Perspective the motto for Els as Leishman disagrees with Cantlay


13 Dec 2019, 12:26 IST

International captain Ernie Els

Ernie Els maintained the Internationals are still in a “very good position” at the Presidents Cup, despite a late fightback from the United States.

Defending champions the USA won two foursomes matches late on Friday to shift the momentum in Melbourne.

The Internationals led all five matchups not long after 14:00 local time (03:00 GMT), which would have given them a 9-1 advantage heading into Saturday morning’s four-ball.

However, the Internationals ended day two 6.5 – 3.5 ahead of the USA following clutch birdie putts from Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

As the Internationals fight to snap the USA’s dominance and claim their first Presidents Cup crown since 1998, captain Els said: “It’s perspective, isn’t it? I’ve got to look at where we are.

“It’s easy to just look at where we could have been, because it was looking really unbelievable. But we’re in a very good position.”

“The big picture is what it is,” Els continued. “I’m just looking at my guys and I want my guys to play as good as they can and get as good a result as they can. They have put a lot of work into this and it’s been quite a week already. This was probably good for them, showing what can happen the last couple holes.

“Saying that, we’re in the lead. The Americans played wonderfully on the 18th hole and all credit to them. They stuck to it and they grinded it. My guys learnt a lot from this afternoon. We won’t make this happen again. But they played great birdies, great shots, and that’s why they are champions.”

After the USA battled to keep the Internationals in sight, American golfer Cantlay told reporters the momentum is with the champions ahead of the first match on Saturday.

But International and Australian star Marc Leishman – who beat Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson 3 and 2 alongside Abraham Ancer – added: “I would probably disagree. It’s very early. They were tied – they made a couple good putts on 18, definitely give them that, but I don’t think you get momentum with two putts. We played pretty well the first two sessions.

“Yes, today probably didn’t finish off the way we wanted to but we still halved the session. We know it’s 18-hole matches and you have to be right there at the end.

“They made a couple putts at an important time, but if they feel that, that’s great. We probably don’t feel that way.”

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