Els rues letting Presidents Cup get away

Internationals captain Ernie Els is rueing the Presidents Cup that got away after Tiger Woods' star-studded outfit produced an unprecedented last-day comeback.

15-Dec-2019 By Darren Walton, Australian Associated Press
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A shattered Ernie Els rued the Internationals' inability to put Tiger Woods' triumphant team of US superstars to the sword after watching the Presidents Cup slip from his grasp.

The Internationals fell painfully short of claiming the trophy for the first time in 21 years after Woods inspired the US to an unprecedented 16-14 comeback win at Royal Melbourne.

While the US rejoiced in becoming the first team in Cup history to reign supreme after trailing into the Sunday singles, Els lamented the Internationals' failure to land the knockout blow.

Els' underdogs' had the chance to take a massive 9-1 buffer during Friday's foursomes but couldn't convert any of four live late-on leads into wins.

A succession of last-hole birdies from Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau and Justin Thomas stole two-and-a-half points from the Internationals in a telling five-point swing that turned the tide the Americans' way.

"We talked about that, and that was probably the difference," Els said.

"We had so much momentum. We had so much going for us at the end there. They won that 18th hole twice and halved it - that's almost two-and-a-half points.

"Absolutely, that was something. I wouldn't say we totally lost momentum but it was to me. I felt it was a bit of a blow.

"The team didn't react in that way, which I was really proud of, but me as captain - and I didn't reveal it to them - but I felt we had them right in the headlock and we didn't quite finish it off on that particular time."

Despite his dejection, the skipper also found a silver lining from the heartbreaking defeat.

"Great strides were made, especially in our team play," Els said after the Internationals - fielding seven rookies and the youngest Presidents Cup line-up ever - led after the team's play for the first time since 2003.

"I really felt that our team play was really the core of our team, and that never was."


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