U.S. team bonding on full display during Presidents Cup victory

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Let's face it: You didn't come here to read about Si Woo Kim's missed birdie putt on the 15th hole of the fourth singles match Sunday afternoon, one which guaranteed Daniel Berger a half-point and officially clinched the Presidents Cup victory for the United States team.

The final day at Liberty National was devoid of any drama. As Patrick Reed explained afterward: "We could've sent three guys out there and figured out a way to get one point." To which Jordan Spieth, now 0-5 in singles matches for his career, countered, "Not if I was one of 'em."

They said these words, big smiles spread across their faces, in the team media conference, which stretched into a chilly evening undoubtedly warmed up by what was sitting in the cups in front of most of them.

Now that's what you wanted to read about.

If the final session lacked emotion, the interview room was packed with it. This was like holding the tailgate party after the big game. There they sat, all 17 team members -- captain Steve Stricker, his four assistants and the 12 players -- in various states of giggling and whispering, an entire schoolhouse of inattentive class clowns.

It began when a handful of players sat down at the dais before a PGA Tour moderator, so Matt Kuchar took the situation into his own hands.

"I'd like to welcome everyone to the 2017 post-Presidents Cup press conference," he opened, fulfilling those duties flawlessly. After asking a few questions of his teammates, he looked out to the bemused media assembled before them and solicited questions. When none were immediately asked, Kevin Kisner stood up and pronounced, "No questions? Time to roll."

Oh, but there were questions. So many questions.

There was one for Stricker, about whom he would endorse as the next team captain. Kisner, the rookie, sitting to his immediate right, enthusiastically raised his hand.

There was one for Dustin Johnson, who was dutifully checking his phone at the time, before realizing he was being addressed, asking, "Me? Really? Why?"

There was one for Phil Mickelson, asked in broken English and difficult to understand, which he tried to decipher, then replied, "I think that it's a really good question."

There was one for Jordan Spieth, in regard to the best song belted out by International team fan club The Fanatics. Without hesitation, he started singing, "I Si Woo, shakin' that ass, shakin' that ass, shakin' that ass ..."

Johnson, normally as low-key and restrained in these interview room settings as anyone, immediately chimed in, "That was the best song, for sure." Within minutes, he was singing it, too -- and yes, he was also shakin' his ass.

Even the fun and games, though, led to more questions about the fun games.

Consider it a chicken-or-the-egg type of conundrum. Does the team that has the most fun often win more, or is it the team that is winning more therefore have the most fun?

"We've always had fun in these events, whether we've won or lost," Mickelson explained. "We always have a great time. We've always come together and really enjoyed each other's friendship and company these weeks -- the experiences, the highs, the lows -- and those moments bring you closer and those relationships last a career.

"But winning is even more special. It adds to the memories. It makes you want to remember it more. A performance like this was unique because I've never felt this stress-free on Sunday. We're always uptight. We're always anxious. It's always a close Sunday final. ... But we knew what the result was going to be. We just didn't know what the final tally or how it was all going to play out, so we didn't feel that stress. It was very weird. In all the ones I've played in, I've never had an experience like this."

For a moment, things got serious. The smiles were still there, the cups still weren't empty. The man who has played in all 12 of these Presidents Cup was getting wistful about this one.

Then Matt Kuchar spoke up.

"This team was just an amazing bunch of guys, amazing performance," he deadpanned, before sticking in the needle to the man sitting directly to his left. "We had 11 guys in the Tour Championship. Everybody except Phil Mickelson was at East Lake. It was like, how many times does it happen that you get 11 out of 12. If it wasn't for Phil, we would have had 12 of 12, but Phil was not there. So we were one guy short of having an entire team there and if Phil was there, that would have been the whole team. Like how many times does a team ever have that many guys play that well to make the Tour Championship?"

With the entire team in hysterics, Mickelson tried to explain himself, only to have Kuchar turn to Justin Thomas, winner of last week's $10 million FedEx Cup first-place prize, and say, "Justin, tell him how great East Lake was."

This wasn't just a bunch of professional golfers yukking it up in public. This was an inside look into how they've bonded this week, a peek at how they've seamlessly transformed from ruthless competitors in an individual pursuit to teammates collaborating together toward one goal.

At the end of the interview session, once most of those cups were finally empty and they'd all decided they needed to bring the tailgate party to a more private location, the interview room was infiltrated by members of the U.S. fan club called We The People.

All of the players still smiling, they posed for a group photograph with the fans, everyone getting together to mug for the cameras. Everyone, that is, except for Johnson, who was standing on a chair, still singing, "I Si Woo, shakin' that ass, shakin' that ass, shakin' that ass ..."

The lasting memories of this Presidents Cup didn't come on the course, where it was settled early. They came afterward, the team that won together still celebrating with each other as they marched off into the night, searching for more fun.