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June 25, 2015

Ernie Els


ERNIE ELS: I made a good birdie on my 17th hole, the 8th hole is a par-3. Pretty pleased with that. But I think you're going to see a lot of good scoring, the golf course is in great shape, and obviously we have great weather. But I'm happy with my round and a good start for the tournament, obviously.

Q. When is the last time you played here? Do you recall the last time?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I was here in 2002. Yeah, so it's 13 years ago. I remember playing Bethpage Black and that beat the hell out of me, so I came here and played four rounds. I think I shot 64 in my final round, so that was nice. But that's a long time ago. I remember the course was in great shape then and it still is today. So we've got a great sponsor and a lot of good people here.

Q. How much different is it mindset-wise playing a place like this?
ERNIE ELS: It's totally different, isn't it? I mean, totally different. You're playing the ball, trying to play the ball down on the ground, and last week at Chambers Bay, everything is brown and quite dusty, and yeah, pristine conditions. It was a big change, a really big change. I think a lot of the guys might see a couple more smiles this week than last week.

Q. What brought you back this year?
ERNIE ELS: Well, I'm on my way to Europe, and I normally play in the BMW Tournament in Munich, but I've been speaking to the organizers here for a couple of years to come and play here, and they wanted me to play and the TOUR wanted me to play. So this is quite close to Europe. It's only five-and-a-half hours away. I'm going to have two weeks off after this and play here, play as good as I can. I need some points from the FedEx deal. So it made sense to play a tournament on the U.S. TOUR than the European Tour because I need more points here.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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