What they said: David Eger, Mark McNultyApril 24, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MODERATOR: I'll go ahead and get us started here. We'd like to welcome our 2011 champions to the interview room here at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. It took a few extra holes there but y'all got it done.
Can you just talk a little bit about the day today??
DAVID EGER: I'll start. We started off fairly quickly birdieing the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th holes, kind of ran into a snag on 7 and 8 with pars, and then birdied --
MARK McNULTY: Big snag.
DAVID EGER: Yeah, big snag, wasn't it? Then birdied 9, birdied 11, 13, 14, 15 and 18, so we never made a bogey this week. Yeah, we missed a couple short putts that we shouldn't have missed but I made, I guess, three putts outside of 25 feet this week, which I usually never make, so it was nice. I was glad Mark was there to help me read some putts.
MARK McNULTY: Well, you know, David's has always been a very good ball striker and I think the last couple years he's been, I would say, wandering in the clouds as to how he can putt better and he's been going to various people. The way he played this week, he doesn't need to see anybody. He had the audacity to tell me after we finished playing that he had contemplated using a belly putter. Well, I don't think he needs to do that. He played beautifully all week. He didn't just putt beautifully all week, he played beautifully all week.
I know it's a partners tournament. Most holes, I'd say 80 to 85 percent of the holes, two balls on the green for birdies, and you know that's what you've got to do this week, you've got to back up your partner and just makes things easy when you're able to do that.
Like I said to Jay on the Champions Tour Learning Center on The Golf Channel, my chip in the playoff hole, I looked across the board, his ball was slightly on the upslope and it appeared to me that he had an easy chip, so that made my chip, even as difficult as it was because it was nearly up against the cut of the rough, made it feel easy. I felt like he was going to get it up and down anyway and go ahead and be aggressive with the chip, which I was and it was a great chip and likewise with the putt. We'd had a little altercation a couple times when I hit a shot close -- I don't really like to go ahead like you see in match play events or partner events, people go and putt before their partner who might be putter further away. In that case, it was a perfect situation. If I could hole mine and just put even -- Kenny was probably about three inches outside of mine, it would just put that little bit of added pressure on Scott and Kenny, and as luck would have it, it happened and it turned in our favor and we're now sitting here.
MODERATOR: You each earned 230 Charles Schwab Cup points and I know you're both kind of battling back from injury, so if you can talk whether or not that makes the victory even sweeter for you, David. Then we'll go to questions.
DAVID EGER: Yeah. Well, Mark had his knee replaced last year in the summer, and I had broke my ankle and had surgery in late June, first of July and so we were both -- we'd been cut on, we had been rehabilitating and all this stuff. It's really nice, you know, to think about winning a tournament after all the physical issues that we both had last year. It's really nice.
MARK McNULTY: David won't say this but I would like to say what I think is very important in this situation, it inspired me this week to try to be a good partner for him. He was playing exceptionally well all week and he was very unlucky last year when he did break his foot. He was comfortably inside the Top 30 and he didn't play. He tried to play and didn't play, and of course subsequently missed the Top 30 and then he went for a medical and he only got seven tournaments, which was a bit of a foul. This, I really think, is a great, great win for David because it puts us both back in the winners category and we can play the rest of the year, and now our goal, both of us, is obviously to make it to San Francisco.
Q. Congratulations, guys. Mark, I think up on the green you said something about this is a win for the bionic man or something close to that??
MARK McNULTY: We've both got titanium pieces. I go off like a Christmas tree when I go through the airport so it's just one of those things. You know, there are a few of us on Tour now who have got bionic pieces, especially from my side. I've been battling with a knee issue for 27 years when I first -- my first ever operation on a so-called simple meniscus which went wrong and got infection in the joint. I always thought I'd come to the stage, and unfortunately last year I hit the brick wall and this is, for me as well, a great bonus.
Q. David, is that why you didn't play with Mark last year? You, played with Keith Fergus?
DAVID EGER: Exactly. Mark quit playing last year in March, decided to have surgery and was researching it, I guess, when this tournament was going on. I played with Ronny Black, but it was obviously great getting back with Mark and playing and we'll do it again next year, I'm sure.
Q. You guys played together in 2008 and 2009??
MARK McNULTY: Yeah.
DAVID EGER: At least two previous, if not more than that.
Q. What's the working of your partnership??
DAVID EGER: Friendship, just --
MARK McNULTY: We've been friends for many years.
DAVID EGER: Old men, we've known each other for a while. Neither of us could find anybody else, I don't know.
Q. What does it say -- David, you had a great birdie putt on 18 in a sense to force the playoff, and then as you said, you didn't really do much in the playoff. What does that say about the partnership and the way the game of golf is??
DAVID EGER: This is a team convenient and there's a psychologicalcomponent to it that you want to be in the hole all the time so your partner's not playing by himself, and I hit a terrible drive on the first playoff hole but got the ball onto the green, so that made Mark feel, okay, I can get this, my partner's on the green now, I can have a better swing at it and so forth. But I don't think we left each other more than maybe two or three times the entire week, which was a real bonus.
MARK McNULTY: I think only once and that happened today. I tried to get a little bit aggressive with my tee shot on number 7. I hit it left into the water, I hadn't hit a tee shot left all week, and I left David high and dry basically. He could have made birdie quite comfortably. But it goes back to that, what David and I both have been saying, if you can both be in the hole all the time, giving each other a little bit of he's okay, I can hit a shot, and you hit the shot. He's okay on the green, you can hit the shot, and that's what was happening all the time.
Q. Can you give us the length on your winning par putt? And also, David, you had like a 35-footer on 18 and then a bomb earlier today, right?
MARK McNULTY: Well, you know mas I said earlier on, David was, I don't know, 12, 15 feet for par and quite clearly away and I was inside the other two, and if you can just -- if you can just put that -- I had a good chip so I'm feeling good. If you can just put that little bit of added pressure on, it always helps that playoff situation. You might look on TV and everybody's cool as a cucumber, but it's not like that at all.
Q. How long was your regulation put on 18??
DAVID EGER: Regulation was probably 35, 40 feet I would say.
Q. And Mark, your winning par putt was how long??
MARK McNULTY: You know, in that three- to four-foot range, let's say three feet.
DAVID EGER: It was 30 inches.
Q. How far were Scott and Kenny??
DAVID EGER: I would say Scott was eight feet and Kenny was just outside me. He was only this much (indicating) outside me because I could see his marker diagonally across from where mine was. When I putted my putt, it really snapped right very quickly and it got in the right-hand corner, which was kind of a shock. I thought maybe I hit a bad putt, but exactly the same thing happened to Kenny, it shot straight right.
Q. How long would you say (inaudible)?(inaudible)?
DAVID EGER: Three feet.
Q. I ask because Kenny said his was 14 inches, which doesn't sound right.
MARK McNULTY: He's got the wrong 14 inches. He's got the bragging 14 inches.
DAVID EGER: I'd say Kenny's was 36 to 40 inches and Mark's was 30 to 36 inches. I saw that Mark hit that chip up there and I had a poor chip, I immediately turned to him and said putt it.
MARK McNULTY: I don't think Kenny -- Kenny's way out of touch there. It's obviously -- I'm not trying to detract anything from the unfortunate situation of Kenny missing a short putt but it certainly -- 14 inches is that big (indicating.) Mine was there already -- what's that, three feet -- and he was this much outside.
Q. Everybody likes this tournament, especially going back to the original format of the team play, and everybody seems to comment about how it makes -- you can be a little more aggressive, it's a little more fun for the fans. They can watch you. If your partner has a good putt or a good drive, you can take a little more chance. Is that pretty much take more chances??
MARK McNULTY: Well, yes, but I would also like to say no because it goes back to that same rule, rhetoric that we've been talking about. If you both can be in the fairway, if you both can be on the green, it gives you two chances at birdie every time. Yes, then that steps up the ante a little bit and you can be a little more aggressive. Like the first guy, he might putt up like this, and then like David did on the very last hole. I putted up like that, made my par. He can be aggressive. He made the putt. That's why we're sitting here. So there is a little bit of -- it's sort of a fine line there.
Q. And David, you mentioned that during the one-hour wait or so that you had because you guys came in before the other teams were out there finishing, A, you didn't think maybe 27 was going to be good enough, but you were still out there practicing, getting ready just in case??
DAVID EGER: Well, I thought that it would -- the best would be a playoff, and fortunately that's how it happened for us. Both of us sat outside in the shade for the hour or so waiting for the guys to finish who were playing behind us. We didn't want to kind of chill out too much in the comfort of air conditioning or whatnot. We would rather bask in the heat and humidity of wonderful Savannah while we waited. We waited the hour and we went over and hit a few balls and drove out to the 18th tee.
Q. Talk about this venue a little bit, Liberty Mutual and also this venue.
DAVID EGER: Well, it is a fantastic venue. Savannah really, really clicks for this tournament because of the setup of the golf course and hotel, the ability for Liberty Mutual to entertain their clients and guests right here and play golf, not only in the pro-am but other golf courses. And the wives, I'm sure they have different entertainment or tours or shopping trips. It's a wonderful thing for the community. It fits the size of Savannah's community perfectly.
MARK McNULTY: I think it's a testament to the tournament and Savannah that if you look at how many wives come to tournaments, this is most probably your -- nearly everybody comes. Unfortunately my wife's in South Africa visiting, but nearly all the wives are here. I would say 90, 95 percent of the wives are here and that's normally a great test to how we enjoy an event and Liberty Mutual, it's fantastic, I think, and hopefully they do, too.
Q. Congratulations, gentlemen. It seems that money is going to go across the pond if you look at the Raphael Division and yourself. My question is, are you going to play golf next week or go to the royal wedding??
MARK McNULTY: No, I might watch a little bit, you know. My parents, my dad was in the Second World War and he's very much a royal. I think -- I hope you all saw The King's Speech, it's a great movie and I think there's a lot of patriotism. Charles and Diana's wedding was watched by millions and I'm sure the same thing will happen. I'm sure I'll watch little, I know my wife will. She's in South Africa but it's going to be a sweet week to have off.
Q. Someone told me you have a nickname of Sparkles, is that right??
MARK McNULTY: Correct.
Q. So you mentioned about your wives shopping. Are you going to do a little shopping too then??
MARK McNULTY: No, I'm not a shopper.
DAVID EGER: Let me tell you, the Sparkles isn't diamonds, it's his tidiness, his neatness. He's still got a crease in his shirt.
MARK McNULTY: To tell the story a little bit further, David's got half the equation right. Actually, Hugh Archy (phonetic) was the first person to call me Sparkles, and half the equation is what David has just talked about and the other part was in England, we have a department store called Marks & Spencer and it's called Marks and Sparks. If you take that Marks & Sparks and I'm Mark and Sparkles, that's the whole thing put together.
Q. I guess it could be worse.
MARK McNULTY: It could be. No, I'm not gay.
Q. I wasn't going there at all, actually.
MARK McNULTY: I'm only kidding.
Q. Was there anything that gave you guys the idea that this might be your week with -- coming into the last round, I think you were four back coming in the last round. Was there anything that said we're going to win it today, or earlier in the week??
DAVID EGER: I really had no inkling that we would be sitting here when we teed off today. I thought if we could shoot 60 and get it to 27- or 28-under, that would be great. I'm surprised that some of the teams leading are 19- or 20-under, didn't quite get up there, but pleasantly surprised and we'll take it any way we can get it.
We started reasonably quick. You know, we could have been a couple better on the front side as everybody could say, we could have been a couple better on the back nine, but it was sort of a surreal day in that when we got to the 18th hole and I was looking at the board the last two or three holes and it looked like everybody was at 26 but they still had so many holes to play except for Mark and me. To crash that putt in the hole was pretty unbelievable.
And then in the playoff, which I played poorly in, but then when Kenny missed the putt, we weren't prepared at all. We were trying to figure out --
MARK McNULTY: We were shocked.
DAVID EGER: We were trying to figure out if we were going back to the 18th tee or the 10th. I'm sure it will sink in a lot more in the next 24 hours.
Q. David, do you have a nickname, too??
DAVID EGER: Yeah, my wife has plenty for me.