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December 13, 2019

Tiger Woods

Ernie Els

Melbourne, Australia

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with Captain Els and Captain Woods.

Q. Wonder your that process, giving yourself a rest when you seem to be playing so very well.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, that was kind of the game plan. It would be hard for me to go all the sessions. I've been fortunate enough to go out there with J.T. and we've gotten two points. J.T. played great and Rickie played awesome this afternoon. They have been looking forward to playing with one another. They have had success before, and send them back out.

Q. Lou I said, if possible, you're more intense as a captain than as a player; if so, why do you think that is?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I answered that yesterday. I can understand how my friends and family felt for so many years, when you're rooting for somebody, you really pull for them. That's what I'm doing, like a relative, parent this week (smiling).

Q. I saw some of the South African fans chanting for you today. You're building a team culture, but can you discuss the importance of the fans building a culture, as well, so that being a fan of the International Team is an actual phenomena and a real thing?
ERNIE ELS: Thank you, yeah, the crowd were brilliant today. I got on them a little bit yesterday. Today we didn't have to do anything. They were really supportive and I think they were very fair to the U.S. Team.

We want to have a home game, and this is a home game for us. Although we've nine different regions representing our team, this is our home game. So we want the fan support, and obviously that's some really young players in my team that might not have the recognition yet, so they are learning as they go along, the fans do.

Q. How afraid were you when Justin Thomas was screaming at you on the 18th hole?
TIGER WOODS: He should have been afraid of me, too (laughter) because we were both were screaming. It was a phenomenal moment, and it was priceless. So I'm glad we were able to experience it together.

Q. Can you talk about how big those last three matches were?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, at one point, we were down in four and even in one, and so it looked pretty bleak, but the guys turned it around. They played phenomenal coming in. It was important for us to end the way we did and it totally changed the last hour.

Q. To follow up on what Tiger said there, a lot of the players have talked about the fact that they feel like they may have kind of flipped this a little at the last hour. Do you feel that way, one, and two, if so, how do you approach that with your team tonight?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, they played good at the end there. Tiger and J.T. won the last hole to win their match. Patrick Cantlay made another brilliant putt to win the last.

But hey, look at the record we've had in the foursomes the last 25 years for us to come out 2 1/2-2 1/2 in the session is like a win for us. We would have taken that at the start of the day.

Q. We've just heard from the Internationals that they think maybe the jet-lag is wearing off. How do you feel the energy levels are on the team right now?
TIGER WOODS: What was the last part?

Q. How are the energy levels on your team right now?
TIGER WOODS: Oh, the energy has been there. These guys are all young and extremely excited about being a part of this team. I think more than anything, it's just getting a feel for this golf course. It is fast. It was faster today than it was yesterday. The guys have been able to go out there and get a feel for it. As I said, the wind direction has been constant.

It's amazing, I was telling the guys, the acceptance of a wedge shot to 20, 30, 40, feet is a good shot. That's normally not the case, but it is this week.

Q. Webb and Patrick really haven't gotten it going yet but you're going to put them out there again. Is that more game plan or gut, just thinking they are due?
TIGER WOODS: Well, they have paired up well and they have played well. Unfortunately they just haven't won points. But they have done all the little things right. It's just a matter of having things go your way, and that's part of playing these team sessions. You know, a putt here, a shot here or there, or you just get outplayed, it happens.

But these guys have paired up really well. They are excited about being with one another, and they have handled everything extremely well.

Q. Just wondering, just how familiar you are with this T.O. video that --
TIGER WOODS: Team what?

Q. The T.O. video that J.T. was referencing when he was yelling at you.
TIGER WOODS: Very familiar with it, yes. We were looking at it and we had our moment on the last hole, and we both said it at the same time.

Q. With Geoff Ogilvy being an Aussie on the management team, how much of a say has he it in the way the course is being managed by the International Team?
ERNIE ELS: A lot. You know, all the Aussie guys who have played Royal Melbourne have had input. With me knowing the course very well, we have all had input. It's been very fruitful for our team, and it will continue.

The guys are getting to know the course really well now, almost as well as I've known it. You know, that's a positive.

Q. I wonder if you found it easier leaving two players out or four players out as you have today? Is it a simpler process leaving four players out?
TIGER WOODS: No, it's not. Leaving four players out is very difficult because we all know that all 12 guys are talented. They can all play. They are a part of this team and part of the squad. For guys on our team who have been part of Ryder Cups, it's very difficult.

We understand that going in. We've had talks about it. It's very rare that in this format that -- well, if you're playing four pairings, it's very rare that somebody goes all five. And so the guys knew that. This is a different format than what we had in previous Presidents Cups where every player was guaranteed to play every day. This is a little bit different, and we all understand that.

Q. Coming in with having played as well as you have in two days, would you have thought being captain would have some sort of impact on your play, maybe in a negative way, because of all the other things that you have to do, and vice versa, has playing impacted your ability to be captain?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think that going into this week, it's about putting everything in their own little different boxes. I've had to -- I've been very fortunate to have had three of the most amazing vice captains. They have all been there, done that, have seen it, and their commitment to this, I couldn't have done this without them. I wouldn't have accepted this role without them.

So trying to understand what's going on with all the different players; meanwhile, trying to get ready to play, certainly has had its challenges. But Stricks and Coups and Zach have been just unbelievable. I wouldn't be here in front of you guys doing this if it wasn't for them.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for the time. Good luck tomorrow.

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