What was your favorite thing about playing in the Ryder Cup?
The direct head-to-head competition at the highest level in the biggest arena. It’s a pretty intense thing.
What was your least favorite thing about the Ryder Cup?
That’s a tough one. My least favorite thing is that four guys have to sit out each of the team events. As a player, it’s not a lot of fun to sit out. And as a captain, it’s hard to take a third of the team out. Some guys only get one Ryder Cup their whole career, and when you get there you want to play.
You had an amazing performance in 1995, going 4-1 with two 18th-hole wins, including a chip-in on Saturday. Is it at all tainted because Europe won that year?
Very mixed emotions, obviously. I played very well, and you want to win when you play that well, and we didn’t. So that was a hard pill to swallow. I would definitely have given up my own record to see the team win, so that was kind of sad in that way.
How much does the captain affect his team? Do you think it’s enough? Too much?
The captain can create an attitude a little bit, but the players are the ones who play. Each player has their own personality and needs to be treated accordingly, so one of the trickiest things is to manage those personalities like a basketball coach — one guy you might need to scream at, one guy you might need to pat on the back.
Is that a role that you think would suit you in the future?
I would be very interested in being a captain. It would be a tremendous honor. Hopefully that opportunity will present itself.
In 2006, you shot 26 in one of the best front nines in Tour history. What was going through your head during your round?
I didn’t realize I had shot 26 until 12 or 13. I actually thought about 59, but 52 never entered my mind. Andy North came up to me and told me he had one record left in the book and I took it away from him. I told him I was sorry [laughs]. It’s something that will be tough to beat.
How did winning feel after a drought of 10 years and 242 tournaments?
It’s hard to say winning in Milwaukee (the U.S. Bank Championship) was as good as winning the U.S. Open. But in a lot of ways it was. Lisa [his wife] was there. It was the first tournament she watched me win, and it was 10 years of waiting. There are times you doubt whether you’re ever going to win again, but I believed that I still had the game to keep playing. If I couldn’t win I wouldn’t compete.