Although he must be churning on the inside, International Captain Nick Price continues to put on a brave face despite his team securing just a half a point on Day 2, to trail a powerful, in-form United States squad 8-2 heading into the weekend at the Presidents Cup.
It’s the largest lead the US has ever held at this point in a Cup tie and the first time since 2003 that they have won the second session.
Price was counting on a comeback in the Fourball matches on Friday but concedes his side have simply been outgunned to date.
“You know, tough day for us. Again, another one” Price said.
“I think we saw the strength of the US Team come out today, but in all fairness to my guys, I don't think they played as well as they were capable of.
“You know, the guys are trying. That's all I can say. They are trying their tails off. Just – they are just not making enough putts. Maybe not enough birdies.”
Price and the team’s cause haven’t been assisted by several players having an untimely lull in form at the end of long seasons.
Unfortunately, their best performed player over the past two years, Hideki Matsuyama, is one of them, despite earning today’s half point alongside Adam Hadwin.
It’s gotten to the point that captain and player came to a mutual decision to sit the World No.3 out of tomorrow morning’s Foursomes matches, along with the struggling Anirban Lahiri.
A brave move, considering the team need to scrape together every possible point they can tomorrow to give themselves a slim chance of a comeback on Sunday.
“He's just not playing well, and you know, he's the first one to admit it,” Price explained.
“His driving is a little off but he's such a competitor. He still makes birdies and makes putts when he needs to and hits really good shots, but he's just not playing his normal game, and that's why we chose to sit him tomorrow.
“I just said to him, I said, "How do you feel? Who would you like to play with tomorrow?’, because there was an option for him to play with Si-Woo or perhaps Adam Hadwin again.
“He said, ‘You know, Adam played great today, and I kind of felt like I let him down a little bit because I hit a lot of loose shots and left him on his own a lot. I'm just not playing well.
“And when a player tells you that, he's basically telling you: ‘Sit me out tomorrow.’ That's what we decided to do.
“I think we've got some really good pairings tomorrow. You know, Adam Scott and Adam Hadwin are both playing really well. It's going to be interesting to see how Jhonny Vegas and Emiliano play together as the South American connection.
“The one thing that I say, we're only ten points through 30. There's 20 points left. There's a long way to go. And I know the US Team knows that.
“And an 8-2 lead is a very strong lead for them to have, but like I said, we only had ten points out of 30, so there's a lot of golf left.”