An Interview With: SERGIO GARCIA and FRANCESCO MOLINARI
KELLY ELBIN: Sergio Garcia and Francesco Molinari joining us at the 39th Ryder Cup after the morning foursomes, which ended with both Europe and the United States gaining two points.
The afternoon fourball session is ongoing. Thank you for coming down here. Sergio, start with you, please: You and Luke Donald fell to Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley 4 & 3, first time that either you or Luke has lost in foursomes play at the Ryder Cup. Comments on what happened and what transpired in the match today.
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it's quite simple. I think that obviously we didn't play as good as we can, and Keegan and Phil more than anything, Keegan played very nicely. He holed a lot of good putts.
We had our chances. We had a couple key holes, 9 and 12 probably, where we had two big lip outs from Luke, and then they just got on a run of birdies towards the end, and we weren't able to keep up.
KELLY ELBIN: Francesco, you and Lee Westwood lost to Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner 3 & 2. The match was all square through nine; was there a particular turning point on the back nine?
FRANCESCO MOLINARI: Well, not really. We were 1 up after 8. I think we probably could have been a bit more than that. We just played in the back nine they played very solid. We didn't hole probably enough putts on the back nine and then just gave away the last two holes, which was disappointing because it was a tight match up until the 15th.
We played all right, just a couple of bad breaks for us. That's it, really.
Q. Sergio, did Ollie pretty much have in his mind how he was going to play the afternoon pairings? And did you guys roughly know that some of you would be sitting out? Or was it just you found out when you came off the course?
SERGIO GARCIA: We had an idea. Obviously things, depending on how they go and how everybody feels, they may change. But there was an idea, and it didn't really change much from what was thought about yesterday after ... yesterday night.
Q. Just as a quick follow up. Were you surprised, Tiger and Stricker is a good, traditional pairing for them, but they struggled quite a bit. Were you surprised that they went back out in the afternoon?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't really care what the Americans do. It's their problem, not mine.
Q. Francesco, I would like to know, how do you consider your game today? You did some very good shot, maybe one of a few shots were not that good. How do you
FRANCESCO MOLINARI: I think I played all right. We both did. I think I putted quite nicely on the front nine. I made quite a few important putts.
And then, as I said, just in the key moments on the back nine, we had a couple of chances to get back to all square, and we didn't get them. Just disappointing to bogey 15 and 16 and give the match away a bit too easily to the Americans.
Q. Sergio, can I ask you how you found the atmosphere out there? It seems occasionally if a European hit a bad shot there was cheering and things like that. Were you aware of that?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, that's going to happen no matter what. I think for the most part they were okay. Obviously a couple comments here and there, but you can't control everyone.
So I think that for the most part they were fine. Just the occasional comment here and there. That's going to happen.
Q. This is for both of you: With the wind being up a little bit more than maybe what was predicted, how did you feel the course played today?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I definitely think there were some holes that played quite difficult. Obviously the 4th hole, maybe the 2nd hole wasn't playing the easiest with a left to right wind. But overall it want much different from what it's been in the practice rounds. It wasn't that big of a deal.
Obviously foursomes, it's always a tough match to go around. On fourballs you always have your partner that can save you. Here, if you miss a shot, you miss it for both. It wasn't playing very easy. There were some long holes out there, but overall it was similar to what we experienced in the practice rounds.
FRANCESCO MOLINARI: Well, as Sergio said, it was similar to the other days. Maybe the wind was just a bit more gusting today. But you know, it was similar to the practice rounds. Some long holes, but I don't think it changed too much from the practice rounds, really.
Q. This is for both of you: What would you compare this to, a sporting event perhaps in your country, just the environment? A European football match, or is there anything you could identify it with? It's obviously different than a regular Tour event.
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know, it's difficult to compare it against something else. If I had to, I probably would compare it to like a World Cup football final. You know, other than that, it's difficult to compare it against anything else because it's one of the biggest sporting events, if not the biggest in the world.
FRANCESCO MOLINARI: Yeah, well, again, I can just agree with Sergio. I think it's probably more similar to a World Cup football match rather than a club match just because there's obviously the national pride and the proudness of being part of a nation or a continent for us.
KELLY ELBIN: To dovetail off of that, what did you think of the atmosphere, the experience on the first tee this morning?
SERGIO GARCIA: It was good. It was pretty much like every single Ryder Cup, obviously a lot of energy there, a lot of cheering. It was nothing we haven't experienced before.
FRANCESCO MOLINARI: Yeah, well, it's always very exciting to be out there. There was a good amount of Europeans on the first tee, as well, so we got some good cheers. It's just you wait two years to be on that first tee, and it's just awesome to be out there in the morning.
Q. Francesco, when did you find out that you were not going to play today, and are you a little bit disappointed you will not get back?
FRANCESCO MOLINARI: No, I think [Olazabal] always said to us that he wanted everyone on the team to be playing the first day, and obviously four guys from the morning had to sit out. As Sergio said, we had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen in the afternoon. I expected not to play this afternoon. I'm not disappointed; it's just 12 players, someone has to sit out.
Q. Sergio, is it a double disappointment for you today to lose that unbeaten record?
SERGIO GARCIA: Not at all. What I'm most disappointed about is that I didn't get a point or at least half a point for my team. I've told you over and over again, if you want to talk about records, you probably need to ask the other team. The only record we care about is the team record.
KELLY ELBIN: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, thank you very much.
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