The best exchange from Paul Azinger’s mostly dull press conference Tuesday pitted Azinger versus John Hopkins, the veteran golf writer from the Times of London. Azinger has been notably guarded around the media since hammering Nick Faldo in another British paper, the Daily Mail, in April, and when Hopkins pushed Azinger on an unrelated—and relatively benign—question, Azinger grew increasingly curt and aggravated.
Here’s how it played out, though sadly the transcript doesn’t capture the wealth of awkward silence and Azinger teeth-gnashing throughout: Hopkins: Hello, how are you? Azinger: I’m fine. I know this will be a tough question. Go ahead. Hopkins: We’ll leave the tough question to the second point, but the first point is that Nick said on Sunday that he only wants one vice captain, and he believes that’s all he needs; could you envisage yourself doing what you’re doing with only one person to help you? Azinger: Yes. (Laughter). Hopkins: Why have you got three then? Azinger: Well, that’s none of your business. (Laughter) What difference does it make to you how many assistants I have? Hopkins: Well, I’m just wondering, why Nick would say he only needed one; one seems to me, or to have only two, seems to be rather few when there are four matches on the golf course, and that’s the view of most people. Azinger: I’m not Nick. We’re different people. Hopkins: But you’re saying that you need more than two; is that right? Azinger: No. I’m not saying that. Hopkins: Well, then what are you saying, Paul? (Laughter). Azinger: I’m not paid to say anything. (Laughter). Julius Mason, PGA of America mediator: Is there another question you would like to throw at the captain, John? Hopkins: Would anything less than victory for the United States be acceptable? Azinger: Well, what do you think? Hopkins: Well, here we go again. (Laughter) I tell you what I think. I think that under the circumstances, it might be, but I’m not the captain. Azinger: I’m glad you’re not the captain. I don’t want to answer any questions, John, about that. That’s a tricky question, and you even told me when you asked me that question the other day that I shouldn’t have answered it, so I don’t know why you would expect me to answer it now. Hopkins: Okay. Thank you very much. Azinger: Okay.