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December 14, 2019

Ernie Els

Byeonghun An

Melbourne, Australia

Q. How tough was that match?
BYEONGHUN AN: It was very tough. We knew it was going to be a tough match, but we were in great form and we were holing a lot of putts. Just unlucky that we tied on the last hole. You know, we still played great golf and still got a lot of golf left today and tomorrow. Me and Scotty got to keep the good form going and grind hard again.

Q. How proud are you of the guys so far in three sessions out of five, to have this big lead going into the afternoon on Saturday?
ERNIE ELS: They played great. You know, they played tough golf, good golf. The U.S. Team has done well here on 18 in a couple of matches, but other than that, the guys have really hung in there. They have played the course well. They have stuck to our game plan. The whole team has a game plan and they have stuck to it. I cannot be more proud of these guys over the last couple of sessions.

Q. Speaking of the game plan, what's it like playing for this guy, as prepared as he was, coming in here with all the experience he has in Presidents Cup, and now seeing it come to fruition and having this lead?
BYEONGHUN AN: Yeah, we were all ready to go by Wednesday. We were all prepared, and we know what our game plan was, and you can see by the scores we are sticking on it. We are playing the game plan, and it's all been working great. We got our portion of breaks yesterday, but just got to keep going and do what you're doing. We know what we're capable of, and that's what he keeps telling us; that they are good players, and we can easily win if we play the right golf and we play our golf.

It's not going to be easy, but we've got to grind it out and try to get the points.

Q. Tiger has decided to not put himself out there in the afternoon. How surprised were you to not see his name on the board when you made those announcements a few minutes ago?
ERNIE ELS: Well, it's a cold day, a cold morning, and we have all been up since very early. I could see it, when I saw Tiger today, this morning, he was walking a little bit stiff, you know, because he was a bit tight.

Surprised, but not, because of his injury that he's had with his back; and his record with J.T. has been unbelievable. It must be a little bit of a setback to them because Tiger has done so well in the last couple of sessions, but you know, obviously J.T. is playing with Rickie Fowler and they are a pretty good combination, too.

Q. We know what you do after day's end, you make pairings and talk to the team. But here we have a 40-minute gap between this session and the first one in the afternoon, so what does Captain Els do to get his team back jacked up again to get this thing rolling?
ERNIE ELS: Well, I'll get back there and we'll have a quick chat. Hopefully we have 40 minutes. I've heard that it wasn't 40 minutes, but I was told that it's going to be 40 minutes.

Q. Definitely 40 from when that last putt dropped?
ERNIE ELS: Okay, brilliant, thank you, because I've got some mixed reports there. I was getting a little uptight there.

No, the guys, we'll have a chat and we'll go through the program again and try and get them to stick to that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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