Many thought Peter Hanson would be a one Cup wonder – but he’s back again for more. Before heading for Medinah, he spoke to us...
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RYDER CUP ROOKIE EXPERIENCE?
It was fantastic, you just want to do it again. Probably the biggest goal of my 2012 season was to get back on that team because the first time you play, you’re taking a little more of a backseat and listening to the more experienced players. Lee Westwood was a fantastic leader in the team room, I learnt a lot from him. Colin was a great captain – it’s hard work during the week.
WHAT WERE THE BEST BITS OF THE WEEK?
The build-up was fantastic; so many expectations and feelings and everything that goes into it. Walking from the putting green to that 1st tee was something I’ll never forget. To see that ball take off and land in the middle of the fairway was really special.
HOW WOULD YOU RATE COLIN MONTGOMERIE AS A RYDER CUP CAPTAIN?
He was amazing. In the build-up to getting on the team I felt like I had a lot of support. I was one of the guys chasing that last spot and Monty really pushed me to play a few extra events and qualify for that team. He made me feel like he wanted me on his team, which is important. That is a very strong thing to do as captain; to not only think about your star players, but to care about the bottom of the team too.
HOW DID YOU HANDLE THE NERVES?
It was really hard, but I enjoyed it. Walking to that 1st tee was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been on a golf course. Then after a few holes you get into your comfort zone. I was happy with the way I played, I came into the event with some good form and qualified last, so I was playing well and was happy with my performances. It tailed off towards the end. I didn’t play as well as I would have liked in the singles against Mickelson and he played really well. Obviously with it going to a Monday finish, I may have been a bit tired mentally, I’m not sure. That’s why I really want to get back on the team and get some revenge.
WHO WERE EUROPE'S DOMINANT FIGURES IN THE TEAM ROOM?
Lee was a fantastic leader and a great role model. He really helped me a lot, giving me support and confidence in my game.
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE WITH THAT CRUCIAL SHOT IF YOU WERE MAHAN?
Things happen, with the last game and all that pressure, it’s hard to say but maybe I’d have run it up the hill with a rescue club. You’re so much in the game mode, I’m sure he never thought he’d hit it like that but that’s what pressure can do sometimes.
WHOSE PERFORMANCE ON EITHER TEAM SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?
Rickie Fowler did really well,especially birdieing those last three holes to halve his match with Edoardo Molinari, was really special and something I’m sure he’ll remember for a long time. The Ryder Cup brings the best out of everyone; you see a lot of fantastic shots. The one I’ll always remember is my second shot to 15. We were in a bit of trouble and Overton and Watson had both drove it onto the green and I hit my drive long and left into the hazard and managed to get it to four to five feet and hole the putt to squeeze a half. It’s those shots when you look back you’ll always remember.
HOW WERE THE CELEBRATIONS AFTERWARDS?
We celebrated hard! It was a great evening, standing on the balcony in front of all of the spectators cheering and singing, great tradition of the winning team going in to the losing team’s team room and we played a bit of table tennis and had a little too much to drink but it was great fun.
WAS MIGUEL A GOOD PARTNER FOR YOU IN YOUR FIRST RYDER CUP?
I really enjoyed playing with Miguel. Playing with someone who’s been in that situation a few times helped me. Like I say, I was happy with my performance early on.
HOW DOES THAT WEEK RANK IN YOUR LIFE’S ACHIEVEMENTS?
It’s definitely right up there, although it’s hard to compare to the Major championships, where I’ve had a few decent performances lately. To be part of a winning team is different. A team effort is so much greater than winning individually. Especially if you win you celebrate together. If you win on Tour, it can still be quite lonely.