News & ToursSeptember 21, 2008

What They Were Saying

LOUISVILLE--Reactions from the final day of the Ryder Cup:

Paul Azinger, steering away from an answer after being asked if he would consider captaining the U.S. team again [Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard interrupt by saying, "Zinger in 2010," and Jim Furyk adds, "Is that a promise, by the way?" before Azinger responds]: "We're going to have a good time tonight, fellas, we're going to have a good time."

Azinger, on his strategy for order of play in the 12 singles matches: "I wanted my four aggressive personalities and players [Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan, Leonard and Mickelson] to go out first, which they did. I wanted Kentucky [natives Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes] and Jim Furyk to go out, and Boo [Weekley] in the middle [after Perry], which they did. [Furyk interjects: "I was trying to be as Southern as I could this week," before Azinger continues.] And I wanted my steady, supportive-kind-of-personality guys [Stewart Cink, Steve Stricker, Ben Curtis and Chad Campbell] to anchor this team. So I just went four, four and four in my mind, and that's how I did it."

Weekley, a 4-and-2 winner over Oliver Wilson, on Azinger: "He gave us every opportunity to have fun, and if we couldn't take advantage of it, it was our own damned fault."

Nick Faldo, European captain, after being asked in a press conference, "In the wake of this defeat, you'll receive more criticism tomorrow, no doubt, from the British press. I wonder, do you care, and if not, why not?": "That's a bit harsh."

Lee Westwood, defending Faldo after Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia ask to jump in to do the same: "We hold the golf clubs and we hit the shots, not the captain. If you want to talk about me being rested [Saturday morning] and Sergio being rested, that's the session we won, so Nick was right to do that. So you tell me whether Nick was right or wrong." Adds Garcia: "Yeah, that's true."

Westwood, asked whether fans went over the line (and told by Garcia to tell "the ghost story"): "Should I tell you where it started at 12:30 last night when I got a phone call to my room to wish me good luck? Should we start there? [Justin Rose interjects: "What, about 4:30 in your mom and dad's room?" before Westwood continues.] Yeah, because they got the wrong hotel and rang the wrong Westwood room. I found that quite amusing. It upset my dad's preparation for walking around the course today. . . . Then there was the ghost that jumped out at me between [holes] 5 and 6 and went 'Boooooo' right like that to my face, and he was the one that got ejected, but he was the one that made me laugh. All of the abuse that I got was fairly nasty, and that was pretty shameful. That was only a minority, and the crowds were great. . . . I must be taking on the Monty role."

Faldo, on whether he would take the captain's job again: "I doubt it. I believe it was a one-stop shot, as they would say."

Paul Casey, on the play of the six U.S. rookies, who had a record of 9-4-8: "I think Phil put it nicely earlier in the week when he said they have no scars."

Padraig Harrington, after a 2-and-1 loss to Campbell and a year that has included victories in the British Open and PGA Championship: "I can't wait for the end of the season, personally, in terms of I'm definitely tired."

Perry, 48, a 3-and-2 winner over Henrik Stenson: "To come out and make seven or eight birdies today and have the putting touch of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus was just phenomenal. . . . You know, Henrik is a great guy, and he's a good friend. I just told him, I said, 'We're going to have a good day. Let's battle hard.' He looked at me on the sixth hole and he said, 'You're going to make it tough on me today, aren't you?' I said, 'Well, this is my last hurrah.' This was kind of the swan song of my career. What a way to go out."

*--Mike O'Malley

More from The Loop