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July 14, 2006

Ernie Els


Q. You made up a bit of ground at the end?

ERNIE ELS: I played well on the back nine. The front nine was scrappy. I hit a lot of good shots on the back nine, hit every green but I am trying to get a good score going. I am so close and it's pretty frustrating. Not far away.

Q. It would appear someone should be shooting low?

ERNIE ELS: Yes, I think so. It's very soft and the greens are running very nice but I guess if you are just a little off, you can get into trouble but I feel there is going to be a low one today.

Q. The eagle on three?

ERNIE ELS: Yes, that was the turning point today. I hit my drive a little right and had 245 yards and hit a 5-wood just past the hole, ten feet away and made it for eagle. That was a big turning point.

I am aiming at getting some good scores over the weekend. I have been working pretty hard on the swing. It feels pretty good when it's good.

On the front nine today it was a little out of sorts but I am hitting a lot of quality shots. I need to convert them into good things. I needed something on the back nine or else it was a bit close to the cut. I made a good putt on five for a two, 25 feet down the hill.

Q. Are you just waiting for good things to happen?

ERNIE ELS: I guess so. I've just about done everything I can. I had a couple of bad habits which I got into and I brought David Leadbetter over to London for a couple of days and worked on that. I just need a score now. I need a 65 under my belt and get the confidence going.

Q. Is it good to get into the mix?

ERNIE ELS: I can't see why now! I would love a good weekend and get into the mix on Sunday and feel the pressure and hitting the shots when it really matters. I think Hoylake is going to be a great venue. I went there a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. It's in great shape and a great Open venue.

Q. You've won there.

ERNIE ELS: I've got to hide the photo there! I won in 1988. I was over in 1987 and playing amateur golf and then the Open in 1989. I don't remember much of my win at Hoylake in '88. I was in a play-off and we played the first hole and I remember making par and he made bogey. A guy called Dodds. Quite a long hitter.

Q. Is it still a good test?

ERNIE ELS: In weather like this, any Open venue is going to be easy but to play that course well for four days and staying out of those bunkers for four days is a tough task. It's almost harder there to stay out of bunkers than at the Old Course. You will see low scores but over four days I think you will see the course come through.

Q. Phil was there yesterday and today. What's your strategy?

ERNIE ELS: Well, I have different preparation for different tournaments. I usually have a bit of time off after the U.S. Open if I want to go and visit the Open venues. Other Majors - I don't play before the Masters and go up there to practice. If you know the course well, you don't have to do too much.

Q. Can you overdo it?

ERNIE ELS: Yes, you can.

End of FastScripts.

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