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October 7, 2009

Robert Allenby

Ernie Els

Retief Goosen

Vijay Singh


MARK WILLIAMS: We welcome the final quartet of the International squad, we have Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Robert Allenby. Vijay, if you could start and talk about your day out there today and what you're looking forward to playing with Robert tomorrow against Lucas and Stewart Cink.
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I mean, I'm looking forward to it. I've had some time off, did some good work on my game, my head, and I think I'm ready to go. I think Robert is going to keep me loose out there, vice versa. I think he's a little nervous, but we had a great game today. We had a great warm up with Camilo and Cabrera, and we played the format we are going to do tomorrow. It worked out pretty good. And the team looks really strong. Everybody has a good feeling about this, and we are just going to go with that.
MARK WILLIAMS: Ernie, you are going to be paired with Adam Scott versus Hunter Mahan and Sean O'Hair. Tell us about your day and how you combined in practice.
ERNIE ELS: Very similar. You know, today we played the alternate-shot the way we think we want to play tomorrow. So I thought it went okay. We like the golf course. I think it's an excellent golf course. Very well set up. Seems like the greens got a little firmer and quicker today.
And so yeah I think Vijay said the team is looking forward to the week. Seems like we are a bit more of the underdogs than we used to be, and with our record, we definitely are the underdogs. We normally come here with a very good team on paper and it seems like this year, some of us haven't played that great.
But we have had some really great performances from some of the players. But we feel like we are underdogs, and I think we kind of want to prove something this week. So I think the guys are really up for it.
ROBERT ALLENBY: Just go along with those two guys. (Laughter).
VIJAY SINGH: He stole my line.
ROBERT ALLENBY: Retief is going to talk for me. (Laughter).
Look, our whole team has bonded very well throughout the week, and you know, me personally, I was very happy to get on the team, very happy to play well when I needed to to make the team. So now that I'm here, so far it's been a lot of fun and I know just all of the guys, we are all looking forward to it, good matches every day.
The Presidents Cup is always played in good spirits and there's no bad talks or anything like that. You know, I'm pretty happy to be playing with Vijay. If I'm going to keep him loose, I'm sure he's going to keep me loose, too. So we will be massaging each other around the golf course. That would be on the shoulders, that would be. (Laughter).
I'm looking forward to a great week, and I know it's going to be a lot of fun for us.
MARK WILLIAMS: Retief, some comments from you, you're in the final pairing with Y.E. Yang, you spent some time practicing with him, and have you learned anything about him that you didn't know beforehand?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I think the way I'm struggling, he's going to be carrying me around the golf course. He's a pretty strong lad.
No, I'm looking forward to the week. Like Ernie says, in the past we have sort of been on paper the stronger team, and we didn't do too well. So this is the first time we are sort of underdogs. So I think the team spirit is a little bit different. I think we sort of want to prove ourselves a little bit more this week. So the guys are pretty fired up. We have a lot of young talent and everybody seems to be playing pretty good. The course suits pretty much every player on the team. There's a lot of short holes and a few long holes, so it's a good mix of holes for match play.

Q. Probably for Vijay and Ernie, because you have been around the longest, why do you think -- obviously the foursomes has been a problem for the International Team, the alternate-shot. But do you think that it's been more difficult to bond because you're all from such different places in the world, rather like the U.S. Team is from here, they have their flag, and you guys are a little bit from all over the place?
ERNIE ELS: (Gesturing to Vijay to answer. )
VIJAY SINGH: You want me to answer that?
I don't know why we haven't played well in the foursomes. I feel like we have the best combination we have to put out there and we get along very well. It's got nothing to do with coming from so many different parts of the world.
Just might as well pick the teams out of a hat, maybe we would do better. We try to make the best combination possible, and we just got out-played every time.
But you know, looking ahead this year, I think we have come up with the same kind of combination (laughing), which looks good. It looks great.
So hopefully it's going to work out. There's no real equation that you're going to put on paper that's going to work. You just have to go out there and play good golf and I think that's what the guys are geared up for and hopefully the golf is going to be a little bit more favorable to us this time.
ERNIE ELS: I think the U.S. Team, they were struggling with the foursomes format for quite a while in The Ryder Cup. And I think The Presidents Cup gave them a bit of confidence in their foursomes because they started figuring out who to play Tiger with and Mickelson with, and some of their players that make both teams. I think they have found a way, and you know, obviously it's helped them in The Ryder Cup. Obviously they keep those same kind of pairings for The Presidents Cup and obviously they get a bit more confident.
So for us playing every two years, we have got to find new partnerships a lot of the time because our team changes quite a bit. So to get the right mix is sometimes a bit tricky, as Vijay says, and hopefully we have worked a bit harder on it this time around. I'm trying to get the right mix with guys playing with each other.
So you know, hopefully it comes off this time. We didn't have a good start in Canada, we were 5 1/2-1/2. So anything better than that would be great.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: Something like that. You know the stats.

Q. You played in The Presidents Cup since its inception, and you're one of the main players and a leader out there. You've played in Canada, Australia, South Africa; any plans of taking it to Fiji in 2015? There's a nice course out there right now, that you designed.
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. We haven't really even thought about that. Let's just focus on trying to win the Cup and not where we take it.
Maybe years to come, you never know. Right now, I think next year in, two years' time, it's going to be in Australia. I think that's close enough, you know. I think the guys from there can make the trip over.
It would be nice. I don't think Fiji supports the amount of crowd that our Presidents Cup needs, but I think Australia is pretty much like home anyway.

Q. For the whole panel, both captains came out and said that rather than who you played with, it was when you were going off was more important to you. Do you feel like that, because Retief is late and certain guys wanted to go early. Is that more of an effect rather than who you play with?
VIJAY SINGH: Robert, you answer.
RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I don't think there was really a talking point on who was going out first, who was going out last, no.
Obviously Greg had to put his name down and Fred put the name on top, so it just happened to work out that way really. No, we didn't really talk in the team room about who is going to go out first and last.
ROBERT ALLENBY: I think the only thing that you ever think about really in foursomes is you take your best pairing and try and get them, say, with whoever Tiger is playing with.
But you know, sometimes it doesn't work out. You know, you can have all these plans set for, well, we want these two to play these two and these two to play those two, and you know, half the time it never works out that way.

Q. Pretty much like what Vijay was saying, you guys can play together, draw the names out of a hat, but some guys want to go out early.
ROBERT ALLENBY: Pretty much. Foursomes is such a tricky game. It is. You've got to think about the golf balls. I think golf balls are probably the number one factor. Sure, we are all very good, but every manufacturer makes a different golf ball. I'm a Srixon and they make like six or seven golf balls. Whether it's TaylorMade or Callaway or Titleist or whatever it may be, you've got to somehow try and see if you can pair similar golf balls together, if not the same golf ball, together. It does make it a little bit easier, because then you don't have another factor to worry about, well, I'm going to go try this ball out for nine holes or whatever it may be, or chip-and-putt. You've only got two days to get used to a foreign golf ball. So there's a few factors in it that way.

Q. Obviously you guys have a lot of experience on the team this year, but you also have a few new faces. Could this event maybe come down to how those guys play, the rookies? And have they injected some new life into the team?
ERNIE ELS: It's exciting. I think Ryo is one of the most exciting players in the world today.
You know, I was sitting with him at dinner last night and I asked him how his year has gone and he told me he's won four times on the Japanese Tour. So he's the winningest-player on our team. He's 18 years old. He's just an unbelievable talent.
We have obviously Y.E. Yang, winning a major. I'm not sure who the other rookies are -- Camilo, obviously he's a great player, had a great year last year.
So we have got some new faces, new talent. Yeah, you're right, maybe it gives us a bit of a boost. I know Vijay has played every one, I've played most of them, Retief has played a lot of them, and so has Robert. So we have got a little bit of scar tissue.
But yeah, we just want to play good as a team to be honest. I think we have got good pairings for tomorrow, and hopefully it comes off, we have a pretty good day tomorrow and we can be in the tournament and hopefully it comes down to the last day and we have a chance to win.
I think we'll have to go back to the drawing board and see who is going to play with whom on the final day. But I think we have got a pretty good chance.

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