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March 16, 2018

Ernie Els

Orlando, Florida

Q. How did you like your position now heading in what hopefully will be a great weekend for you?
ERNIE ELS: Thank you, no, I'm pleased. Obviously I haven't been really playing lights out the last couple of years, but been working on a couple of things and even last week it started coming around a bit, I just got to get a score on the board, which I did for the first two days.

Q. Looking at your record, obviously past champion twice, what emotions does this place evoke for you coming back here?
ERNIE ELS: Well it's brilliant. Myself and Arnold Palmer we struck up a good friendship through the years. Obviously I miss him terribly this week. He would have loved to see the golf course from this great shape. I had a great time with him through the years and obviously winning his event a couple of times and getting the jacket from him was very wonderful.

Q. This year with the quality of field and everything around it's got to feel like a celebration for what he did for the game. Do you kind of get that sense this year?
ERNIE ELS: Absolutely. I think last year we really mourned him, really tough last year without Arnold around. And as you say, this year his umbrella is everywhere, the players have come out and supported this event. Sam and Rickie being hosts this week, really the players have embraced it and it's wonderful to see.

Q. You got sort of the captain's hat on the next couple years in that lead up, but if you keep playing like this it might be a few decisions for you?
ERNIE ELS: Well at least I can pick myself if I really want to, but I don't think that's going to happen. I would love to just lead the guys out and try and support them and motivate them and get down there, it's one of the really fine places to play golf at, Royal Melbourne, I played that course quite well, so I have got good memories from that, so I can really relate that to the players and hopefully we can really have a good one this time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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