From defending Tour Championship golfer Phil Mickelson to first-time Ryder Cup nominee Matt Kuchar, PGA Tour players had plenty to say going into this week's golf tournament with an eye on winning the $10 million prize and FedEx Cup bragging rights.
Here are a few golf quotes from Mickelson, Kuchar, Hoffman, Casey, Johnson and a long-winded Steve Stricker.
Q. Several things could happen this week. If you win you'd be the No. 1 player in the world, you'd be the only guy ever to successfully defend this championship, probably be Player of the Year, and yet still all of the stars would have to align correctly in order for you to win the FedExCup. Do you think that's right, or is there another tweaking in the system that needs to be made so that those kinds of year-long things matter more than these last four events?
PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't played well in the first three FedExCup events, and so you have to have some value to those events. And you can't have it all just be -- just come down to one event. I guess you could, but I haven't played well enough in the first three events. If I had played halfway decent, I would be in a position to control my own destiny. I started out third or fourth, started out in good position, but because of my play, I am where I'm at.
And then Mickelson regaled golf reporters with a little known fact about Caddyshack...
Q. I was talking to Corey Monday about the 30th anniversary of Caddyshack, and he picked you as the guy on his team this year that knew more about Caddyshack than anything else, that kept you guys going. Can you talk about why that movie has endured so much, and would you put your Caddyshack knowledge against anybody out here?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, there's guys that know more useless information than I do (laughter) --
Q. That's not what he said.
PHIL MICKELSON: But I will share with you a little tidbit about that movie that not many people know about, and the gentleman who created that movie, who wrote it and who I believe produced it and put it all together ended up killing himself before the movie was ever released, about a month before, because the critics had beaten it up so bad, and he was so overcome by this that he ended up taking his own life and not being able to enjoy the success that this movie has had, and I think that's too bad.
Q. If you were to win $10 million, what would you do with it?
MATT KUCHAR: I really don't know. I'd hope I could turn it into a lot more. That would probably be my thought. But there's nothing really that I need. There's nothing that I really want.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Ironically I haven't really thought about winning the FedExCup much this year. I really wasn't in contention to be here until a couple weeks ago when I won. I'm approaching it like any other tournament, trying to get the win, and obviously all the accolades will come along with that.
Q. What are the goods and bads of the FedExCup? What are the highs and lows and the up and downsides of it?
PAUL CASEY: I haven't really thought about it too much. Is the system perfect? Probably not. I don't know. I mean, certainly when we had the situation when Padraig Harrington missed the TOUR Championship, even though he was a double major champion. He was actually Player of the Year if I remember correctly. That wasn't right. But it's changed since then, I think, hasn't it? I don't know.
I'm sure FedEx would love to have had the defending champion of this event and defending champion of the FedExCup, both of them in the field. We've got Phil -- what is Phil? 10th or something? But without Tiger and Phil, it's going to be disappointing to FedEx. I don't know. I don't know how to -- the highs and lows?
I haven't really fallen afoul of the system, and as far as I'm concerned, it's an opportunity to obviously made an awful lot of money. So from my angle, it's all positives.
Q. When you look at your career going forward, has being the No. 1 player in the world ever been a specific goal?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I don't set goals like that. Obviously if I win enough golf tournaments, if I play well the next year or so, it could be a possibility. But as far as my goal being the best player in the world, it's not one of my goals. You know, most of my goals are short-term goals, and I just try to give myself the opportunity to be there.
Q. You mentioned that your resurgence has sort of mirrored the history of the FedExCup. It's got enough age on it now that we can pretty much have a report card. What is your assessment at this point of the FedExCup and its history? Success? Not a success? And what are the best and worst things about it?
STEVE STRICKER: I think it's been a success. I think it's done what it was set out to do, and that's to gain more interest in our sport during a time period where our interests kind of went away a little bit because of the start of football season and college and the NFL. And I think we still get a lot of media, we still get a lot of exposure because of the FedExCup, and it gains -- we have some interest later into the season, where at the PGA it usually stops. So I think in that regard, it's good. And it's been good for the players. We're playing -- who can complain about playing for the type of money that we're playing for?
So all that said, I think it's been a good thing. But on the other hand, I think the point system quite isn't right yet, and I think we're going to address that again at the end of the year. No matter what point system we come up with, I think you're going to have issues or circumstances that are going to jump out and not seem quite right. And we've had it -- you know, even the last couple years. I think if we can keep tweaking it where it's a little bit -- I don't know what the correct word is, but to represent more of a guy who plays well all year long, but he still needs to play well in the FedExCup to win it all.
Right now every shot doesn't matter. You could finish 120-something on the list and still win the FedExCup. I think we need to do a little bit better job of having a guy who plays well all year long, still kind of staying in there towards the end, but give a guy a chance maybe further down the list if he wins a couple of these playoff events that he could actually win it all. I think it's a fine line there no matter what you do.
Q. One quick follow-up. If you ask any fan who's going to show up today, as much as they like the FedExCup and enjoy this event, none of them are going to put it on par with a major. Do the players feel the same way? Where does this rank? How many FedExCups equal a major?
STEVE STRICKER: Oh, I don't know. I don't think it's looked at as important as a major yet. Maybe some day it will if we continue on with it. I know if you ask any one of these 30 players here if they want to win it, I guarantee the answer is yes. Obviously there's a lot of money at stake. But it signifies that you played well, and I think that's the bottom line. I think it would be a feather in anybody's cap to hoist that FedExCup Trophy at the end of it all. It's something more for us to play for. There's, like I say, a lot to play for, and I think it adds excitement for us and fans alike.
Read the complete Tour Championship transcripts.
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