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November 12, 2019

Ernie Els

Sun City, South Africa

Q. Pretty special coming back to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, how excited are you for this week?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I am. Really pleased they gave they the invite. I was coming down to these parts already. Pleased to get an invite. I'm over 50 now, so I'm the oldest guy in the field but I've had so many great memories around Sun City from fans and from the people I've met here, and obviously the golf course is very special to me. So you know, nice to be around.

Q. Playing pretty nicely at the moment? How are you feeling?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I've had a long trip. Went to Asia for a week, so the body is not all together there yet but it's getting there. I'm hitting it nice. You know, just the golf course is getting longer. But it's in great shape and I'm hoping for a nice week.

Q. What is the return to a venue where you've had so much success over the years do for you?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I'm going to be playing on the Champions Tour for next year. I just turned 50 in October, so I'm looking forward to January. I'm just playing some events around the globe now, playing here. I'm going to play Leopard Creek, the Dunhill. Play the Aussie Open, and then it's the Presidents Cup. So my focus is really getting my team ready for the Presidents Cup.

But playing here on my home soil, as I said, with so many great memories that I've had at Sun City, it's nice to be around, and see the folks again.

Q. What are your expectations for the week? What are you thinking?
ERNIE ELS: Well, it all depends. I get going, I know I've done well here in the past. But you know, I'm not the player I used to be. But you know, hey, if I get hot, it will be great. If not, I just want to have a nice week, enjoy the fans and enjoy the crowd, surroundings and enjoy the golf course and feed off the good memories I've had.

Q. You mentioned Presidents Cup. How is that coming along? It has to be weighing on your mind a lot of the time.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, the field is set now. The team is set on both sides and now it's me getting my pairings ready and that's what I'm focusing on now. Getting the guys to play with each other in practice rounds and so forth and get familiar with each other's games.

They have just got to get their form going. If they get themselves on form; if they play to their ability, I think we can really win the Cup.

Q. Captain's picks made last week. Were you happy with the options and who you picked?
ERNIE ELS: It was a tough one. I didn't enjoy it to be honest. There were many guys in there, especially a lot of my really close friends. Branden Grace was right there, and I went against him. So that was really tough for me to do. Erik Van Rooyen started playing great. It was tough to do that, not getting him on the team, Corey Conners and Byeonghun An, those are really difficult calls to make. But I had to go with what I believe in, and it's for the best interests of the team. But I really felt for those guys.

Q. Building up to The Presidents Cup, you mentioned get everything ready. Is that all in place and getting towards conclusion?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I mean, we are ready to go. If it has to happen next week, we are ready to play. The only thing is the guys need to practice a little bit with each other but everything else is there. The team setting, all the flights, everything else, else is set, the food, whatever they need is there for them. So they will have a great week from that perspective. But obviously we want to be competitive.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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