Sept. 21-26, 2021 Whistling Straits, Kohler, WI
43rd Ryder Cup - Previews
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Players from both the U.S. and European Teams began meeting with the media Tuesday at Whistling Straits, with the opening matches now just three days away. Four players from each team answered questions and offered insight ahead of the 43rd Ryder Cup, with discussion ranging from possible pairings and team chemistry to ping-pong results, headwear and more:

Justin Thomas: I would have preferred to go 0-5 and us win the Cup (in 2018), but it did a lot for me just to know that Captain Furyk had the confidence in me to play that much, and to put me out first in Singles was probably one of the best honors I’ve ever received.

Justin Thomas: We have such a deep, good team that it’s not like anybody is a weak link on our team. It’s just about getting the energy similar I would say, and two guys that want to play together, two guys that want to go to battle out there for each other, that would take a bullet for each other, and I think we have a team room that’s full of that.

Justin Thomas: It’s a huge advantage to play in front of your home crowd, and it’s also what makes the event so special. It would have been a shame to play this without fans or even with very, very limited fans. This is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and it’s a huge deal for the PGA. It’s a big deal for us.

Justin Thomas: I’m very excited to have the opportunity to play with Jordan because he’s obviously a great buddy of mine and we get along so well, but I think we understand each other’s games well to know when we’re needed, when we’re not needed, and pretty much just stay out of each other’s way. Because we’re both pretty good players and hopefully can go get some points for us this week.

Jordan Spieth: I love the golf course, the setup of it. It’s beautiful. It’s on the lake, but you’ve got to control the ball in the wind. … Should be a really exciting match play course because you can get into trouble but you can also birdie just about every single hole with the right shot.

Jordan Spieth: It’s more of the adrenaline rush than the nerves. Like, it’s more of an exciting version of that than it is a nervy version of that, and (you have to) embrace that because you don’t really get that opportunity but once every couple years.

Jordan Spieth: We know the Euros typically have a different strategy. They’re going to play probably four or five guys in five matches regardless, and some of the other guys will probably play two or three, and you expect to see the same guys out that we’ve seen for a number of years now five times.

Jordan Spieth: For me, I’ve just assumed I’m going to go out, try and win that first point and roll from there. It’s worked the last few, and I don’t see why that should change now from my point of view.

43rd Ryder Cup - Previews
KOHLER, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 21: Jordan Spieth of team United States (L) and Justin Thomas of team United States take photos on the third green prior to the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 21, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bryson DeChambeau: It’s going to be fun to see what we can do and rile up the crowd in the right way and get them behind our backs and moving us in the direction we all want to be in, which is taking home that Cup.

Bryson DeChambeau: I lost in ping-pong, which kind of stinks, to Daniel (Berger). He beat me. There are obviously excuses I could make, but I won’t. I’m pretty sour about it. I’m going to get him back.

Bryson DeChambeau: Look, I’m not trying to change anybody’s perception. All I’m trying to do is showcase what I can do for the game of golf. Whether people like it or not, that’s their interpretation of it. For me, again, I’m going to keep providing people with the best entertainment I possibly can. Some people may not like it, some people love it.

Scottie Scheffler: I feel like if I showed up on this team and either didn’t have friends or the guys weren’t being nice to me, it would feel a lot different. But I feel like it’s been a seamless transition for me being on this team. The guys have been nothing but kind.

Scottie Scheffler: I think it’s funny people would say I’m not emotional, because my wife would say the complete opposite. I cry a decent amount. I’m actually a pretty emotional guy.

Scottie Scheffler: The one thing I’ve heard was it’s weird how loud it gets to how quiet it gets (on the first tee) when you’re about to hit the shot, because it’s going to go back to a regular golf tournament when you’re over the ball. So I think that’s going to be kind of a weird adjustment.

Rory McIlroy: There’s a lot of continuity in our team, and I think that’s been part of the reason for our success. That’s something that I hope never changes, because it’s worked very well for us.

Rory McIlroy: I think that the Ryder Cup epitomizes everything that’s great in the game of golf. It’s competitive but there’s also a lot of sportsmanship shown. And obviously there’s partisan crowds and all of that, but that’s part of being in a team environment. You’re going to have a majority of the crowd rooting for one team or the other. I guess that’s not something we get to experience every day.

Yeah, Ryder Cup is one of the best events that we have in golf, if not the best event we have in golf, and just excited to be a part of another one.

43rd Ryder Cup - Previews
KOHLER, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and team Europe speaks to the media prior to the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 21, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Rory McIlroy: There’s a sea of red everywhere here. It feels like an American Ryder Cup.

Rory McIlroy: I think the most animated I’ve been in my career has been at Ryder Cups. It just brings something out of you that you don’t get playing individually.

Rory McIlroy: They made some (hats) for me, so that’s a start. So I’ve got some that fit. Maybe. I don’t know. It’s sort of become my thing in the Ryder Cup to not wear a hat, but I don’t know. We’ll see.

Viktor Hovland: We’ve only been here for 24 hours and our chemistry is good, so I just try to learn as much as I can from the guys that have been here five, six, seven times. They have so much experience, and I’m just trying to be around it.

Viktor Hovland: I’d say kind of when we just created the group text that we have together, that was just one of the first things that made everything kind of sink in. Wow, we’re playing the Ryder Cup net week.

Viktor Hovland: A couple of the guys are the reason why this tournament is what it is, because they’ve brought so much passion and blood, sweat and tears into this event that it makes it so much more special to be on the team and even the same team as them.

Sergio Garcia: I’ve always said it. I’d rather go 0-5 and win the Ryder Cup than 5-0 and lose it. That’s not going to change. It doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that Europe plays well, that we give ourselves the best chance to win the Cup, and that’s the goal.

Sergio Garcia: Obviously the excitement that I get when I come into the Ryder Cup, it’s something that I can’t describe it. I can’t tell you what happens, but it happens. It’s just love for it.

Sergio Garcia: Every time I’m part of a team or the rest of our teammates, that’s why we give it the respect that it deserves, because it’s so difficult to be a part of it. It’s an honor, and we treat it like that.

Lee Westwood: I think I get on pretty well with everybody. If somebody partners me I’m a pretty straight hitter of the ball. I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens. That’s sort of what my game has been renowned for. I do make putts when I need to, despite what people’s opinions might be.

Lee Westwood: It makes me proud of my longevity, really. Week in, week out I play with somebody that’s the same age as my son now. I’m pretty much used to that.

Lee Westwood: As the years go on and you get a little bit older, you don’t know whether you’re going to play a Ryder Cup again. It’s obviously nice to be back holding the clubs again rather than other people.

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