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April 8, 2016

Ernie Els

Augusta, Georgia

ERNIE ELS: I played okay. I was saying on the first hole I had kind of the same issue where I missed a very short putt. And then there's quite a few other ones. But I felt a bit more comfortable quicker. It was a tough day. And I was trying to get it going on the back, which kind of happened. I was almost back to my normal self.

Q. 8 and 12 you looked very comfortable over the putt?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, yeah. I mean as I say, I went back to the things I've been working on the first couple of months of the year. And one of them was putting stats, and that's been actually almost normal. Unlike what happened yesterday.
So I was trying some new stuff, can you believe it, from Tuesday onwards, I thought it might be something in the right direction, but obviously it wasn't. And I went back to what I have been doing the first couple of months and it was a little bit better.

Q. Ernie, on the ovation or applause you got when you came on to the practice range from the patrons, what was that like for you?
ERNIE ELS: They are really nice. The patrons were great towards me. Yesterday we were kind of egging me on to get going, and today, too.
But after what I did yesterday you feel quite embarrassed and you feel kind of‑‑ couldn't kind of get myself going. It was a very weird, surreal feeling this morning. It was like I walked on to the range and even the players and caddies, they kind of just looked at me as if I don’t have pants on or something. And so I just really‑‑ not a nice feeling.
But they've got a good reason to look at me funny for what happened yesterday.

Q. Davis said that a lot of the guys have more respect for you than ever because you finished the job when you didn'thave to‑‑ you could have turned right on the first green yesterday instead of left?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, that's true. I appreciate that. The guys are great guys. You play long enough, you make a fool of yourself somewhere, but I did it on the biggest stage. But I’ll take something out of this. I'll sit down and see where we go.
Like I said, working on something new backfired on me, and I'll go back to what I have been doing. If I feel anxious like that again‑‑ it kind of happens. Maybe I felt like that because my brain is telling me this is not normal, kind of goes against it, just went haywire.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: It wasn't too bad last night. I think we were all still in shock, the whole kind of household. We just weren't saying much and I had my dinner and watched the NBA game, Miami against Chicago. Just kind of shell shocked. Slept okay.
And then this morning I felt very bad when I got to the course. Like I said, you feel weird. People kind of give you a funny look, not the normal look. It was kind of funny.

Q. On the second putt on 1, were you not sure whether you should putt out or mark it, were you sort of debating?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, kind of trying to figure out what I was going to do on my short game today.

Q. Yesterday you almost left here sounding like you're almost questioning your future. People have obviously left the game over issues like that. Did you feel like you‑‑ I don't want to overdramatize it‑‑ saved your career a bit today, but at least got steered in the right direction?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I think what I've said‑‑ I think what I did was I try to move forward and try something new and it felt okay on the putting green, but I still didn't feel that I can do it comfortably under pressure, and obviously that showed.
Since yesterday it's falling back into the same routine as what I've been doing the last four months. And my caddie was great today. He said we're going to just do routine, routine, routine, routine. And it was a lot better. So we'll see.

Q. Talk about what you were working on previously and what you tried to change Tuesday?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, a lot of guys say you have to have it real straight back. And the pendulum stroke and all of that stuff. And I was trying to do that, trying to hang the putter from my chest on down with hands that are high. And when I did it it kind of felt funny in my hand, it wasn't the same feeling. And today I went back to my style where I put weight on my left side, hit more down on the ball instead of up on the ball and started feeling a bit better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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