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December 15, 2019

Ernie Els

Melbourne, Australia

Q. What do you think the deciding factor was in the Sunday singles?
ERNIE ELS: Well, I think the first match was a crucial one, the way it went down. We needed that. In any case, yeah, quite a few, but I wanted to be well-placed for the final push. I have a lot of experience at the back and knew it was going to get very close. The Americans just played really great golf. They made the putts when they needed to and they got some crucial wins throughout the day.

And also, the 18th hole, that second day they got a lot of matches here on 18. All of those things together, that's probably the difference.

Q. At the start of this week, everyone on your team had nothing but praise for you as a captain in terms of your preparation and plan. What do you have to say about this group of 12?
ERNIE ELS: I can only give them my love. They tried so hard. They played so hard for each other and the team, and to buy into something new like I tried, I really have to take my hat off to every one of them. There are a lot of young, young players, a lot of players that the world has never seen or heard but you will see them a lot in the future. I have admiration for my guys and the caddies and the wives, it's been fantastic.

Q. You said yesterday, regardless of the outcome, that this performance all week long has put the Presidents Cup on the map. What does it mean going forward?
ERNIE ELS: Absolutely. In our team matches, the four sessions in team matches, we did as good as ever. Our goal was to get to ten points by Saturday evening and get to singles; we played comfortable in singles. We've played well in singles in the past.

We're getting closer. We've just got to keep it up. You know, our team is not as deep as the U.S. Team. All credit to the U.S. Team. They have an absolute stacked team. They have great champions, major champions. We're building on that.

Q. Such a close four days, what do you think has been the difference?
ERNIE ELS: I think the first match was big. We were up in that match and it just didn't quite go our way, and then they got some momentum going. We were there in the end. We were going do it again at the end there, and just a couple of matches didn't quite go our way.

I also think that second session when they were really going hard, the Americans won the 18th hole, and there was 2 1/2 points that we didn't get on that day and that was probably the difference.

Q. The team all week long said they loved going for and you were well prepared and they were on board with everything going on this week. What do you have to say for the 12 players that played for you this week?
ERNIE ELS: You're going to make me cry now. I just love these guys. We've spent all week together and all year together with all the meetings we've had, and them buying into all the stuff that I came up with, and they were 100 percent in, and I was 100 percent with them. It was a collective effort of just great people, the wives, the caddies, PGA TOUR staff, everybody worked together on this one.

We didn't get the result we wanted, but we got 10 points in four sections of team play, and that means the team building was a success.

Q. When you were winning all over the world, you told me winning means, "I want to win some more." Now that you've had this experience, do you think perhaps you want to do it again in 2021 in Charlotte at Quail Hollow?
ERNIE ELS: We'll have to discuss that. There's been a lot of work going in this. I love these guys. Historically, it doesn't really go well, but we will see. I love these guys. We're taking this defeat that we've had today, and I'm not sure yet.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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