GB&I Team Press Conference (Saturday)


By The R&A
September 10, 2011

JAMES BYRNE:  ... won 14 to go 1‑up, and that sort of gave the belief ‑‑ I think that worked over the next few holes and had great support on 17

Q.  Not to be negative, but can we just clear up what happened with the caddie? 

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Well, bit of a mishap this year.  I asked most of the boys whether they would be having their own caddies at the Walker Cup.  I asked Jack and he said, yeah, his brother, and he said he's a professional.  So I asked the R&A, and they said yes.  So obviously they said no (laughing) which is a bit unfortunate.  Obviously Joe and Jack are absolutely gutted.  It's one of those things that either way will be reviewed for next time, but let's hope that Jack fires tomorrow.

I haven't got a copy of the regulations, and I asked ‑‑ it was okay.  We are all human beings, and it's not a perfect world.  You know, myself, Peter Dawson and Jim Holtgrieve, we chatted about it.  Jim was great about it.  It was a mistake, and I can assure you, from my point of view, that it was never intended.  It was one of those things.

Q.  What did Jack say? 

NIGEL EDWARDS:  He was disappointed ‑‑ his brother, they are both gutted.  But he'll come back strong tomorrow.

Q.  Who will caddie for him?  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  He did tell me and I've forgotten.  He's not a pro, though.  (Laughter).

Q.  What does it say about the matches that Jim did not make a big fuss, and he was quite magnanimous, wasn't he.  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  He was great.  I think we both have the ultimate respect for each other, and you know, if ‑‑ it was a mistake, and it wasn't intended, as I said and Jim was great about it.  And that's the spirit the Walker Cup is played in.  It's fantastic.

Q.  Some people fear that the Americans will be too strong, and would be in a winning position and two points in front you must be delighted with that? 

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Yeah, I've said to you guys all along, I have all the faith in these boys even when they came to the sports sessions.  I have got a lot of faith in them.  They are good players and they have been playing in tough conditions all year, and you know, they have been battered all year by the elements and they have risen to the challenge today.  Great performance.

Q.  You were saying you had been looking forward to this moment for five years.  Did the match meet your expectations, walking down that course?  

JAMES BYRNE:  Yeah, it was really good.  The reception hundred on the first tee was nice and just tried to enjoy the moment like Nigel said and soak everything up.  A little bit nervous obviously the first couple of holes but managed to play them reasonably well, and then from that point onwards, I just sort of got into my element and focussed on my golf, and there weren't any problems after that.

Q.  Tom Lewis went head to heed with Peter Uihlein twice today, strength against strength, wonder if you can comment about Tom's play in both sessions.  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Obviously I didn't see an awful lot of it because watching, especially this afternoon, and trying to watch eight matches, I can't be everywhere.  Although I did try; in the buggy, the accelerator is not that quick on it (laughter).

But Tom played great coming down the stretch this morning.  And obviously Peter played well this afternoon.  Peter is a good player, great player.  He's won the U.S. Amateur, and you know, it's going to be tough matches out there.  Naturally Tom was disappointed when he lost.  But he's a competitor, and he'll come back strong tomorrow and play very well, I'm sure.

Q.  Having lost the first day three singles, Rhys's match was really important and stopped the momentum, would you agree with that?  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Certainly did.  He's a great lad, Rhys.  And dealing with that barrage that came at him, five birdies and then Patrick chipped in for birdie on 7, but I saw Rhys come in off the 10th green, and I knew he was okay.  Got a lot of faith in him, his ability.  Played foursomes with him myself for Wales, and he's got me out of trouble lots of times.

Q.  What happened on the 10th green?  Why did you know he was okay?  What was it about him that made you feel ‑‑ 

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Because he's Rhys Pugh.  And I just said to him, "Are you okay?

And he said, "Yeah, fine."   (Laughter) Not rocket science here, John.  It's difficult with Rhys because he does that all the time.  He's very mature for 17.  He knows how to get his golf ball around the golf course and he's very patient.  He's a great lad.

Q.  I was just going to ask whether there was one thing that GB&I did better today than the Americans, and what you thought it was.  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  I think we holed some good putts at crucial times.  And without seeing ought the matches, you know, you go with the ebb and flow of watching the scoreboard and listening to everything come in over the radio.

But I think the boys are focussed on their games.  Didn't worry about who they were playing or what was going on.  And they did me proud.

Q.  How much do you think ‑‑ you talked about your players and how they have been experiencing all different kind of weather all year, how much do you think the weather today affected the results of the matches?  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Well, you know, we've been used to it.  You know it, the Americans are good players.  They played well in those conditions.  Harris English came back at Sulli very well in the worst of the weather.  They can play in weather but we can play, too.  We dealt with the conditions very well.

Yeah, we have been experiencing it since May, and probably all last winter.  So the boys deal with it very well, and I'm very proud of them.

Q.  How many times ‑‑ what was the weather like on those occasions when you were here?  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  The first occasion, the wind blew from pretty much every direction, downwind on the first nine and then back into it ‑‑ sorry.  You know, into the wind on the front nine.  So the lads experienced everything.  A bit of rain, a bit of sunshine, some heavy showers, although not quite as heavy as the one we suffered when Mike Stewart and Patrick Cantlay were on the 8th tee.  That was pretty ferocious there.

But yeah, we experienced.

Q.  So you have had, before you came here now, you've had conditions pretty similar to the ones ‑‑ 

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Yeah, definitely.

Q.  How will you make sure the team is focused for tomorrow morning?  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Same as last night.  They will be very focused and we'll be ready.  They are ready.  They know what they have to do.  All they have to do is focus on themselves and not worry about what the scores are, and I've told them that all along.  Let's focus on ourselves and not anyone else.  Don't worry about the hullabaloo and the media and the grandstands.  Let's do our job and hit good golf shots.  They are expecting to hit good golf shots and they are expecting to hole putts, and we will reinforce that tonight.

THE MODERATOR:  Thanks a lot.