The Walker Cup

Press Conference

Sunday September 13, 2015

Spider Miller

Maverick McNealy

Denny McCarthy

MIKE WOODCOCK: Congratulations on your performance, an inspired GB&I Team. Can you give us your thoughts on the week and performance of your players?

SPIDER MILLER: Well, it was a great week for me. The outcome was not what I had wanted, nor was it what our guys had wanted. I give the credit to the other team. Nigel and his team played very well. We didn't give them anything. They went out and they did what they what they had to do to win the match, and I applaud them for their efforts.

MIKE WOODCOCK: Denny, Maverick, it's been a great week for you guys, you've both played some tremendous golf, as well. Can you give us your feelings on how you've enjoyed the match?

DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, like Spider just said, it wasn't the outcome we were hoping for, but nonetheless, we had an incredible week. I wouldn't trade anyone in the world for Captain Spider here. He did a tremendous job over the last couple weeks just keeping us relaxed and I couldn't think of anyone better to have as our captain.

And we had a great group of guys this week. We really did have a blast on and off the golf course. Just what an amazing experience, for me personally, I wanted to go out as -- this was the way I wanted to go out as an amateur. And I couldn't think of a better way.

MAVERICK McNEALY: These last two weeks were two of the best weeks of my life, I can say that confidently. Our goals for this week were to come and give our best on every single shot we had, to have a bunch of fun, make friendships that will last a lifetime and represent our team, our captain, our country, as best we can. I think we did a really good job of all of those.

Winning is obviously a lot more fun than losing. But I made nine new best friends. It was such an honour and privilege to play for Captain Spider and Robbie Zalzneck, our team manager. I can confidently say that every single one of us gave everything we had on every shot and that's all he can ask from ourselves.

The GB&I Team played awesome. No reservations about what could have been. You know, unfortunately we didn't come out with a victory but we had a bunch of fun and nine new friends that will last forever.

Q. Spider, what do you think in the end was the basic difference between the two sides?
SPIDER MILLER: We were outplayed. I don't know that -- the foursomes play, the discussion about it is true. Our guys at Denny and Maverick's age do not play foursomes is. As an old dude playing in tournaments, I have some experience, but they do not. Whether that needs to change or not, that's not my bailiwick, but it is true. You can ask these guys if it's their first experience with foursomes play. It is a different game.

As a country, we do not seem to do as well as you might think. But you know, they outplayed us. They played well. Our guys played well and they played a little better. But I'll let Mav and Denny speak to foursomes experience.

DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, I certainly enjoyed playing it. Like Spider said, we don't typically play alternate-shot. There's not too many events that have that. I mean, I can only think of the Walker Cup, Ryder Cup and Junior Ryder Cup, really, have that alternate-shot. It can get difficult at times, only because you feel like you're out there and you don't hit a shot for 30 minutes or so.

So I found when we tried it out in the practise round, I found it was somewhat difficult to get into the rhythm of your own game when you're not hitting shots for a certain period of time. Also, with putting, too, sometimes you feel like you don't putt for five or six holes, and that's just the way alternate-shot works sometimes. But I think we did a great job with it. We had some strong teams out there. I was put on the course, but unfortunately we ran into some better golf. We played good golf and we just ran into some better golf.

MAVERICK McNEALY: I agree with what Denny said. This is my second competitive round playing foursomes. It was one of the most run found I've had in my entire life. I had the privilege of playing with Hunter Stewart, who is an incredible player. It was fun to play from the fairway every hole, I can tell you that much. (Laughter).

Yeah, it's something we don't see much in the States, and I also think another difference is familiarity with the golf course. For one, we played four out of five practise days with a completely opposite wind to the one we saw in competition, which none of us having played the Lytham Trophy, it felt like we were playing a different golf course than we saw in the practise rounds, so that was difficult for us to prepare.

For. I assume that's something that being one of the premiere, if not the premiere amateur events during the springtime over here, that most of the opposing team has seen. So that was different and difficult on the first day.

But I don't think it was for lack of team chemistry. This was a great team in terms of camaraderie and team spirit. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly was the difference, but you can speculate that maybe preparation with the different winds or -- I don't know. But it just comes down to having to hit the right golf shot at the right time and unfortunately we weren't able to do that, but it was not for lack of trying.

Q. Did you think you might recommend a bit more attention to foursomes play for future teams?
SPIDER MILLER: Well, I tried to dwell on it. We're only together for a brief period of time. We worked on it in our practise squad in December, and most of the players were there with the exception of Jordan Niebrugge. We worked on it there. But that was a lot of period of time between now and then.

Then when we arrived here, I wanted the guys to have a feel for the golf course, and quite frankly, playing all foursomes, you don't get to hit as many shots and I thought it was important that they understand their yardages and shots they want to hit, where they want to lay up on certain bunkers. These kids are all smarter than I am, so they had their own strategy.

And the foursomes play, we just don't -- we didn't this time. I'm not going to talk about the other teams, but you know what we did. We won two points and lost six. So what can I say? It would help if they had experience playing it beyond the (inaudible.)

Q. Inaudible.
DENNY McCARTHY: I don't think that it was the issue. I think we played some solid golf and like I said earlier, we just ran into -- they played some really solid golf out there.

MAVERICK McNEALY: There's no getting around it, the odds are stacked against you when you have to travel across the globe to compete and only have about a week and a half to adjust. I know our team didn't feel like our body clocks were adjusted until the day before the tournament really.

I thought the greatest way to kind of put that into perspective is talking -- I had talked to a number of the GB&I players of their experience at the US Am which is a typical American-style golf course and the US Am has very fast, very slopey greens, with soft fairways and yet plays long and you have to hit the ball way up in the air and the rough was brutal.

Flip that around, you come over here, for us, the fairways are very firm, very fast. It's windier; you have to hit the ball low. The greens are slow and they don't break much and the bunkers are a lot more penal. It's a different type of golf and you see shots different here than you do over there.

And I think you just flip-flop that and the odds are stacked against them when they come back to the States because it's a different type of golf shot to hit. I thought it's a shot that we can play. We can all hit it low. Every one on our team can hit it low. We can hit our putts firm. But it's just shots we have a lot of experience with.

So to beat these guys, you have to play exceptionally, and it's very possible that I think the different styles of golf, at least this style, plays to their advantage just as the American style of golf plays to our advantage. There's no getting around that. You just have to play better.

Q. Captain's decisions always get second-guessed in these kind of instances so we may as well keep up the tradition. What was the thinking behind putting Bryson the out last considering you were six-down going into the singles?
SPIDER MILLER: That's where he wanted to play. I talked with him and he asked me to play last, and I knew -- I figured Nigel would come with his strength, which is what I would have done. So that's it, simple as that. He asked me to play last and I acquiesced and I granted his wish.

Q. You had a policy of playing everybody at least three matches, if not four, which is very generous. Would you rethink that if you were the captain next time?
SPIDER MILLER: No. No. My thinking is you make this team, you're treated on an equal footing. I don't think my guys would have it any other way. You can ask them, what do you guys think?

DENNY McCARTHY: I think it's very fair the way he did it, and I think everyone was playing good enough golf where everyone should have played three matches. That's the way it is. I mean, I completely stand behind Spider's decision to do so. It can get tough out there. You don't want to put too much pressure on other guys. But I completely stand behind Spider's decision.

MAVERICK McNEALY: I totally agree, and to the other point about when to put players out, I didn't look at leaderboards today and I know that was a bunch of our guys's game plan, it was just to focus on the match at hand.

Really, it was an absolute honour to play for Captain Spider. I wouldn't second-guess any of his decisions ever, and I think the value that he added to our team and by making it a team process, having all of us invested and bought into it and having us feel like this was our team instead of just his team as in he was included in part of the group, was way more valuable than making what would have been the right decision. I think the way he went about it was way to make us play our absolute best.

MIKE WOODCOCK: Spider, Denny, Maverick, thank you, very well played.


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