July 21, 2021
Sunningdale, Berkshire, England
Sunningdale Golf Club
ERNIE ELS: I've been looking forward to this event for three years now. You know, we were going to play it last year and obviously couldn't. Couldn't play anything. It's great to be here. I've lived in the area for many years now, since 1998. I've played the course quite a few times with the members here at Sunningdale. So I'm very familiar here and really looking forward to it.
Q. What do you make of the course?
ERNIE ELS: It's in great shape. They have done an excellent job. I see they have redone the bunkers, and the fairways, the greens, I mean, the whole golf course is so well prepared. So well done to the greens staff, well done to the membership. It's really going to be a great championship.
Q. You mentioned spending a lot of time in this area. What is it you like about this part of the world?
ERNIE ELS: Well, for so long, it's just so central. You know, back in the day, I used to play both tours. I used to play European Tour and the U.S. tour and even South Africa, Australia, everywhere. So this was a very central base for me, playing in the world.
The schools are great. Both our kids were born here in the area. So we were in the same house all those years back, and it feels like coming home, really. I was a very young pro when I came here. Very first place I stayed was across the road here and Renton Laidlaw used to have a cottage here, back in the early '90s, Liezl and I stayed there, so I'm very familiar with this whole area. It's very nice.
Q. Does that give you a good feeling about the week, familiar surroundings?
ERNIE ELS: It does. As I say, it's not my home club but I've played a lot of golf here. To be in the area, to stay at home, I've got my kids here, they are a older now but they are here. It really feels like a home game for me. I'm looking forward to it.
Q. You must have played Open Championships in every type of weather condition. How is the heat this week going to change things?
ERNIE ELS: I don't think the players can complain about the weather. I mean, it's a little warm, but it's beautiful. It's clear. I think there's going to be a bit of a weather change later in the week over the weekend but if it stays like this, this is perfect. It's perfect golfing weather, a little warm but not too much breeze, and what a layout.
You know, the golf course, you can't really just go out there and try and overpower it. It's one of those golf courses you've got to play positionally and get the ball in play on second shots and be patient. So it's going to be a great championship golf course.
Q. How good is the field and how much harder is it getting to win out here?
ERNIE ELS: It gets harder every week. There's a lot of new guys coming in. This golf course doesn't really favour any player. Any player can win this week. It's the type of course where, as I say, you have to play with your strategy and be patient, and the guy with a hot putter will do well this week. Anybody can win this week, so that makes it very, very interesting.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports