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Adam Scott described the International team’s defeat in the Presidents Cup as ‘a slaughtering’ – despite a spirited fightback on the final day.

The biennial match was bordering on annihilation heading into the final day with the Americans 14.5-3.5 to the good at Liberty National and, although Daniel Berger clinched the winning point in just the fourth singles match, the Internationals won the session 7.5-4.5 to make the final score a slightly more respectable 19-11.

Scott was one of those singles victors, taking down Brooks Koepka 3&2, but the Aussie acknowledged the gulf between the two teams and lack of team play the Internationals are involved in over the rest of the two years.

“Unfortunately, it was a bit of a slaughtering this week,” said Scott. “But we’ve got to stand up and take our ass-whipping like men and walk out of here with our heads high.

Ernie Els

“We need more practice of team play. We had some new guys again this
year, and I think some of that showed up a little bit in all of our
strategy on the golf course.

“The players are really going to have to invest more in this as a group collectively on the off-year, and somehow get better, if we don’t want this kind of stuff to happen.”

Ernie Els, meanwhile, a likely captain of future Presidents Cup teams, remained open to a complete revamp to avoid more heavy defeats with the USA now 10-1-1 over the 12 matches played in the event’s history.

“Yeah, I think we can go back to the drawing board with the PGA Tour,” he said. “Obviously playing for less points, I still say would benefit us.

Phil Mickelson

“We play these team events every second year, and the US team plays every year. So they are a little bit more, I don’t want to say prepared, but there are not as many big surprises.

“I think to put pairings together with a very diverse group as we have is our challenge. So I think less matches, less points, will be definitely beneficial to us, but we’ll wait and see, see where we go with the PGA Tour.”

Phil Mickelson, though, refused to be drawn on any improvements that are needed to be made to the format, instead choosing to praise the manner of the US victory.

“It’s tough to answer,” he said. “But we’ve been on both sides of it. We’ve taken some pretty good poundings and we’ve delivered them, too.

“I just think that it’s hard to answer that question because we have such a strong team who played their best. Rather than dwell on what could be done on the other side, I think it should be more cherished what has taken place on this side and the level of performance in each match by all these players and the level of golf.

“I’d rather focus more on that and what an incredible performance this has been for our team than to worry about how to fix the other team. That’s really not high on my list of priorities.”

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