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July 23, 2017

Ernie Els

Southport, England

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: He was playing good and making putts. And he had a nice attitude. And I could see he wasn't backing off. You see some guys get a little bit scared, but he kept going. So it was really special to see. The shot on 18 was just phenomenal. The wind is starting to pick up, so it could be close.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, he had a great rhythm. He started off a little bit slow, but I think the birdies on 8 and 9 really freed him up. Then he made an unbelievable save on 10, 11. He didn't miss a putt. The par on 17, I don't know you saw that, he came out of a fairway bunker. He did everything he could. That's not the same number as Gracie yesterday, but it's as good a round.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: Yeah. Well, who knows where he's going to end. He could go really big. He can go up to the 14 mark, up there in majors. When you get on a roll like that guys, kind of start knowing that you know how to win, you know? And almost like Tiger where people can maybe feel like they can't do it against Jordan. Because he's been up there a few times now.

You've seen some careers where -- I mean myself in '95 I had a three-shot lead going to the PGA, couldn't get it done. '96 I missed out on another very narrow loss. And I kind of stalled. I only got four. But if you get the momentum going the other way, you can go win a boatload.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, it worked out for him. He did miss some shots but he made the putts. And then when he got over that little hurdle, it just opened up again. But he hit the shots coming in. It's not that easy. It's starting to blow a bit. So these last three holes he played absolutely textbook. So interesting to see what's going to transpire. It's going to be interesting now.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: I did. I spoke to him on the phone and just congratulated, obviously. I think he was kind of -- he was beat up. You guys asked him a lot of questions. I think he needed some rest. But obviously that was an unbelievable round.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: That's not a big deal. It is, but it's not. If you miss it in the right spots, because these flags are so tucked today, you almost have to miss some fairways to get angles. So I wouldn't read much into that. But if he starts missing greens or missing on the wrong side, then alarm bells might ring. But if he keeps it around the middle of the greens, 2-putts. For a guy to shoot a low one, like my man did today, it's going to be tough.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: Well, I did say that, but just because of the wind. And I think the flag positions. 63 in a final round is an unbelievable round. But obviously Branden has the record. It's absolutely done and dusted. So what he did yesterday broke every record in the book. But today's round for what it is, is as good as a round. It's not the same number, but it's the same quality golf.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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