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November 19, 2011

Ernie Els

Retief Goosen

Kyung-Tae Kim


MARK WILLIAMS: We have Retief Goosen, Ernie Els and Kyung-tae Kim. Ernie, how about you just start us off and give us a couple of comments about your match with Ryo this morning, and obviously your match tomorrow with Furyk.
ERNIE ELS: This morning was a very long time ago. I can't really remember that long ago. What happened? (Laughing).
MARK WILLIAMS: It was a long day.
ERNIE ELS: Oh, yeah, we won. It was good. It was great playing with Ryo. He's a great young guy. He's going to be -- well, he's already a superstar in Japan, but you know, he's going to be a superstar wherever he plays, soon. He's got a great heart and you know, it took him a while to get used to the course, but I could feel the other afternoon when we played when it was blowing so much, I felt he was getting ready to know the course.
Yeah, we played nice this morning. We played good against Bubba and them, also, the first day, but they were better than us. But today, obviously he made some really crucial putts down the stretch. But obviously nice to get a point, only point this week so far, so it was nice.
MARK WILLIAMS: And Retief, you and Charl had a pretty successful run there. Talk about that match a little bit.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, me and Charl had a good time the last couple of days. This afternoon, we combined very well. You know, when I was out of the hole, he was in the hole.
So we never really gave any holes away, really, except 14 was the only hole we made two mistakes, the two of us, and then yeah, all I had to do was close it off, really, on 15 and 16, and I couldn't do it but eventually got it on 17.
MARK WILLIAMS: And then K.T., obviously an exciting moment for you, and Y.E., with the Tiger Woods/Dustin Johnson match. If you can just talk about that a little bit, obviously holing the winning putt.
K.T. KIM: Because all of the American players are very strong, you know, they are really good at playing golf, and even Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods, they are really great players, so at first, I was a bit nervous, but Y.E. Yang and I, we were playing before in Korea and Japan matching this year.
So we trusted each other and we had a great play.

Q. One of the things you see, in the alternate-shot, it's 8-3, and you look at the score, it's four points and you lost five. Even you personally have an excellent record in four-ball and a not-so-great record in alternate-shot. When you play, let's say, with Charl, and you're each playing your own ball, just talk about how difficult it is to play your own ball, and then how difficult it is to play the alternate-shot, even though it's the same partner.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, the alternate-shot, you're struggling to find a rhythm, because you hit one shot, and then like two holes later, you hit another shot almost. It depends how the game goes.
It's just hard to get into the flow of things. We for some reason did so well in the four-ball, but in the foursomes, yeah, we just couldn't -- we had a chance to really play well in the foursomes, but we messed up in the middle part of our round, and really never really got ourselves a chance back into the match.
I don't know, it's been -- in The Presidents Cup, it's been a bad match for us, foursomes. I've only been able to win one as far as I can remember; to win one outing in foursomes is quite amazing.

Q. You've obviously been playing in this for so long, but it always seems to come down to the singles, and maybe the four-ball you even have an advantage over the years, but it's just this alternate-shot every time seems to be your Achilles heel.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I think what Goose has said is true. It's a format we never really play, and you just never get into a really great rhythm.
You know, also, The Presidents Cup, the format's a bit different. All of the players have to play. So for us as a team, I think, you know, it's difficult to pair the guys up. There's only so many South Africans in the team, so many Koreans in the team.
So to team them up together all the time doesn't always work either. This week, yeah, we tried to put guys together who have played the course, like myself and I paired myself up with Ryo who has never played the course, and we have tried it with the guys who have never been here.
You know, it's a hell of a tough task. I've seen so many captains come and go, and you know, we still haven't got the formula right. I mean, Greg and Frank, the guys, Tim, they have all done an unbelievable job so far this week. But it's a difficult thing to get going.
But once that clicks, you know, this could be a lot different. But we've got to find that formula.

Q. Robert alluded to it, the singles are generally, historically, have been pretty much even. I think the most points you've of gotten is seven and a half, and I think that's the most anyone has ever gotten. Seeing what the situation is now, what logically can you do tomorrow, if anything, between now and then, to try to juice your team up to do something? If you're correct in the fact that you have not played well in four-ball, you guys are playing well, it's just the format in foursomes has been the difficulty.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, if you look back at it, you have the stats in front of you, I don't have the stats, but I can tell you that through our experience, we know that we are not good at the foursomes format.
So four-ball and singles, I think we can hold our own, as we have proven. Tomorrow we have got to win -- how's my math, 8 1/2 tomorrow out of 12 tomorrow. We have to do a Brookline, we have to do a miracle tomorrow. It can be done. The guys are in there and they are ready to go. It's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime deal if we pull it off, but it can be done.
We find ourselves in this little bit of a predicament because of our lack of foursomes play. You know, you can't even go through the year beforehand to play, because you don't know who is going to qualify for the team. So, it's difficult.
And I also think, you know, to start the matches off with foursomes puts us under a bit more strain. Because we don't play it every year, like the American Team does. So we are under pressure right from the get-go.

Q. For K.T., Captain Norman had talked about the fact that you might like match play more so than stroke play; what is it that you love about match play? And for Ernie and Retief, I apologize if you were asked this earlier, but how big was the point they captured today in giving your team a chance tomorrow?
K.T. KIM: I didn't play a lot of match play before, but recently I played a lot. Compared to other players, I haven't played much of it, but lately I've played a lot of match play. And for tomorrow, it's do-or-die play, so I will try my best to win the game, and although he's really a great player, I will do my best.

Q. How big was their point to give you guys a chance tomorrow, the point they took off Tiger and Dustin Johnson, how big was that for the team?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, it was great for them to pull that off today. K.T. holed a great putt on the last hole.
Yeah, any point today was a big plus for us. It came down pretty close today in a few matches. Jason Day and them looked like they were going down the last, and Hunter holed a very good putt on top of them there.
Yeah, it would have been nice to have had maybe just one more point closer, and then one point back. That could have made it quite exciting tomorrow. But tomorrow, the whole team has to really play well and hopefully like Ernie said, pull off a bit of a miracle.

Q. You play obviously a lot of golf; the last 36 hours from what you did yesterday in those conditions and playing now this morning and playing 36 today and this afternoon in these conditions, have you ever played anything like that, 30-plus degrees of swing, wind?
ERNIE ELS: I've been coming to Melbourne for quite a few years but I've only heard about the weather in Melbourne. When we played the Heineken Classic here, we had different breezes. I've played the north breeze and the southwesterly.
But today was quite amazing. I mean, it blew from the north and then it turned around and came from the south. We have had it all this week, which is amazing, on an amazing golf course. Because we truly are getting tested. You know, yesterday it was rock-hard, and you know, 35 degrees out there. And today it was almost blowing like in Scotland.
So, it's great. It's great to play in different conditions on an unbelievable golf course.

Q. But mentally tiring, obviously?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah. I mean, yeah, obviously. I'm 42, mate. (Chuckling). Takes a while to get the body going again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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