my team.
By the end of it, I think we will whatever happens, we'll share in the moment.
Q. Paul, you had mentioned the change in the selection process and hoping to get the hottest players on the team. Given that, how closely are you monitoring the week to week play of guys, or are you at all or does that matter at this point in time?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Well this year, only four tournaments counted this year and that was the four major championships.
You know, it would have been fine with me if nothing counted this year, but we decided the four majors would count and next year, if you make the cut and what counts is the money. If you make the cut in major, you've made Ryder Cup money. If you maybe the cut in any event next year, you make Ryder Cup money and the four majors are double the money, and then four picks.
So there's no point in really looking at that list now. It's not indicative of what we're going to see, I don't think. There's going to be a lot of flipping and flopping next year, a lot of change over and the list that you see right now, I don't think is necessarily indicative of what we're going to have.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Do I get points today for beating you? (Laughter)
Q. There's been a lot of discussion about Tiger Woods' leadership role on past Ryder Cup teams. Can you talk about what your expectations are for him as a leader on this team?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Yeah, I wouldn't expect anymore from Tiger than he gives, because he gives 100 percent. I think at this point now, it looks like in Tiger's career, Jim Furyk's career, Phil Mickelson's career, they are going to be kind of like the senior citizens on the Ryder Cup Team. I think they are all leaders in the end, and I think, you know, we're all in this together. But I don't expect anymore out of Tiger than he gives. He gives 100 percent.
Q. For Paul, Mike Weir was the best subplot at the Presidents Cup; do you feel compelled to pick a Kentuckian for your team?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: If they are playing good. There are several Kentuckians that I can choose from Kenny Perry, J.B. Holmes, maybe Bubba Watson no, Steve Flesch. Hopefully, we'll see. I'm sure they want to make it in a big way.
Q. The fact that you were getting questions at the Seve cup at the Ryder Cup and some of the events that did occur yet, can you talk about how important the Ryder Cup is in Europe, seemingly always, even a year out it creates a lot of attention.
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Exactly. Ryder Cup is the biggest event we have. If I called a press conference to talk about Nick Faldo Enterprises and whatever, I'd get X number. If I called a press conference for Ryder Cup, you get this. So it just shows you the interest that we have. It always has been, especially at least these last 20 years. It's on the media's mind just about every week.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: So the Ryder Cup is bigger than Nick Faldo Enterprises. That's huge. (Laughter).
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Yeah. You wait. (Speaking in dry tone). (Laughter).
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: You've got some stuff for me tonight, don't you? You're going to get me, aren't you?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: You wait. You know me.
Q. Have you spoken to anybody yet about replacing Paul McGinley as an assistant captain?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: No.
Q. Whoever it might be, do you view their role the same as Paul expressed earlier, that it's not just baby sitting, it's to stop you making mistakes?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: To what?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Keep you from making a mistake, not like baby sitting.
Q. That's the way Paul expressed it.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: He thought he made a mistake once, but he was mistaken. (Laughter).
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Yeah (dryly) (Laughter) You have to live, you do the best you can. You make your best decisions all the time.
Q. Wondering what you think your biggest decision might be, be it pairings or selections of players or whatever. The captain can only do so much, but what do you think is the most important thing that you have to do?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Well, there's lots of things, there really is. I had a good experience as captain of the British team at Seve Trophy. There's an awful lot of things going on all the time. There will be decisions made it will be like life, all the time. So I don't know, there will be some that, yes, you could deem more important than others. But as a captain, there will be quite a lot of things going on.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: He's got more experience than I have. It just seems to me like picking the players and just like you said, who are you going to pick, I think that will be scrutinized, and then I believe, you know, out you get the players to pair up I think that is something that also is scrutinized. Those are the two obvious ones.
Once you get in the mix and the battle starts, then you know the floodgates open and there's all kinds of stuff going on.
Q. For both you guys, just kind of curious how being up in the tower, you're watching guys that you may be captaining later in the season. How do you think that will translate, and do you get the sense will you afraid to saying had if the guy plays poorly on Sunday because you're worried there might be fallout later in the year when they get here?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: No, I just stick to the facts. I'm a how, what and why man, and what is happening right in front of me. There won't be any problems.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: I'm no longer a broadcaster, so I can't say that I'll have anything to say. I'm only doing the Open Championship, the British Open. So I don't think that will have any bearing on me.
Q. Nick, your captaincy at the Seve Trophy seemed to be kind of up and down as it's been documented by some of the questions. Which captain would you like to see perhaps, pass past captains you were under, would you like to see your captaincy emulated and why would you pick that past captain?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: I'm not going to pick anybody. I'm me and I will do what I feel is best. I know what I can bring to the team. You know, I served under five different captains, each one of them had great qualifies, and I will take little bits of that experience, and as I said, 11 Ryder Cups, so been through some great experiences and great leaders. I will draw those little bits from each one, but bottom line, I'm going to be me. I'll do it the way I feel best.
Q. Can you actually talk about, have you talked to any of other captains about the pressure coming in terms of picking the right players and all of the scrutiny you as captains will be under; have you discussed that with any previous captains and what do you expect the fall out to be from that as we get closer to the event?
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: Well, I mean, I have two former captains as my assistants, so I'm going to kind of draw on them as the year progresses and during the week.
So I value that information a great deal. But, you know, I'm similar to Nick. We're both individuals and individual personalities. We are going to kind of do it the way we think. I think, you know, in the end it's just a matter of getting the right players there. These are all big boys. It's not like you can give them a great motivational you can't give a great motivational speech to a guy that's playing bad who is not playing well and it's hard to screw a guy up who is playing great.
I'm not suggesting that there's not input that needs to be in there but in the end it's just about getting it right, getting the right players on the team and the approximating the right pairing the right players with each other and, you know, let these guys just go do what they do best. They are the best players on the planet.
JULIUS MASON: Nick, did you want to add anything to that?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: No, we all deal with the pressures, that's no problem. I think it's all down to preparation and as I said, I've served with many, many captains, and you know but you relish that experience. That's the bottom line. It's great fun. It's such a fabulous buzz from the event, I've been on one tenth of the Ryder Cups here, and I'm just really looking forward to the challenge and the whole experience of the week.
Q. Can you each comment on your round today, and is this one change there were some changes made to this course. Is there one thing that maybe stood out to you as you were going around there?
CAPTAIN NICK FALDO: Severity of the greens is the one that really jumped out. There's a lot of very serious humps and bumps and ridges. So that's one obvious part.
Guys playing week in and week out, they can cope. That's part of professional golf. You can cope with the changes of any golf course. But, you know, there will be strategy involved in match play, as well, and smart thinking. There's some very small targets out there to hit, which will add that added sense of pressure as well, let alone the pressure from playing your match. But it's match play, so you respond to it's going to be great amphitheater for match play.
But the golf course is in a kind of a way second; it's the two guys or four guys performing. It doesn't matter where you put them. They have both got the same challenge, and who deals with it right on that split second better.
CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER: I completely agree.
JULIUS MASON: Questions, folks? Questions twice? Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.