Winning the Masters - A Badge of Honour

The newly-crowned Masters champion talks to Louie Chan in an exclusive interview about his match with Rory McIlroy in the 2016 Ryder Cup, what golf has taught him and his relationship with Hublot

LC: I think that the sportsmanship really shone through with you and Rory because you’d given as good as each other and you edged him out. That must have been something that you took a good deal of pride in, outside of winning? Just knowing that you created a great moment in sport. Is that something that fair to say?

PR: It is. The one thing that you don't see in golf anymore because it's such an individual sport is the camaraderie and just the friendly banter back and forth from players. You get it in basketball, you get it in every other sport you play because you're interacting a lot with the guys. In golf you don't really have that. It's just you and your caddie. Playing with Rory, I'll never forget when he made his birdie on number three to go one up in the match.

He just gave it just a nonchalant little hand wag, that's about it, and didn't show really any emotion. So, as we were walking to the fourth tee, I said, "I just want to let you know, when I win my first hole, you're going to know about it." And he just starts laughing. Then we tie four, go to five, I hit a great tee shot at the driveable par four. I hit it up there to eight feet for eagle and make the putt and then I let him have it.

I go nuts and he just starts laughing. At the par 5 seventh he hits one to 10, 15 feet, probably wasn't up to his standards but, it was good enough to make birdie. He makes a good putt and that's then when he starts going. Then I make mine, I give him the bow because he bowed the crowd earlier. A lot of people are like, "Well, are they like angry at each other or what's going on?" We get to the next tee box and he's like, "Oh, my bow was better." It's like, "No, mine was. It was an American bow, we're on American soil." All match we're laughing, having a good time and I think that’s the best part of competing, the sportsmanship and that everyone was able to see that. They can see this is a lot of fun for these guys and they're just showing how the game of golf can be. It's on eight, he makes the 9,000-foot putt that I told my caddie, "He's going to make this." And he's looking me like, "No, he's not." I was like, "No, he's going to make this." He's like, "I guarantee you he's not going to make it." He's like, "I know you're going to say you need to have the mentality that he's going to make it and he's going to make everything." I was like, "No, he's going to make it." All of a sudden, it's five feet from the hole and he goes, "Oh, he's going to make it." I was like, "Yes." When he made it, he's like, "I can't hear you. I can't hear you yelling." Then I holed my putt and gave him the finger wag, but I think the best moment was right after that. We're walking off the green, fist bumps to each other, arms wrapped around each other's shoulders, just out there having a good time and talking. That's stuff that in golf you don't see because it's such an individual sport but for us out there, we're like a big family. Whether you're on the US side, European side, it doesn't matter. We're all out there trying to do the same thing. We all want everyone to play well and I think that's what's going to stand out the most in that match.


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