GB&I Team Sunday Press Conference


By The R&A
September 11, 2011

THE MODERATOR:  Welcome again, got with me the victorious Great Britain and Ireland side.

Nigel, you were underdogs at the start of the weekend but you've been pretty convincing throughout.  Did you expect to be sat here on Friday?

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Did I expect to be sat here winning?  Yes, absolutely.  You know, I knew people ‑‑ I had had a quiet look at the things people had said and written, but I told the boys, from the outset that they did not need worry about anyone else.  All they needed to do was focus on themselves and they are very special and they proved that this week.  They did a great credit for themselves and their families and their countries.

Q.  Did it help being labeled as underdogs?  

MICHAEL STEWART:  I don't think at any point we were underdogs no ‑‑ labeled?  Not really.  It didn't really make a difference to us.  Didn't really pay much attention to what was written, and Nigel just let us go about our own business.  We just focussed on us and at the end of the week it paid off.

Q.  Nigel, Jim mentioned a moment ago that he felt that the conditions today, particularly, gave GB&I a key advantage.  Would you agree with that, and if so, how crucial an advantage do you feel it gave the team?  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Yeah, the conditions, we prepared for these conditions.  The boys have played in them all year.  So there's nothing new to us.  They have had to play in tough conditions, and they have dealt with it admirably all throughout the year, and today they were brilliant.  I mean, this morning, it could have been 4‑nil.  But you know, we stuck to the job and Jack holing that putt on the last was a huge putt in many ways, in more ways than one.  And I told him to will it in and he certainly willed it in.

Q.  How much of this win was built on the preparation in May and July and prior to coming here this week?  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  Yeah, we prepared properly.  That was the idea of asking the R&A if we could come up here twice.  In an ideal world, we'd probably have had the team up here in August.  But, because of the U.S. Amateur being when it was, it wasn't possible.

And it worked out well in the end.  You know, the session we had in May I thought was pretty similar to these conditions.  The golf course was playing pretty similar.  You prepare properly, you get the just rewards.

Q.  Winning player, winning captain, how does that compare?  

NIGEL EDWARDS:  It's great.  You know, I've got my nose in front now.  I was two‑all in the series as a player, and so now 3‑2 with the help of these ten guys, but I said to Peter Dawson, you'd rather be playing.  But I'm not, so I left it down to these boys to do the job.

Q.  Could I ask each of you to just look at ‑‑ he's sitting next to you at the moment, why you thought he's a good captain? 

NIGEL EDWARDS:  I night not be that.

Q.  That might be even better.  

JACK SENIOR:  Preparation was unbelievable.  I mean, his comments and everything, he just makes you feel so special, and makes you want to go out there and win for him.  That's how it makes you feel.  You don't want to go out there and win for yourself, you want to go out and win for your team.  It's an unbelievable experience.

Q.  And the fact that he's been in the same position as you relatively recently, even though the age difference may be considerable.  

MICHAEL STEWART:  Yeah, he gave us his thoughts of how he played out there.  He made recommendations and gave us some key ‑‑ we watched him hole a chip 15 times on the same video (laughter).

But the preparation was just unbelievable.

It's just that we got the respect for Nigel, he's played in this event and he's done so well.  We hang on every word he says really.  The motivation in the team room has been great.  Just a pleasure playing with him as a captain.

Q.  In the team room, did he rant and rave or was he always very quiet and receive controlled?  

MICHAEL STEWART:  I think it a bit of … He's just so passionate about the Walker Cup it makes it so easy for us to be passionate about it, as well.  For him it's been the pinnacle of his career four times and it just made us ‑‑ made us know the history of the Walker Cup and how special we are and we just felt it right through.  Some of the stuff he was saying in the team room even before the week started, just little things here and there, and like Jack said, the preparation was second to none.  It's just been an absolutely ‑‑ it's been a pleasure playing for him.

Q.  (Inaudible.)  

RHYS PUGH:  He's just an unbelievable captain, being a Welshman, as well.  His passion is incredible.  (Laughter).

Q.  Question for James, as a local lad, just wondering what this means to you?  

JAMES BYRNE:  I've been dreaming about it for four or five years, and to lift the trophy with these guys is a special feeling.  And with the home support, as well, I might add, was pretty cool to have all of my friends, family, a lot of people cheering me on on the sidelines to deliver the goods.

Q.  Wondering how it compares for you, because you were the only player at Merion, and here you are, you've lost one, won one, tell us your feelings now compared to two years ago? 

STIGGY HODGSON:  It feels amazing, it really does.  Two years ago, you know, it was really horrible.  It hurt so much, and to come back and to do the job this time, it's just unbelievable.  I couldn't have wished it with a better bunch of guys, they are all tough guys on and off the course, and I'm so proud of myself and all of them.  It was just so good.  It feels great.