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September 30, 2017

Steve Stricker

Nick Price

Jersey City, New Jersey

CHRIS REIMER: As we head to Sunday's final matches, we want to thank the captains for joining us. We'll go ahead and start by opening for questions.

Q. What will you say to these guys? It's a tough ask but it's still there.
NICK PRICE: You know, these guys have played their hearts out. I think the emotion that Si-Woo Kim and Anirban Lahiri showed on the last green sort of epitomizes our team. They got a standing ovation when they walked in our team room tonight, which, it was fantastic. First time we had seen a match go our way for a long time. But our boys, they haven't lost their senses of humor; I can tell you that. We may be down, but we are not out.

You know, five of us here, we've given it our best shot this week. We've just come up against a juggernaut of an American Team that has not put a foot wrong, it seems like, in three days. They have had all the momentum and we've had nothing.

It's been very difficult. But you know, there's no hard feelings. These guys have played phenomenally well so far. So you know, there's an outside shot tomorrow, and the guys all know that. They are going to go play for their pride, they are going to play for themselves, they are going to play for the team and they are going to play for us. They are going to do their best. You're not going to be able to take the spirit away out from our team, that's for sure.

Q. You've seen a lot of teams, whether it's the Presidents Cup or The Ryder Cup. Have you ever seen a team talked about and functioning as impressively as this one?
STEVE STRICKER: I have not, no. They have come up big in a number of situations.

Again, this afternoon, I didn't think we got off to a particularly good start. The International Team was up in most of the matches. We may have been up in one. But it was, you know, not looking great for us in the afternoon.

Again, they find a will and a way to gut it out and make some key shots, make some key putts and rally back to do what they did in the afternoon. So that happened quite a bit during the week, you know, where we got off to some slow starts and they fought their way back, and ended up winning the whole session again.

They are just having a lot of fun. Like I keep saying, they came in here with a lot of momentum, a lot of confidence, and a lot of desire to play well here.

Q. Given the situation, I know you talk to the team every night. What's going to be your message tonight?
STEVE STRICKER: Same thing as it has been every other night: To take care of business tomorrow, to win the session. That won't change. You know, and then the guys start talking. You know, a lot of guys have stepped up and said a lot of different things throughout the course of the week, and this will be important. This will be a learning experience for a lot of guys tomorrow. It's different playing with a big lead like we have, and so it's still, you know -- the message is it's not over yet, either. Even though we need a full point, it's not over and we have to go out and still take care of business.

NICK PRICE: We think you should tell your boys not to panic tomorrow (laughter).

Q. Steve, were you concerned when they came in with such confidence that maybe that would be a bad situation?
STEVE STRICKER: I was concerned with that from the start. We talked about that straightaway. Even talked with them about that down in Chicago when we got together for a dinner.

You know, the majority of those guys are playing well and playing well all season and all the way through the Playoffs. I just didn't want them to be overconfident and feeling like it was, you know, going to be an easy thing coming in here.

So we talked about that straightaway, and again, tonight, we'll talk about that, as well. Just continue to talk about the same things like we have every other night.

Q. Given the form of the U.S. Team from the PGA all through the FedEx, was there any concern something like this might happen? And what, as you look back over the last two days, if anything, has surprised you?
NICK PRICE: The first part of your question, I thought we would be competitive this week. You know, as I always said, 18-hole match play is very unpredictable.

You know, the last two days, we've just had no momentum. I don't know how you get that. The American Team has made a lot of putts. They have hit great shots. Every time we had an opportunity to do something, we seemed to take the wrong road or the wrong direction.

They have been very tough. They are a tough, tough team. Our guys just, like I say, we just haven't had any momentum. Five of us have racked our brains to try to change some of the pairings and see if we could mix it up a little bit, but it seems like everything we tried kind of backfired on us.

It's been a very hard week for us, but like I say, I spoke to Ernie now. He's going to be probably the captain the next time. I said, we've got to figure out what we're going to do the next time. You know, not everything is lost.

Q. I know it's kind of hard to assess, but looking at the American Team and all the experiences you've had in previous Presidents Cups, could you think that -- would this team have beaten or been the strongest team you would have faced in all the previous Presidents Cups you've ever played in?
NICK PRICE: Yeah, I mean, they are a very strong team. But the fact that we haven't really put a whole lot of pressure on them has been difficult for us, too.

I don't know, there just hasn't been -- sort of on the golf course; we've had a great gelling off the golf course and in the team room and everything. But just on the golf course, there's been no momentum. You can't really test that team unless you have some kind of pressure on them.

But they are a tough team. I mean, there's no weaknesses in any of their pairings, I don't think. You know, they just get things done when they need to, and that's the difference.

ERNIE ELS: I think coming into this week, you know, this U.S. Team, I think if you just look at form, just basic form, really guys on form, I think from top to bottom, I think most of them are on form. You know, you've got one guy winning $20 million last week, and Major Champion winners in there, tournament winners.

We have the same, but just based on pure form running into this week; the timing of their form has been exceptional. And then you look at their talent on the team, it's pretty exceptional, too.

So you combine all of those factors, I think you're going to have a very strong team, and they have got youth on their side. Obviously the most experienced guy, ever, in Presidents Cup in Phil Mickelson. They had a lot going for them this week. We have a young team. Also a winner's team. They have won tournaments around the world and on TOUR this year.

So we have got a lot to look forward to, I believe. We're going to work hard with Nick. This is a lot of our first time, with Tony and Nick here as veterans, and as youngsters, this was a huge learning experience, and a hell of a job this guy's done. Not only this year, but the last two years. I played with Nick in 2013 on his team, and you couldn't have had a better captain. We tried to help out a little bit.

This guy deserves a lot of credit. It's been a very tough week on him obviously. We played an exceptionally well organized, very talented group of players, and they were on.

Q. Can you expand upon the decision to lead with Chappell and Hoffman tomorrow?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, they are a couple of rookies. They only had played twice leading up to this point. Thought it would be a good position for them to go out and gain some really good experience. And they wanted that position.

So we thought it was a good decision to have, and they are excited to be there in that spot.

Q. I was wondering if you had any thought on that weird ruling with Jordan with the moving ball and what -- I guess what you thought about it in terms of, didn't really impact anything, and yet, I don't know, maybe it seemed to fire him up. It was a strange situation.
STEVE STRICKER: I didn't see it. I wasn't there. I got bits and pieces of it. Again, it's one of those rules. The ball was already passed the hole, kind of thing.

I guess a rule's a rule. What happened, was it -- was somebody already in for an eagle --

NICK PRICE: Yeah, I was there. I was there.

Jason Day chipped up, was in the hole for three. They gave him his putt. The other two chipped on. They were about eight. Jordan was probably about seven, eight feet. Patrick Reed was about 12 feet; he missed his putt -- oh, I beg your pardon. Louie putted from behind the green. He hit a really good tee shot. Went just over the back of the green. He tried to make a 2. He hit the putt. It was running past the hole. It had run past the hole and was running off the green, and Jordan picked the ball up while it was still moving. I didn't know the rule, but you're not allowed to touch a moving ball.

Anyway, the referee, Andy McFee, came up to Jordan, told him of the incident. And Louis and Jason Day went up and said: Just that's not -- he didn't do it with any intent and whatever. We didn't think he should be penalized.

We had a little bit of a talk there. And then Louis said to me, "We're just going to concede the next hole then" which I thought was a really sportsman like gesture.

And Jordan wouldn't have anything of it. He said, "No, we'll play the next hole as it is."

So there was a lot of really goodwill and good sportsmanship in there. It's just -- it's a shitty rule (laughter). It really is. A shame. I felt so bad for Jordan. We all did, because he didn't do it with any intent or any malice.

You know, but anyway, our boys went to the next hole 1-up. They just wanted to concede the next hole. But Jordan didn't want anything to do with it.

So you know, good on them both. Good on both teams. I think that showed the spirit of the game was more important than what actually happens sometimes.

Q. Was any particular consideration given to where you should place Phil tomorrow, given the sentiment to his number of appearances, etc., etc.?
STEVE STRICKER: We thought about him a little bit. You know, it's always hard. There's guys that want to go in certain spots. But you end up trying to make the matchups to the best of your ability as you can. We've got some really strong players towards the end, you know, can Koepka, Spieth -- well, starting -- shoot, you can go all the way from -- I'm not even going to start because they all look very strong to me the way they played this week.

But Phil, we thought we would put out there towards the end, and just have some security there, I guess. Hopefully it doesn't come down all the way to that end. But yeah, we talked about him a little bit.

CHRIS REIMER: Thank you, both, and best of luck tomorrow.

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