By Davis Love III U.S. Ryder Cup Captain
MEDINAH, Ill. -- Ever since I became captain, I never thought about where we wanted to be in terms of a score heading into the singles. The main thing I wanted the guys to understand is that -- because of what they're capable of -- it didn't need to be close. If we played our game and up to our potential and had a free-wheeling week, we were the best team.
I didn't ever want to say, "OK guys, you've got to grind it out on every hole, because this is going to be close right to the end and every point counts, every shot counts. We need a result."
I tried not to think about it. I think the ultimate was to have a six-point lead, or a seven-point lead, but that's a lot. I imagined these guys playing very, very well, having an exciting week and never being behind. I've always looked at getting 2 1/2-3 points per segment as easy to do if you can get on a roll. Our guys were very, very close to that.
If they're not all in bed by the time I get back to the hotel, it's going to be pretty easy to put this 10-6 lead in perspective. I was on that team in 1999 -- along with Tiger, Jim and Phil -- we know it's possible to come back. I'm going to tell them what I'm sure is the same thing the Europeans said in 1999 -- they don't consider this over, so you can't consider this over.
Winning and losing should not be part of this. It's about going out, having fun and trying to win your match no matter what the score. Match play is different. You have to go out and think about the outcome. You have to decide -- are you going to play just your own ball and keep score? Or, are you going to play against the other guy? Pick one. Zach Johnson will probably say, "I'm just going to go play my own ball and not worry about it."
Phil is going to watch every shot the other guy hits and try to strategize against him. We just want them to go play one match of match play the best way they know how and try to win it. Don't think about little gold cups and champagne and what it would feel like to win. Think about that stuff tonight and before they tee off, but while they're playing, just play golf and enjoy the challenge.
Today was great. But, the highlight of my day was having President Bush -- No. 41 -- in the team room. We're spoiled knowing the Bush family. President Bush has been a big part of the Walker Cup; he's been to a lot of Ryder Cups and a lot of Presidents Cups. You never know if he's going to get to go to another one. So, I thought that was very special.