Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Notable Quotes: The Presidents Cup, Day 1 Four-ball Matches: International Leads U.S. 4-1

GOLF Channel Notable Quotes

Presidents Cup – Day 1 Four-Ball Matches

Royal Melbourne Golf Club

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 (Australia – Thursday, Dec. 11)


**International team leads the U.S. team 4-1 after the Thursday Four-ball matches.

**Presidents Cup Day 2 Foursomes live coverage airs Thursday from 7 pm-Midnight ET on GOLF Channel. Golf Central Live From the Presidents Cup will precede live tournament action from 4:30-7 p.m. ET.


Day 1 Four-Ball Matches Results (International def. U.S. 4-1)

Justin Thomas/Tiger Woods (U.S.)                4&3     Marc Leishman/Joaquin Niemann (INT)

Adam Hadwin/Sungjae Im (INT)                   1UP     Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (U.S.)

Adam Scott/Byeong Hun An (INT)               2&1     Bryson DeChambeau/Tony Finau (U.S.)

Hideki Matsuyama/C.T. Pan (INT)                1UP     Patrick Reed/Webb Simpson (U.S.)

Abraham Ancer/Louis Oosthuizen (INT)       4&3     Dustin Johnson/Gary Woodland U.S.)


International Team Captain Ernie Els speaking with GOLF Channel’s Steve Sands following Day 1

Ernie Els – “A little different from previous Cups. A great start obviously against an unbelievable team. The golf course was very tough and the golf was excellent. I was really proud of my team, making some big putts on 17 and finishing some tight matches against a great U.S. team.”

Els – “Preparation, it is the old cliché. You just have got to prepare, have a good plan and try to install that in the team. We have a long way to go but we haven’t a start like this in a lot of years. We will celebrate this little session victory and then we have three more days to go.”


U.S. Team Captain Tiger Woods speaking with GOLF Channel’s Steve Sands following Day 1

Tiger Woods – “We have to go out and earn the cup. We’re not done, we’re not out of it yet. It is a long week.

Woods – “We have a plan and obviously we have contingencies and so we are going to talk about things right now and get after the pairings.”


On Day 1 at the Presidents Cup

Paul Azinger – “It has been a little bit like a hammer vs a nail today. This International team got ready for the American juggernaut.”

Azinger – “Ernie Els sticking with those analytics is paying off in Day 1. He has taught these guys how to play this course. The International team has startled us all.”

Azinger – “Dream start for the International team. They put a lot of pressure on themselves and they are backing it up.”

David Feherty – “The International side had no chance, we were led to believe, this week against a very strong U.S. team. But the underdogs are barking.”

Azinger – “If the U.S. has got jetlag this is a great wake up call. The International Team was ready to rock today and they are sending a message to the Americans.”

Azinger – “The Americans will get better as the week goes on. They will familiarize themselves with a very strategic golf course. It is like playing over in Scotland on a links-style golf course. It is that firm but you have to have Augusta National kind of strategy and knowledge in order to be successful here. So, it is really imperative the International Team doesn’t let the Americans get out of sight or out in front.”


International Team Captain Ernie Els speaking with GOLF Channel’s Steve Sands during the matches

Ernie Els – “They have played wonderful and are playing with grit. It is a very tough golf course with these conditions. They are hanging in there and playing well.”

Els – “This has been a work in progress all year. The guys are playing at a high level and that is how they should play against this U.S. team. We are not as deep as they are so we know we have had to come up with some good pairings.”


On Justin Thomas/Tiger Woods defeating Marc Leishman/Joaquin Niemann 4&3

Justin Leonard – “If I’m Tiger Woods and looking at the board, I’m saying, “Boys I’m going back out there tomorrow. More importantly, boys, what are you doing? Let’s go, let’s get this thing going.”

Paul Azinger – “If you look at Tiger’s swing now, it is as nice as it has ever been. It is not as strong or as fast, but it certainly is efficient. It is just going to be consistency and repeatability for him.”

Dan Hicks – “Justin Thomas let Tiger Woods take this show over today.”


Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas speaking with GOLF Channel’s Steve Sands following their match

Tiger Woods (on the importance of getting the first point) – “It was important for us, the U.S. side. JT and I went out there and partnered up well. We got out to a quick start, got up on them early and kind of held on from there.”

Justin Thomas (on what was working so well between the two of them) – “Tiger was working so well between the two of us today. He played great. I just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities but that is what you have a partner for. It was awesome. It is nice knowing when I step up on a par-3 or par-4 that I feel free just because I know he is playing well. He did and that is why we got it done.”


On Sungjae Im/Adam Hadwin defeating Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele 1UP

Paul Azinger – “When Adam Scott was talking about a different energy and excitement in the International team room, Im and Hadwin are two he was referring to. Im is the “Iron Byron” of the International squad and Hadwin is one of those guys you can feed off of his energy.”

Jerry Foltz – “The consensus is that Im is playing is the best golf on the team. He played that way today.”

Azinger – “That is the biggest upset today. To beat Schauffele and Cantlay today is a huge win for the Internationals.”


On Adam Scott/Byeong Hun An defeating Bryson DeChambeau/Tony Finau 2&1

Paul Azinger – “Adam Scott had a great line earlier this week. He just said, ‘We don’t play these matches on paper, we play them on grass.’ That is what this is turning into right here.”


Adam Scott and Byeong Hun An speaking with GOLF Channel’s Steve Sands following the match

Adam Scott – “It means a lot. Obviously it is a lot of fun but there are a lot of expectations as well. You can see that off the first tee when I hit my tee shot but fortunately my partner had me covered while I calmed my nerves. Then we got rolling. We played a solid match. It’s tricky. We made some birdies. It was a good start.”

Byeong Hun An – “It was crazy playing in my first match. I was a little nervous but it was fun playing in front of a home crowd and playing with Adam. He calmed me down a lot and that is why I was able to hit some great shots the first couple of holes. Overall we played great today. When he was not playing well the first couple of holes I had him covered. And then when I was struggling in the middle, we got some birdies. It was fun overall.”


On Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan defeating Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson 1Up

Paul Azinger – “Emotionally, this is the most important match for both sides today.”

Mark Rolfing – “C.T. Pan has been brilliant with the putter today.”

Rolfing – “Patrick Reed has really played well and he has totally tuned out any heckling today.”


Abraham Ancer/Louis Oosthuizen defeated Dustin Johnson/Gary Woodland 4&3

Paul Azinger – “Two littlest guys beat the two biggest players on the American team.”

Curt Byrum – “Johnson and Woodland are just getting thumped in their opening match.”

Jim “Bones” Mackay – “The way Ancer has handled the flagsticks today you can’t put anything past him. He has played absolutely flawless golf. Louis Oosthuizen has been shaking his head and laughing at just how wonderful his partner has played.”


Louis Oosthuizen and Abraham Ancer speaking with GOLF Channel’s Steve Sands following the match

Louis Oosthuizen – “It was fun, I just stayed out of his way. We played really well early on and then I sort of went cold. But my man made everything. He hit it good, fairways and greens. It was all him today. It was unreal.”

Abraham Ancer – “It was so much fun. It was truly a pleasure playing with Louis. He made it feel easy out here which is not easy. It is a very tough golf course. We had a lot of fun and we had a plan. We kept to our plan really well and I felt good out there, which gave me a lot of confidence and made some putts that really counted. Really happy with the result.”


-NBC Sports Group-