RYDER CUP: The captains sound off

News & Tour

With the Ryder Cup set to start on Friday, the two captains Davis Love III and Jose Maria Olazabal met for their first press conference at Medinah. Here is what they had to say...

Opening remarks…

DLIII – It’s been a long two years for the both of us, but now we are excited to play golf and get this great match started.
JMO – This is a huge week for our game and for all of us. Davis, it’s been a long wait, but the time has come.

On Brandt Snedeker’s FedEx Cup victory…

DLIII – He didn’t come up here last night because he had to go to the bank! It could have been him or Rory down to the end, so it was very exciting. I just love watching the FedEx because you never know who is going to win, and that’s obviously the guy that gets hot and Brandt got hot at the right time.

On Europe’s recent wins providing an advantage…

JMO – To be honest, this is a new Ryder Cup. We are playing here against a very strong team.  We are playing away.  The crowds are going to be rooting for the home team really strong, so in that regard, we have to be prepared for that.

On the pressure of playing in the Ryder Cup…

DLIII – I’ve said all along that it’s a lot like the last nine holes when you have a chance to win a Major Championship, except that it starts Friday morning; it doesn’t wait till the last nine holes.  It’s right off the bat. It’s very, very intense, almost unfair to the players, but I think these guys love the challenge of that and see how they can react under that kind of pressure.
I think what we have got now is a much bigger event and we have got 24 of the top 36 or 38 guys in the world.

On the differences between the Ryder Cup now from 15 years ago…

JMO – Well, it’s obviously completely different to, let’s say, 15 years ago. Obviously when you look at some of the European players, have their home base here. They play the Tour over here. They are very familiar with the golf courses around here, with their opponents, and in that regard, I think they feel really more comfortable with the whole situation of coming here to the States to play The Ryder Cup.

DLIII – I think what we have got now is a much bigger event and we have got 24 of the top 36 or 38 guys in the world. But what we have in our team rooms now and the camaraderie between the two teams is just incredible, and it’s amazing how much it’s changed over the years. We’re playing against our friends, but it’s still as intense, maybe even more, because we are more familiar with them.

On the course…

DLIII – I had four guys out there today, and they reported back that the greens are just absolutely perfect. It’s amazing, I was here two weeks ago, a week ago, and was out on the golf course playing yesterday and every day it just gets better and better.

On what makes a good captain…

JMO – Well, it’s hard to say but I think the most important thing is the passion that everyone brings into the team and into the game itself. You have to make your players believe that you’re playing for something really special, that it’s a unique moment.

DLIII – I think you have to tell them how big it is and then tell them how not to treat it as something completely different. It’s still a golf match, and you want them to go out and enjoy it and go out and show off and have those moments that only happen in a Ryder Cup, that can only happen under that kind of pressure. It’s an adventure, not just a threeday golf match.

On the atmosphere…

DLIII – I think when we travel over there, it’s tough on us; and when they travel over here, it’s tough on them. Chicago is an incredible sports town, and they are going to be fired up.

On Seve…

JMO – He was a great figure, not just for me, but for the whole European squad every year that he played in that team. We are going to miss him a lot, he was a special man.

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