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The Tour Report

November 19 2011

8:17 PM

Furyk, Els should be tight battle

MELBOURNE, Australia -- One of Sunday's marquee matchups pits Jim Furyk of the U.S. against Ernie Els for the Internationals.

The American and South African are each playing in their seventh Presidents Cup, and both have solid records in Singles. Furyk is 4-2 while Els is 3-3. The two go off in the ninth match of the day with the International Team trailing 13-9 and facing a stern challenge.

Furyk likely comes in with more confidence -- he was on a winning team in his first four matches this week and has a chance to become just the fourth player to go 5-0. Els, on the other hand, is 1-3-0 this week, with his one win coming in Foursomes with Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa.

"We have to do a Brookline, we have to do a miracle tomorrow," Els said. "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." 

Furyk said the Americans are wary, even though the U.S. owns a four-point advantage and no team has ever come from behind on Sunday to win the Presidents Cup. He was on the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1999 that overcame the same deficit in Singles by winning a phenomenal 8 1/2 points.
"I think first and foremost, we have to feel very fortunate we are in the position that we are in; that we played well and we earned it to this point," the veteran said. "But ... I remember at Brookline, one of the players on the other team making the comment that 'this is over,’ in the press room, and that's actually the wrong attitude to have and maybe it's one of the reasons it bit them. 

"I think we as a team have to realize ... that we have to come out firing ... and it's important for each and every one of us of the 12 players to go out there and work the hardest they can to get their point. We'll look forward to it. 

"It's a bunch of good players on the other side, and I think the attitude, though, is ... you get 2 up with four to play, you don't let your guard down.  You keep trying to keep the pedal down and keep trying to win another hole and that's what we need to do (Sunday). You need to keep that pedal down and try to win our matches."