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April 10, 2015

Ernie Els


Q.テつ So, how would you assess your play today?
ERNIE ELS:テつ I feel like I hit the ball quite well.テつ And all‑in‑all I missed (wind noise) I had no chance to up and down on 7, I short‑sided myself.
So there's tee shots out there, and I missed two short putts.テつ I three‑putted on 10 and I left a shortish one on 11.
So that's the four mistakes I made, and I paid for it.テつ But I felt like I played well.テつ I hit the ball well, kept my patience up.

Q.テつ How much were you leaderboard watching, how impressed are you with what Jordan is doing?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Obviously we were watching.テつ And I think it's very impressive, obviously.テつ He's on.テつ And the greens are holding.テつ And when you are on and your game is on you can shoot these numbers at Augusta.
It's a long, long way from being finished.テつ A lot of work to be done still, so we'll see.テつ But he's very, very impressive.

Q.テつ This is Ben Crenshaw's last go around today, what has he meant to this place?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Gentle Ben.テつ The name says it all.テつ He's the most influential man I've ever known.テつ Always got something encouraging to say to you.
And I played my very first Masters with Ben in 1994.テつ And he was very encouraging then.テつ I got to know him and his family very well through the years.テつ He's been a great asset (wind noise).

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS:テつ I played in the afternoon, there was a bit of breeze and now again.テつ Some of the par 5s are downwind, so that helps.テつ But getting club selection is quite something.テつ They've got some flags on the high side of the green, so (wind noise).

Q.テつ What was the value of the birdie on 15, just to make sure you had that last bit of steadiness for the round?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, I just said to the guys, I basically made obviously the four mistakes, but I paid for it.テつ I short‑sided myself on 5.テつ I picked the wrong club and hit it over the green, made bogey on the up and down.
7 I was short and I was short sided there.
And then I missed those two putts on 10 and 11.
But you're going to do that around here.テつ I didn't get it up and down when I needed to.テつ But I felt in control, patient.テつ And I feel I've got a couple rounds in me when I get it altogether.

Q.テつ Is it easier or harder to run your own race when one person is distancing himself from everyone else?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, at the moment he is.テつ And he's doing unbelievably well.テつ So obviously watching the leaderboard, and when you bogey‑‑ when you're shooting bogey, like on 7 (wind noise.)テつ There's also been real good comebacks.テつ It's not over.テつ Big weekend ahead, a lot of golf to be played.

Q.テつ In '97 I think you were tied for No. 8 after three rounds, when Tiger went on his run.テつ Is it a similar feeling to that round?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Well, he's obviously playing great golf.テつ There's a bit of breeze, you know, and it's not that easy.テつ You've got to hit the shots to make the putts.テつ It's a great place to be at.テつ But it's similar.テつ I don't remember what the lead was (wind noise.)テつ It's similar.

Q.テつ Obviously you can't play defense, so you have to control the next 36 holes.テつ But yet at the same time you pretty much know how far ahead this kid is.テつ How does tomorrow differ?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Well, last week I shot two 67s, let's see where that takes me.テつ That's about as good as a man can do.
I don't want to wish anything bad, but if he takes his foot off the gas and gives you a bit ever hope to catching him.テつ [] but I would love two 67's.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, I mean I said to my staff in the beginning (wind noise) those are the three holes on the front nine I knew that.テつ All my birdies on the par 5s kind of brought me back.テつ I've got to get it going home, that's all I can say.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS:テつ That's the way it goes.テつ I watched some golf last night and Jordan basically played a perfect round of golf.テつ That's the way you have to score.テつ You've got to score.テつ There's no perfect way to play this game, but you have to score.テつ So today I didn't have my scoring cap on, I've just got to be closer.

Q.テつ What happened on 5?
ERNIE ELS:テつ I hit 6‑iron and I barely got on it.テつ It's early in the morning, and the ball isn't going as far and a little breezy.テつ So I hit my 6‑iron only 1 '92.

Q.テつ You said that Jordan is just not thinking about anything.テつ Can you play that way or has the course given you too much experience?
ERNIE ELS:テつ No, I think that's a good question.テつ I think experience will help me over the weekend because I've seen what can happen.テつ I've had some good rounds.テつ But, yeah, there's some scars, but it's 18 years away now, so I think I'm over it.

Q.テつ In your experience defending here, what's the biggest key to turning two good days into four good days?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Well, you better get breaks, obviously.テつ Get a break here and there.テつ But if you have one game plan you've got to stick to the game plan.テつ In saying that, when things go haywire, you've got to adapt very quickly.

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