George "Buddy" Marucci, Billy Horschel And Rickie Fowler
STEWART McDOUGAL: Buddy, Billy and Rickie thank you for coming in this time of might. A tricky day for both captains. How do you feel at the end of today?
CAPTAIN BUDDY MARUCCI: Oh, I think we felt pretty good. You know, if you can come over here and kind of get a halve out of the first day, that's probably not too bad. I think we had the advantage early in the afternoon, and as happens very often, Great Britain and Ireland played very well coming down the stretch.
A couple of those matches that were all square, we didn't close them the way we would have liked. But at the end of the day, it's 6‑6 and here we go again tomorrow. I think that we're certainly happy not to be behind. I think we felt we might be ahead. But you know, I think we're pretty comfortable where we are.
Q. Coming off 1, it looked like GB&I had won the tournament with your head down. What did you address in the team meeting and how is the team holding up?
CAPTAIN BUDDY MARUCCI: Well, I don't think we put our heads down. I think GB&I thought we were going to get beaten lot worse today than they did, and they came back, and they do that. That's the way they play and I admire them for that.
We really haven't had the team meeting. We were just upstairs working, trying to work through our lineup, making sure everybody‑ Webb has been a little under the weather and see how he was going to feel maybe for tomorrow, and then a couple other things like that; we're going to meet after this. We'll have dinner in our team room, and we'll talk about the day and how things actually went. But you know, I think we witnessed some things, some things we would like to do better tomorrow.
But I give credit to the Great Britain and Ireland team. They played very well, and I‑ you know, I think our guys played well. It's just a matter of, you know, the ball bounces one way or the other. There are a lot of good shots out there, but I do give them a lot of credit for their tenacity. We have to be a little better at the close tomorrow. We have to be a little more mindful of, you know, getting 16, 17 and 18 going our way.
Q. Rickie, Billy, you drew some difficult assignments and came through. Why don't you talk about your day, each of you, and Rickie, I noticed that probably both of you were very nervous to start, but you used it to your advantage and gained from it as the day went on.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I knew Billy was nervous on the first tee. He hit a great drive down there and I think that calmed his nerves. I started out a little rough, didn't hit a great shot on the green. And 2, hit a poor drive and Billy had to calm me down a little bit and just tell me to settle down and get comfortable down there. Hit a great shot on had and that calmed me down, and I think that's when we got going and kind of took control of the match.
Then this afternoon, it was a lot easier to get into a groove. Playing every shot, unlike alternate shot where you're hitting one shot here, one shot there. So I didn't hit the ball very well this afternoon, but I putted great. Like a lot of people said, I mean, this tournament's going to be won on the greens or around the greens. Did great with that today.
BILLY HORSCHEL: I guess you can say I'm always nervous on the first tee. It doesn't matter if it's Walker Cup, college event, one of the Nationwide events, U.S. Open. I've been nervous my whole life. That's just the way I've been. Sometimes I show it. Sometimes I don't. I may have shown it today. I just hit a good drive and happy it went down the middle. I think on No. 6, Rickie sniped his tee shot and he's like, ‘I'm so jittery; I'm so excited; I'm so nervous; I'm so everything.’
I said, ‘Hey, relax, we're fine. Just slow down, hit some good shots.’ You know, he didn't hit a lot of shots today. He putted more in our match than anything else. So I know it was tough for him to get into a groove with the swing, where on me it was a little easier.
And you know, this afternoon, I drew Rory. I drew the hometown favorite boy, the boy that everybody was rooting for. I had the big crowds and that was fine with me. I dealt with it playing the U.S. Open and everything. But I just went out there and played my game and had a good time. I could hear that they were cheering for Rory and once in awhile I would get a little joke in there and say, ‘Come on, Billy,’ say it out loud and everyone would start laughing. I was just being myself out there, playing my game and being the way I am and having a good time with it.
Q. Billy, obviously you enjoy match play, and you played Rory who is probably their No. 1 player. And Rickie, you beat Lloyd Saltman, put those victories in perspective for yourself and how much it means to take down their top two players.
BILLY HORSCHEL: The whole team is a good team. To say the top two players in your guys' mind is what you guys say. I think the whole team is top players. Anyone at any day can take out anybody. I guess you could say maybe over a long period of time they play more consistent than other guys.
But, you know, they are just a regular guy like us. They are going to make the same mistakes we make and you've just got to keep that in the back of your mind. You've just got to think, you know, they are just as good as us. They are going to make the same mistakes, hit the same putts we do and they are going to hit bad shots. You've just got to say no matter what, stick to your game and keep playing.
RICKIE FOWLER: Like he said, all of these guys are the top players and they have been picked to be on this team for a reason. I mean, it doesn't matter who I were to play. You could pair me up against any of the eight guys and it's going to be tough to win no matter what. All of these guys are great players. I mean, I think I kind of‑‑ like today, I putted really well and that's really the only reason I beat Lloyd.
Like Billy was saying, it doesn't matter who we're playing.
Q. I know you guys talked all week about anticipating the crowds and the home crowd, Buddy used a term, there will be a lot of ‘commotion’ out there. Did it exceed what you thought it might be? It was pretty electric out there today.
CAPTAIN BUDDY MARUCCI: Well, I guess the players have answered that question.
Personally from my standpoint, I thought the crowd was wonderful. I think they were extremely well behaved. They were large. But I don't think they were that bias. I think our team was treated very fairly by the crowd. I don't really think there was any problem with the crowd at all. Very well behaved and marshaling was good. So I think it was good.
BILLY HORSCHEL: The crowds were good. I'm not sure how many people were out there today but there were a lot, especially in my match against Rory. The crowds were really well behaved.
There was one instance in the morning match where I hit a putt on No. 7 and went up and came back down, and that's after he has came up and chipped one back down, too. They started clapping, cheering; starting to have a little chuckle. I just took off my hat, waved, like thank you, thank you very much. They got a little joke out of it and they clapped for me. It's just, embrace your situation and, you know, that's what you've got to do.
Q. Buddy, you said you had to do better on 16, 17, 18. What kind of adjustments can you make now, except for the pairings, to do that?
CAPTAIN BUDDY MARUCCI: Well, I'm not sure. I think we're going to talk about it at dinner. We're going to discuss with all of the players what successes they had on those holes, what failures, what they found, what their opponents did well or didn't do well.
You know, there were a lot of opportunities for those holes to be played today, a lot of the matches‑‑ a few were short but a lot of the matches went all the way. We'll sit down and talk to them and say, you know, what did so and so do and where did the shot end and how did the ball bounce. You know, do we need to drive it on that hole if the wind is the way it was today or can we lay back and still knock it on the green. Is the first shot harder than the second shot; I happen to think the first shot is more difficult than the second shot on that hole.
You know, we had some sloppy play there on the last hole. We had a couple of sloppy shots from the center of the fairway. So that's hard to deal with. You really can't change much about that. A fellow hits it 300 yards down the middle of the fairway, can't really say much to him if he doesn't hit a very good second shot.
We're just going to figure a little more strategy maybe. And 16 I think is a hole that requires a little bit more thought on our team. The alternate shot we had a few fellows lay up that would probably have rather drive it and maybe vice versa in the singles. I think we've got to talk about that hole a little bit.
Q. Obviously these two guys made a major impact today. What was your thinking in putting these two guys out first, both in the foursomes and then in the singles, 1, 2 - and no offense Rickie, but Rickie is 18 years old, he's really only had one summer of amateur golf. So he's very inexperienced, but to put them out like that in key positions.
CAPTAIN BUDDY MARUCCI: Right. Well, I think that our approach has been that we're going to play the golf course the best we can, given the style that we can, that we have.
You know, in the past it's never been determined that you're going to go strong to weak or weak to strong or put everybody in the middle or nobody's ever determined- the matches are not designed that way.
So my feeling and the feeling of the team was that we would look to the styles. And Billy is -- you know, Billy likes to go and he wants to go and he wants to get out there. For Billy, waiting around is not really a good alternative. So we wanted Billy out there first. I know he can hit the golf ball as well as anybody, really didn't matter who he was up against.
And Rickie is just the same way. Rickie is kind of this year's Brian Harman. He just wants to grab it and go and that's the way we wanted it do it.
So I wanted to put the fellows out there first that really like to get up and go, and they did. Not only did they play well but they played quickly. Then we kind of worked the styles back through the lineup.
Our team is pretty evenly matched. Some have had maybe a little bit more success than others, but the fact is, it's pretty evenly matched. It's really tough to pick one of our guys and say that, you know, he's the weak link. We really don't have that.
So my feeling was we go to style, we wouldn't really worry about who they played. And frankly, you know, halfway through the afternoon, I thought we had done pretty well with it. But GB&I really played well at the end of their lineup, and I give them a lot of credit.
Q. Was your selection processor your pairings process for tomorrow as democratic as it was yesterday, or are you at the point now with the circumstances as captain, ‘OK, I'm going to do what I think my gut tells me is right?’
CAPTAIN BUDDY MARUCCI: Well, I think it's been both. We just met for 20 minutes, 30 minutes and we talked among ourselves. I don't even know who we're playing; now I see it. It doesn't look a whole lot different than maybe what we would have suspected.
You know, I took the input of the kids. We got up there, we got in the room, we talked about it. We had some tough decisions to make. You know, as you can see, Billy and Rickie are going to play four times. We're going to put Colt on the golf course four times. So that probably wasn't something we would have thought about two days ago. But I can't take these guys off the golf course. I can't take these two off the golf course.
So you know, they have earned that, the way they played today and the way they have played all year, but especially the way they went out there today and went for it. And so I'm not going to take that away from them. I think Colt is going to go again both times.
And then, you know, we had some really nice discussion among the other players, because we have, you know, somebody‑‑ if I put three people out four times, that means somebody is not going to play twice, which is not my nature. But we want to win. We want to put the best players out there. You know, I think it's come out of today's play in a positive sense. Originally I don't think Rickie or Billy were going to be on the golf course for four matches, but after today, they are.
Q. Just talk about when the first eight were announced, you weren't on the team. You're now 2‑0, you're playing with Billy again tomorrow, just talk about, do you think you represented yourself pretty well and obviously you're enjoying the experience I take it?
BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, I mean, I was fine with not being on the first eight. I knew I had a good chance to be on the last two and I'm on the team now and that's what I came here to do. So we're here to win.
STEWART McDOUGAL: Thank you very much.