Golf Golf

Who’s saying what at the Ryder Cup

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Not home turf: Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas keep the mood light ahead of the serious business of defending the Ryder Cup © AFP / Eric FEFERBERG

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France, Sep 27 – With Europe and the United States set to tee off in the 42nd edition of the Ryder Cup on Friday, AFP Sport picks out some of the best quotes from Le Golf National:

“It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be an awesome environment. There’s a lot of nerves. It’s excitement.”

— Tiger Woods is looking forward to making his first Ryder Cup appearance since 2012

“When I first saw that on the first tee, I looked up and felt like I kept looking up and up and up. It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere.”

— Patrick Reed marvels at the imposing 6,900-capacity grandstand surrounding the first tee

“You’re not going to go win it in the first session, but you need to put yourself in a position where you’re not kind of behind the 8-ball and trying to play catch-up the rest of the way.”

— Rickie Fowler says the US cannot afford a slow start in Friday’s opening fourballs

“I’m on my own, so there’s been a few jokes about that. The guys said it’s a tradition. Obviously I had to jump in there and take that beautiful picture. So I was a pretty happy man for a few minutes.”

— As the only player without a date, Thorbjorn Olesen instead posed for a photo with all the European team’s spouses and partners at a gala dinner at the Palace of Versailles

“Thank goodness we’re playing match play around this golf course this week. Wouldn’t want to play stroke play around here.”

— Paul Casey underlines the unforgiving nature of the Albatros course, where accuracy and composure will be key

“I don’t know what the strangest thing was, but I definitely had to go into the clubhouse to get coffees a few times, and more than a few times. And it was really, really difficult to get from the course into the clubhouse, especially in a European cart.”

— Olesen, on serving as then vice-captain Thomas Bjorn’s buggy driver at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine

“If there’s anyone with other information I’ll meet you behind the media centre later on and we’ll iron these things out.”

— Henrik Stenson jokingly vows to settle any doubts as to whether the Swede’s putt indeed clinched a European win at K Club in 2006

“It’s still one of the coolest moments for our American team to look back and reflect on that win, the comeback, and it being at Medinah, it was a special thing for us Americans.”

— US rookie Tony Finau confuses the 1999 fightback at Brookline with Europe’s ‘Miracle of Medinah’ in 2012

“Getting lost in Kenya and being in a taxi, and I thought the guy was going to kill us. I mean, he took us on a joyride, a bunch of guys hopped out of the gas station, tried to get in the car. I even called my family to try to turn my location services on to try to tell them where we were at.”

— Brooks Koepka recounts his wildest story from his time on the European golf circuits

“This continent can be a fragmented place. When it comes to the Ryder Cup it is different. We stand as one. Together we have achieved many great things. More than anything we will play for that flag.”

— Europe captain Thomas Bjorn, on the Ryder Cup’s power to unite even in times of division

“Inside the ropes we may compete against each other, outside them we stand together.”

— US captain Jim Furyk extends the hand of friendship before the Ryder Cup battle lines are drawn

“While we were announcing the names, I was pretty much just afraid I was going to announce the wrong pairing. If you notice, I had this card in front of me and it was supposed to have the logo, and I didn’t want to name Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas when it was supposed to be Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. I had gotten through the speech and figured I didn’t want to screw up the last eight names.”

— Furyk was pleased to just get through the announcement of the pairings

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