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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ryder Cup Notable and Quotable

U.S. Captain Paul Azinger announces his four captain picks: Steve Stricker, Chad Campbell, Hunter Mahan and J.B. Holmes. They join Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard, Ben Curtis, Kenny Perry, Stewart Cink, Anthony Kim and Boo Weekley. Here are some excerpts from Capt. Zinger's press conference:

I felt like it would be difficult to win the team if you didn't win a tournament; and it proved to be the case, except for Ben Curtis who played terrific at the very end of the year... and Jim Furyk who has not won this year but plays consistently well every week.

I took a hard look at Kevin Streelman. I took a hard look at a whole bunch of players. You know, like I said, it's hard for me to justify why the guys didn't make the team. I can't really justify, you know, why I didn't pick who I didn't pick. I can just tell you why I picked the guys that I did pick. There's a lot of guys that deserve to be on this team and there's a lot of guys that were really close to making it.

I think that...a bomber is probably going to like the course. There's not a lot of rough. The first cut in spots is going to be pretty wide.
So does it favor anybody in particular, any team in particular? I don't know. I just felt like this event, I just didn't want anyone to feel handcuffed off the tee well, I mean, I don't care if Europe feels handcuffed, but yeah, I don't want our guys to feel handcuffed.

I don't think there's any advantage one way or another, just the way I set up the course personally, you know, Europe I think has been able to exploit an advantage trying to neutralize powerful teams. We don't nicely have a super powerful team at this point but we have a strong team that I'm proud of and some guys hit it long and some guys hit it straight. We'll see how it plays out. will be unique to be... on our home soil as underdogs, but clearly, The European Team is strong. I think it's one of the strongest teams I've ever seen them bring across here.
We will be an underdog. We are missing Tiger Woods, arguably the greatest player on earth well, not arguably; he is the greatest player on earth. Arguably the greatest player ever. That's a big blow to us.
I like the team that we have and I'm really confident with who we have, but I think it's confident that Europe has a terrific match play record and team track record and we are going to be underdogs in this event and I think it's okay to be the underdog. Somebody has to be the underdog and it's very rare that it's evenly matched or a pick 'em. And I don't think this is going to be a pick 'em.

I'm going to have an open phone line to Tiger Woods during the event. I didn't think it was fair to ask Tiger to participate in the selection process in any way. But I am kind of curious how he feels as the event unfolds and as things unfold throughout the week. He's really intelligent and he's a great golf mind, so I'm looking forward to talking to Tiger.

Woody [Austin] is an exceptional person and a terrific player. I've said all along, I don't want to try to justify why I didn't pick anybody that I didn't pick. He would have been a terrific pick, but there are a lot of guys who would have been terrific picks. I just want to stick to my guns on this and just try to justify the reasons why I really like those guys. There are a lot of players that could have been picked for this team. I just chose to go the direction that I've decided.

I really haven't given it that much thought, whether he's [Tiger Woods] going to want to come or whether I want him to come or any of that. I want Tiger to get better, and I want to watch Tiger on TV live. I'm tired of watching him on tape win all these tournaments. I want to see him win some tournaments live again.
I'm pulling for Tiger to get better and return to form. I think the game needs Tiger and misses Tiger. I'm going to really miss that Tiger is not going to be there and Elin and the baby. It's one of my great regrets of this Ryder Cup that he's not going to be a participant in these matches.
Other than that, I haven't really put a lot of thought into he's going to come or whether I want him to come.

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