LAURA HILL: Welcome to our media day to mark our one?year countdown to The Presidents Cup here at Muirfield Village in 2013. My name is Laura Hill. I'm Senior Director of Communications for the PGA TOUR, and it's my pleasure to moderate today's press conference.
We couldn't have captain's day without two of our captains for the 2014 Presidents Cup, Mr.Nick Price and Fred Couples. We'll ask them to join us in just a few minutes. But first I would like to acknowledge special guests, we have Jack Nicklaus II, Chairman of Muirfield Village Golf Club and The Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide Insurance.
We also have representatives from the two global partners of The Presidents Cup, Citi and Rolex. From Citi, Gary Purcell (ph), Managing Director of Consumer Bank Operations and Peter Nicholson, Vice President and Direct of Communications From Rolex, thank you both for being here today.
Also a special thanks to representatives from the cities of Dublin, Columbus and Franklin County. For those of you who pro attended the breakfast this morning, you saw firsthand that they have already lent to the event and will continue to do so, so we thank them for that.
I believe for the first time we are enjoying a captain's day that features not only our two current captains, but also two of the men who led the U.S. and International Team in the past and helped bring this event to prominence that we enjoy today, Gary Player, a three?time captain of the International Team, was part of this morning's festivities and we are pleased that he is with us this afternoon, as well.
And of course, our host today, and for next year's Presidents Cup, Mr.Jack Nicklaus, he himself a four?time U.S. Presidents Cup team captain. At this time, it's my pleasure to welcome Mr.Nicklaus to the podium to say a few words on behalf of Muirfield Village Golf Club.
JACK NICKLAUS: Thank you, Laura. Thank you for attending today. It's just a couple days shy of a year that we are going to have this event. We were selected for this, it was a long time ago it seemed like, and it's not going to be much longer. But thanks to Gary for being here; appreciate that. Fred, thank you for being here. I think it's going to be a great event.
You know, The Presidents Cup has grown since 1994 and I think it's become one of the greatest events in golf. I know that The Presidents Cup we had in South Africa was just sensational and I think that did an awful lot to raise the stature and the world awareness of it. I thought it was a special event and I still said to this day, it's the greatest event I've ever been involved in. I think it was just fabulous.
I'm delighted that Muirfield Village has the opportunity to host it. We have been fortunate enough to have The Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and now Presidents Cup along with the Memorial Tournament, so we have been blessed to have some very significant events here at Muirfield Village and I think you're going to find that the golf tournament?? the golf tournament that's played in the springtime will be played in much different conditions than you'll see The Presidents Cup being played in in the fall. What I mean by that is in the spring you have a lot of rough and a lot of rain. In the fall, we have a little drier conditions. The ball is going to run a lot. And I think you're going to see the golf course play much different.
And also, you're going to see the golf course play under a match?play venue, I think when we had the Ryder Cup here, it was fast, and the players, they saw so many different things. It was really exciting. I think the fans will love the Match Play venue. And we have a new clubhouse, that many of you have seen as you drove in. We started out with a little small addition, and of course it's gone to we are blowing the whole place up probably, but it will be ready. Matter of fact, it will be ready and awaiting us by May 7 next year.
I would like to thank representatives and public officials from the cities of Columbus and Dublin as well as Franklin county being here, and for their leadership and supporting The Presidents Cup, we appreciate it very much. We have had great support from the city. We appreciate it and hope you continue to do so and we look forward to a great event, and something that we just really, really are looking forward to hosting. Thank you very much for being here.
LAURA HILL: As Jack said, even though we are a year out, preparations for this competition are well underway and to talk more about the plans and progress for The Presidents Cup 2013 I would like to ask Commissioner Tim Finchem to say a few words on behalf of the PGA TOUR.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Thank you, and good morning, everyone. I'm delighted to be here a year before the beginning of the matches. I'm quite confident that the vast majority of you were glued to the television on Sunday afternoon, and it's only been two days, so it's hard to imagine we are talking about going through that again, because that was high drama.
It reminds me that in 1994, the basic reason for the creation of The Presidents Cup was because players outside of Europe and the United States did not have the opportunity to participate in that kind of format on that kind of stage. And that was the basic driving reason of The Presidents Cup.
I would like to again thank Gary and Jack for the instrumental role in doing what Jack referred to, which is to grow what The Presidents Cup is; Gary a captain three times, Jack a captain four times; bringing everything they bring and representing what they represent in the game to The Presidents Cup had a very special impact on what's happened with these matches.
Since 1994, the hallmark of the Cup has been that every two years, it's gotten better. And as we said when we announced coming here that the challenge would be to out?do Australia and Royal Melbourne with what as an incredible presentation last year; so that is the gauntlet that's gone down. So we won't know where that's going to come out until a few days from a year from now.
However, let me just tick off five things that I do know and that I think are important and things to watch. First of all, we have got great leadership for these teams. It will be interesting to see how the teams flush out, but we have got great leadership from these teams: Two Hall of Famers, two guys who played in the very first Presidents Cup, both of them had a lot to do with shaping the early history of The Presidents Cup; both of them have been great ambassadors for The Presidents Cup; and both of them have a lot of experience in this kind of competition.
In addition, they will each have, and I think we are announcing this today, three assistants. And the captains will have more to say about where they are in the selection of those assistants here shortly. But at the top we will have great leadership.
The second thing is, that it's all about being here in this place. This golf course that Jack has not just created, but fine?tuned, over and over again, to keep up with the skill level of the modern player, is a favorite of the players. And the players love to come here and play this golf course.
They love the way the tournament is operated because it's one of the best?operated tournaments in golf, no question about that. But they absolutely like to compete on this golf course.
As Jack mentioned, I think he mentioned, this is the only golf course that will have played course to The Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup and The Presidents Cup, the three big team events in professional golf; the only place that has seen all three of those.
And I don't know if Jack recalls this, but personally 25 years ago, I attended The Ryder Cup in 1987, which was three months before I started what has now been 25 years with the PGA TOUR. So I have seen every Memorial, and I know what the players feel about being able to come here and play.
The third thing we know is that we are off to a good start, a really solid start. The work that's being done on the facilities here, the planning that's gone in already to the execution of what the week will be, I'd like to thank because of that the leadership committee, the sports commission, Dan Sullivan and his team for a great effort in bringing us to this point. That third point gives us a lot of confidence in terms of what we are looking at for next year.
Fourth, we are going to have a tremendous global presentation of these matches. Jack mentioned Citi and Rolex with Citi and Rolex's commitment, we will be able to have what we saw last week, which is a terrific combination of the Golf Channel and NBC presenting this competition in the United States. But we'll also be in 600 million homes in 220?plus countries all over the globe showing off this golf course, this place, and these great players and their captains.
So we know that's going to happen. And lastly, we know that we are going to conduct these matches here at Muirfield, which is really in the epicenter of the places where our fans are the most passionate about the game of golf. If you go from upper Minnesota and come along the Great Lakes and go over to upstate New York, and you just analyze the data about who plays golf and what they think about golf and how many of them watch television, I mean, they drive our television ratings; they are the most intense golf fans in the world, and we are right in the middle of that.
So we know the fans are going to be terrific galleries, they are going to be knowledgeable galleries; and I thought the galleries in Chicago were great but I'm familiar with the galleries that come here, Jack, to see golf, and these are knowledgeable galleries. These are galleries that will applaud hard for the U.S., but Nick, they are going to applaud when they see a good shot by the International Team, as well.
So you add all that up, I think the odds are pretty good that you are going to manage to do what you need to do, which is have the best one yet. And we can look forward to the 10th continuing traditions of charitable giving, economic impact which is going to be tremendous for this part of Ohio, and most importantly, a continuation of fierce competition coupled with terrific sportsmanship.
Thank you very much.
LAURA HILL: Four months ago in this very room we announced Fred and Nick for the captains for Presidents Cup for 2014. So it's my pleasure to ask them to talk about the what preparations have been thus far and their expectations for next year.
Thank you both for spending the day with us and kicking off the one?year count down to The Presidents Cup 2013. Before we open to up to questions, maybe just a few remarks from you both. This has to be old hat for you at this point, it's your third time around and you're just golf a couple days ago with your Ryder Cup experience. Make just give us some perspective on that and things you learned and maybe applying to next year.
FRED COUPLES: Well I learned four and a half points is awfully hard to get, I can start with that.
As the Commissioner said, it was an unbelievable week. The fans were incredible. And I've played in this tournament a lot of times and had the fortune of winning here and the fans here are incredible.
So for me personally, it's an honor to be The Presidents Cup captain again; to play here again at Jack's face, to come here and see everyone scream and yell, it will be a lot of fun. Nick's played on a lot of teams. He's now the captain. It will be fun seeing him. Seems like a month ago we were here, I know it was back in May to kick off The Presidents Cup.
And you know, last week I think was a lot of fun for all our players. They took it pretty hard. And oddly enough two of them were actually talking about the Presidents Cup Sunday night and a couple of the players were at my table and telling me, you know, the par 3s are all even numbers and the par 5s are all odd numbers, so can you give me Bubba Watson as a partner, and I'm laughing at all that. Just little things like that.
Again, I think when you get a little disappointed, you get a little edgy, you look to the future. The future for me personally is next year, The Presidents Cup captain, and for a lot of these players, it's really to bounce back and start playing golf again and put that aside.
Like I said it's a great opportunity for me to lead us to victory here in the end of September and October.
LAURA HILL: Nick, we keep calling you a rookie captain, it's been a while since we've use that had term for you I guess. What have you been doing to get up to speed next year?
NICK PRICE: I'm hitting into uncharted waters. This is a first for me obviously. Fred, this is his third go around, and he's been involved in the Ryder Cup in previous years.
But my extent of match play knowledge goes to I've been on five Presidents Cup teams, fortunately when Gary was captain, he confided in me a lot as I was probably the senior member of the team when he was last captain.
So I've been involved in some of the strategy doing the pairings. I'm trying to figure out how we as the international Presidents Cup team can get that same buzz that the Europeans get on Sunday at The Ryder Cup. That is one of my goals, and how I'm going to fire my players up and how I'm going to get them really excited and to show the passion and the zeal and that zest to play well.
That's the great thing about not only The Ryder Cup, but The Presidents Cup; that there's no money on the line. This is pure golf. This is pride. We want to compete. We want to compete. We want to try and win the Cup. It's not a question of beating the Americans. It's a question of winning the Cup. And I think that's something that's really important to the International Team. We have kind of had a tough time. We have played nine; we've lost seven of them and we've had one tie and we won in Australia.
So what I'm trying to figure out is how do we turn that tide. So that's what I have spent the last four months doing and trying to figure out, talking to a lot of the players, and having their input is of course extreme value to me. But I'm also trying to figure out over the years, you know, all of The Presidents Cups that I've played in, what does it take to be a really, really good captain.
But I'm so excited about it. Obviously Fred and I have been counterparts. We've played so much golf together over the years. I think our careers are sort of like a mirror image. Although he won his first tournament over here probably a little earlier than I did. But he's been a great friend and I know he's going to be a tough adversary. But we are so happy to be here at Muirfield Village.
Obviously Jack and Gary, great for them to be here today. These are my two idols, when I was 12, 13, 14 growing up, these two guys were the icons of our game and have been for a long time. I couldn't be happier to have my first Presidents Cup captaincy. Hopefully, I'll have another one somewhere down the way, but to be here at Muirfield Village, I'm really looking forward to this a lot.
LAURA HILL: As the Commissioner said, this is the first year we'll have up to three captains assistants for both of you. And if you want to start off by announcing your three?
NICK PRICE: Well, my decision, it was pretty easy. Although because of the dynamics of our team, I really felt that I needed three. I spoke to the Commissioner through the office and voiced why I wanted it.
The first picks I made were Tony Johnstone and Mark McNulty, and the reason I did is because not only have they been great friends of mine over the years, but we have been rivals; we have played junior golf together and against each other.
So our history goes back a long way. We are all from the same country. We went through a lot of tough times in our country over the years. These guys are tough. They are great competitors.
Tony Johnstone is one of the most ferocious match play players I ever played against. We played in the Dunhill Cup I think four or five occasions. We had so much fun playing with these guys and I really wanted them to be a part of this. I spoke to a few guys before I announced things and they were excited that Tony and Mark were going to be involved. Mark is an incrediblyamazing competitor. He's one of the smartest guys who I ever played against, and he's going to be a huge asset as an assistant captain.
And my third pick is Shigeki Maruyama from Japan. And the reason I asked him to come on board, he has a smile and a demeanor about him that is just second to none. He loves to joke. He loves to tell stories. He loves?? he's just got a passion for life.
And obviously with the dynamics of our team, I felt it really important to have someone from Asia involved in it, and he'll help me, I know, with some of the decision making; there could be two Koreans, two Japanese, there could be four Asians on the team. I really felt he would have a better understanding of how to pair the guys together or whether we split them up or whatever.
So like I said the dynamics are a little different for our team than Fred's. Also the communication factor with the team members, some of them playing over there full?time, or spend a lot of time over there, I needed a way to communicate with those guys, so we figured out a way that we can do that. But those are my three picks, and I'm really looking forward to having those three guys as part of the event.
FRED COUPLES: Sounds like the Champions Tour is going to be well represented in this Presidents Cup, Nick. (Laughing).
I think those are great picks. For me personally, I'm taking my winning man, Jay Haas again. Jay and I have been friends forever. I have a lot of faith in Jay. He's helped me make a lot of decisions well before I was ever chosen by the Commissioner to be The Presidents Cup captain. And I think that's a pretty simple one.
The second one, I'm sure everyone will want to know about is Michael. He can't make a decision at this time.
And then my third one, if Jack Nicklaus wasn't the host of this event?? we were talking about this last night, I would have him. Sounds pretty odd to have Jack Nicklaus be your assistant, but that can never happen, so we can discuss that. It would be a little odd. That would be fun for all of us.
Those are the plans, but Jay is one, and then I'm not throwing a curveball to Jack, but obviously he was at Ryder Cup Captain here, and we'd have to get that past, but that would be something that would be remarkable.
NICK PRICE: Can I say something about that (laughter)?
FRED COUPLES: He knows every turf of the grass?? (laughter). But host and assistant captain, what a great thing.
But anyway, I'm hoping Michael can come. Last year, as you know, they were like the hockey people right now, struggling to get the season started, and it was a bit of poor judgment for him to come. But we texted and talked every night from Australia, and he certainly loves golf. You saw him at The Ryder Cup trying to get the players going. He gave a great tape to show the players on Thursday night and I just have a lot of respect for Michael and what he's all about for him as a golfer.
Jay Haas and I, we'll figure out the next two in the next couple months.
Q. This might be difficult given what you just went through on Sunday in Chicago, but I'm wondering if you're going to challenge your guys at all from the standpoint of what the history that was made here in '87 with Europeans winning on American soil for the first time; the internationals haven't won on American soil and is that something you want your guys to know and you want your guys not to let happen.
FRED COUPLES: Well the second part of that, not to let it happen is pretty obvious. I don't want that to happen. You know, I'm a little bit different on captaincy. You know, I try and get next year started. I have an idea who I really believe will continue to make these teams. There's a stable of a lot of guys have made every team the last, I don't know, five or six Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups.
So you know, one of the advantages that we have is that we do this every year. And alternate?shot, I'm not going to get long?winded here, is one of the hardest things to do.
So our advantage really is that we are all great players, but we are just lucky enough to go what we just went through last week, that's a pressure?packed event. I really felt like we were not going to lose, and we did.
So certainly next year I can promise you when they get here or throughout the year, I'll never say, hey, we are not going to let what happened at Medinah happen here, because that's really not what I'm all about. If Jay wants to say something, he can; I don't want to hear about it.
But when they come here, personally, it's going to be a lot of fun. This is a great match?play course. There will be a lot of balls hit in the water. There will be a lot of eagles. There will be a lot of incredible shots.
So when they come play, you know, again, to say?? to be perfectly honest, they all know how to play and they all know how great they are. They all know that they don't want to lose. So if I sit around and tell them, we are not going to lose, I don't want to put that word in their vocabulary and it will just be a fun week.
The one fun thing Nick and I do get to do is we get to match our pairings, and I think makes all the players feel pretty good. And one of my goals is to make them feel like they are running the show, because all these guys run their own lives for 360 days a year; and then the five days Nick and I get them, we boss them around, I don't think they really want to hear that.
So if they tell me, we want to go first and we want to go fifth and we want to go third, if you get them close to, that they have a good feeling good that. That is one thing that I think Tim and The Presidents Cup, I just think it's the most exciting minute and a half or two each day for me. Because once the matches are going, Nick and I are nervous Nellies and we watch. But that little two minutes for us, it's an exciting time when Nick throws a guy up there and then I put one and then I put one and he does. A lot of stuff gets buzzed and it's a fun little two?minute period.
Q. As you know, Fred is 2?0 in these, what do you do to slow his team down? What do you do to change things around?
NICK PRICE: It's a tall order. I mean, to be honest with you, you can captain as much as you want to and you can choose the pairings as thoroughly as you possibly can.
But it comes down I think to the spirit and the camaraderie of the team. And that's something you know, when you have got guys from the four corners of the world playing on our team, how do I create that. And I've got a couple ideas.
You know, I'd like to start playing a few more practice rounds earlier to get to know each other. There's a few little things that I think that might help sort of when everyone arrives here, they are not meeting each other for the first time; that they will have played a little bit of golf together or hopefully a few practice rounds together.
You know, probably about two or three months before I choose a team, I'll be really looking hard at who the players are that are in form and they might not necessarily be 11th or 12th in the rankings or the qualification list. But there's a lot of things that you have to look at.
Also, most of the guys that are going to be on the team, on the International Team, have played this golf course on many occasions. So I may refer to some of the guys who have played a lot here. Example, Ernie or Adam Scott, or any of the other guys, and say, hey, who do you think would play this golf course well.
There's a lot of things to consider. In the end, it's about the motivation; I think when you have team spirit and when you have camaraderie, it will push players to do things that even surprise them sometimes. I think we saw that on Sunday.
Q. I don't know if Davis said this to you but Sunday night after it was all over, he said that starting this week, his goal was to get on your Presidents Cup team, I don't know if he said that to you. What are your thoughts on that possibility?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I think actually Davis played very well this year. He did tell me that on Monday. He was flying to Las Vegas to play, which I don't know how he's going to do that, but I wish him well.
You know, it's one of those things where I think all of the guys want to play. Davis Love has been a friend forever. Certainly I texted him this morning, hoping he would give me a response, and he didn't, because he was someone that maybe would want to be an assistant. But he wants to make the team just like everyone else.
And let me emphasize one thing before we get too far; when Nick was answering that question, I can promise you, Nick Price is going to be an unbelievable captain, I can just tell. For me, I can go to almost any tournament and hit probably 12 of the 20 guys that are probably?? there might be some surprises next year. For Nick to do, that he would have to get in his plane and fly to Korea and then to Japan and Australia and South Africa, or he can pick Augusta and get a few guys.
But I tend to touch these guys throughout the year. I don't get in their face and do all that, because my team, it's pretty simple. If Bubba and Webb make the team, they are going to play every match together. I think what Nick is doing, I can just guess that he's going to get them to play practice rounds together and that is a huge deal, and he is on the right track with there .
But getting back to Davis, I hope he plays well, I hope he can make the team, that would be remarkable. He did everything right last week. He was phenomenal, and Nick and I were talking about this. You know, when you win, I didn't do anything?? I've won two of these. I didn't make any great decisions. Great guys made my team. I picked Tiger last year. Took a little grief for that. I don't know why. And I just kind of laughed at it.
But other than, that for two series in Australia, we tried to play with the crowd in Australia last year, we had a great time with that. And as Tim said earlier, people here are going to root for Nick's team, not as much as ours, but it's not going to be one?sided. I felt like Chicago, I walked those fairways and any time someone, as soon as a European hit a shot and they see it go in the water, you walk over there, and you see none of that and it goes away, and usually there's a bad apple everywhere you go.
But the crowds last week were unbelievable. It was really the most fun. All of the guys loved it. Obviously Europe loved it a little more on Sunday. But it was a fun five or six days.
Q. Wonder if you can talk about the other gentleman across from you, and maybe qualities that he has as players and captain over his career.
FRED COUPLES: Talk about Nick? I've known Nick a long time, and I think the first time I saw him play was at the British Open when he was battling to win that thing. Once I finally got to see the way he played, he hits the ball with precision and accuracy and I play a totally different game but when we were paired together, he's a little bit like Nick Faldo. And when I got paired with Nick Faldo all the time, I used to love it and some people would say, is he fun to play with; I would say, I just like watching him play.
Nick is a little different. Nick will get out there and hit the ball pure and then come over and tell you a joke. That's nothing wrong with Nick Faldo, he just was very quiet and into his own deal. I think even if we were not doing this and talking to you personally, I would be saying the same thing. I just have a lot of respect for Nick. I think the players on his team have a lot of respect and again, I say, I don't know if Kyung?tae Kim knows Nick Price at all or if Ryo Ishikawa knows him, but they will have a good time with him.
Whereas for me, I have a great rapport with all the guys, whether they are going to be new guys or old guys, because it's just easier. So that's a luxury I have. But the tough thing will be going against him, because one of us is going to win and one of us is going to lose. And I think we'll have a good time walking the fairways.
I think José and Davis were magnificent. I think the José and Seve thing played out a lot, and I think what Nick will have is a lot of passion for his players, and I think that's a great thing for any kind of a team captain.
NICK PRICE: Fred and I go back a long way, 30?odd years or 25 years, and one thing you've got to be careful with Fred, don't let his laid?backness fool you into thinking there's not a fierce competitor under there. He wants to win as bad as anyone I ever played against.
You know, always when you play with Fred, he looks like he's about to fall asleep on the golf course, where the rest of us, you know, our hearts are going to?? (laughter)?? I can remember, if I can just tell one story really quickly here which is probably the funniest thing that ever happened between Fred and I was down at the World Series in Akron about 12 years ago.
I got on the practice tee there and Joe LaCava who was caddying for Fred at the time, they were having a go at each about something, I don't know what it was.
So I picked up my balls and started moving away and Jimmy Johnson, who now caddies for Stricker was caddying for me at the time. And Freddie looked over to me and he looked me in the eye and said, "I don't want Joe today, will you talk Joe?"
I thought, we were doing all right, we were in the middle of the pack or something and I said, "Come on, let's do it, that's a great idea. Let's switch caddies."
And Jimmy, my caddie, looked at me with daggers in his eyes like he was going to kill me. You can see what kind of bad mood Freddie is in.
So we switched caddies for the day. It was a great thing. It was a little bit refreshing. They are both excellent caddies and they can adjust to whatever. But anyway, Freddie played right in front of me, ended up shooting 66, I shot 67. We both moved up into the Top?10 and it actually worked. It was a tonic. It was September or whenever, August, late in the year.
So we went and had lunch and we talked about it. And I said Joe was great and he said Jimmy was great.
Walk downstairs to go and hit balls, and Jimmy, my caddie, was down in the caddie room there and said, you ready?? we walked, he was about two paces behind me and he had his head down. He was not going to talk to me at all; I could see I had really irritated him.
So we got to practice tee and I said, "Well, how was it, how was the day?"
"It was okay."
I said, "Well, what was it like? What was the difference? What was it like caddying for Fred?"
He said, "Well, he's about half a club longer than you. Took me a little time to adjust. Doesn't hit as many shots?? he likes to cut the ball."
I said, "What was the biggest different caddying for Fred and me?"
He looked me straight in the eye and he said, "The quality of the women in the gallery." (Lots of laughter).
FRED COUPLES: I'll finish that story. Jimmy put more pressure on me to shoot a lower score than Nick, and actually we ended up 66 and 67 were incredible rounds, and I mean, Jimmy should have been mad. Joe was as happy as could be, because there was a time I was struggling a little bit with a lot of things and I was wearing Joe out. He would have ran to anybody.
But that is true, and that's what Nick is all about. To say, sure, is like, wow. It was a lot of fun.
NICK PRICE: I did give it a little bit of thought.
FRED COUPLES: Right. (Laughter).
Q. I hope this gets as good an answer. I know from talking to him earlier this morning that one of the guys that you're trying to get to be your assistant captain has a definite idea of how to set up this course next year for The Presidents Cup. I wonder if you have thoughts on that already, if you like what Davis did at Medinah where he had the rough cut down because he wanted to see birdies where he wanted to get the crowd energized.
FRED COUPLES: Personally the captains don't have any set up in the course. So I think Jack and his staff will set it up with the PGA TOUR the best way they can.
I do know Davis talked to me several times. One of the things, I kind of saw on Sunday, I thought the pins were set up pretty difficult. And we were the ones in charge, I believe?? I said, we; Davis worked with the superintendent. But he also worked with the course. The course had some struggles and they got it ready and it was beautiful.
But the rough was very short and I think all 24 players love that. I mean, you could move the ball around a little bit. You could play it. Medinah is a very difficult second?shot course, and obviously with eight inches of rough in the U.S. Open, it's a very demanding course off the tee, too.
But I actually really like that. I felt like it was remarkable golf. The first two days, you know, we look?? I'm just talking about the setup of the course and I'm thinking here, I keep looking at the 14th hole on the picture, and thinking, there's going to be possibly upwards of 20,000 or 30,000 on that hole?? I may be dreaming, but I'm sure Jack will move it up and guys will be going for that green. It's going to be the greatest hole next September and October.
And it's?? well when I won here, I played it well, but I don't look the hole at all. (Laughter) First of all, I wanted to hit driver every time I played it and that's why I keep staring at it. The rest of the holes are awesome. That hole I can't hit it with a 3?iron, and once I do, I can't hit the green with a 9?iron. But that's up to Jack and his staff and Tim and the PGA TOUR. I can't tell them to build eight inches of rough or no rough.
Q. What if Jack is your assistant?
FRED COUPLES: If Jack's my assistant, we have a nice little tea party we're going to have sometime in the near future.
LAURA HILL: Fred and Nick, thank you for joining us.