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November 21, 2003

Ernie Els

Adam Scott


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Ernie, Adam, thanks for joining us this afternoon. You two are 2-0 as a team, and Ernie 3-0, certainly showed a flair for the dramatic there on 18 in front of a big home crowd. If you could comment on that shot, what a great one.

ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I know. It was good and I was a bit lucky, too, I guess.

I knew to get to the shot to the hole, they were in their quite close, about 18 feet. So I hit it to make sure that we are going to make 4. I had a similar shot yesterday from the back of the green, so it I was quite familiar with the kind of shot that I had to play. It was just one of those special little shots that comes out perfect and rolls into the hole. It was a nice way to finish. We had them on the ropes early on. I missed some putts on the front nine. We could have really turned at 5-up through nine holes. But, you know, on 12 and 13, we lost those holes and then it was a match again. But we came up with the goods when it mattered.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Nice to be paired with Ernie, a veteran, in your first Presidents Cup, maybe comment on playing with him twice so far in two days.

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think it's been really good for me, just settled me down a little bit and have a guy who has done it all before and try and help him out as much as I can out there.

I think we paired pretty well. Neither of us are playing our best but we got it around pretty good together. They have both been tie matches, but knocking those kind of shots in fixes things up pretty quick. (Laughter.)

Q. Momentum seems to come and go in there, can momentum come overnight because of that last shot?

ERNIE ELS: You're talking about the team?

Q. Yeah, pumped your team up pretty good.

ERNIE ELS: I think so. We just had a very good team meeting there. The guys, the spirit is still pretty high. There's still a lot of points to play for. There's still 18 points to play for. There's a lot of golf left. We have a little bit of a deficit now, we have ourselves in a little bit of a hole but it's not over by a long shot. We have a good day tomorrow. We've got a good shot at it still in the singles.

So, yeah, the guys are not down. They still feel pretty good about it. We've got a bunch of Aussies with us, so there's a lot of cockiness on the team, you know. (Laughter.) That's good.

Q. Please tell us, the 12th hole only three guys parred it, seven bogeys or worse, you get a 3 for bogey, I believe.

ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I started with a drive, bad drive.

Q. Bad drive?

ERNIE ELS: Yes. (Laughs). It was unplayable.

ADAM SCOTT: Bad second, too.

ERNIE ELS: I can play the shots out of the deep stuff but I don't think he's familiar with those kind of lies.

Yeah, it's a tough hole. It's a difficult hole. It's a long, difficult hole with a very difficult green. With the wind into us the way it was playing, it was really difficult.

Q. Pin position was all right?

ERNIE ELS: Yeah, it was on the green. (Laughter.) It was fine.

Q. What was it about Adam that made you want to play with him for this tournament?

ERNIE ELS: I've always liked Adam's game. I played with him I think even before he turned pro. It might have been your first year when you were pro at Loch Lomond. I always liked his -- the way he carries himself and obviously his golf game. I like playing with guys that kind of stay calm, you know. He's got a very good attitude and he doesn't get down on himself.

You know, hey, you take chances out there, who you're going to play with. You never really know who is going to play well. We all thought that myself and Vijay would be unstoppable and we were 4-0 last time. It's always up in the air a little bit. I felt good about Adam. He's a solid player. I know he wants to learn a lot. So it was good to play with him.

Q. You felt the same about Tim Clark, you've played with the two of them.

ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I had my input in there, didn't I? I think Gary listened a little bit.

Tim this morning played unbelievable. He could have really taken care of business himself almost. I think he helped him on four holes this morning. He played great. So, you know, I got lucky. I got the right partners.

Q. These four days can fly by, obviously you're trying to win, have you had a chance to really sit back and realize what's happening here, are you taking it all in or is it just too intense out there to really savor the moment?

ERNIE ELS: Every now and again, you know, you look around and see how excited the people are. The crowds have been excellent. I think they have been very fair out there. You know, as I said, for a South African to cheer for an Aussie is quite tough, you know. (Laughter.)

But no, we've had a great support out there. I think the players that have come out have shown their support also. I think it's been very exciting so far. You know, you just like to make it a little bit closer coming into Sunday.

Q. Is this the first time today the wind really started pumping, was that quite a tough situation to play in?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, definitely changes the course a lot. It seems you get a lot of downwind and into the wind holes, the par 5s change out there in the win. Makes a couple of them unreachable and a couple quite short irons. But it's very tricky in the wind on a links-style course and a lot of run-offs. It's difficult to be precise into the greens and sometimes you've just got to take your medicine and accept that you're going to be 10 feet away and work at it from there. It is very difficult course in the wind because it's very long.

Q. How much did Ernie help you with knowledge of the course with the wind?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, he helped a lot, especially coming down the end there, we were just making sure that we got the wind right; so we didn't do anything stupid and give them any cheap holes.

17 was an important hole just to get it down there, and I think I hit a good shot but then Phil knocks the putt in. You know, you can't control what they do. It was just great to get in at the end and get a pull point on the board.

Q. From session to session, Gary Player has changed the lineup a lot for you guys. Was this part of the plan or was this a spontaneous thing that's happened?

ERNIE ELS: It's been a team decision every time. You know, yesterday, we discussed both this morning's games and this afternoon's games, and we knew that Gary had to make his choices and his selections while we were still on the golf course, so we did speak about the pairings. Yeah, we've changed it up a little bit and it probably will happen again tomorrow. We've just had a good meeting, as I said, and we are talking. It's not like anybody's hiding their feelings out there. You know, we know exactly where everybody stands, where everybody's games are and we're taking it from there. So it's really been a team effort.

Q. Any thoughts on the rugby tomorrow, guys?

ERNIE ELS: Ask him. We're not playing. (Laughter.)

ADAM SCOTT: Win. They had just better win or I'll be not going back to Europe. I can barely show my face in London. I'll be in the States. (Laughter.)

Q. A lot has been made of the Tiger Woods matchup with you in South Africa; and this morning, did you feel any different out there playing in front of the home crowd, South Africans, Tiger in the match, was there more pressure?

ERNIE ELS: No, I can't say that. In the four-balls you want to get off to a pretty decent start, get into the match a little bit. Both myself and Tiger, we never really got quite into it. It seemed like Tim Clark was the star this morning. As I said, I helped him on maybe four holes. We call it, duff dating. He was out and I was in. He was in the hole most of the time. I think if I play Tiger on Sunday, I've played with him quite a few times. It would be great to eventually play him in my home country. It will be head-to-head so it will be fun.

It's a tough event and we'll discuss it again and see what we've got. If it's really tight we might have to check.

Q. Given the way that the first three sessions have gone, you guys were three points down and three really good rallies yesterday to be that, do you have any sense going into tomorrow how important tomorrow is and what kind of team you're facing?

ERNIE ELS: Well, start from the back of the question, it's a very tough team. This is very experienced --

Q. Mostly the way they are playing this week, obviously.

ERNIE ELS: They are an experienced team. You can't take anything away from that.

We're going to go and we're going to have a little barbecue tonight at my house and we'll get the spirits up. We'll be ready come tomorrow. You know, the only thing you can do is try your best. If your game is not quite there, you've still got to try to get through, come what may. This is what we've got to try and do, try and grind it out and make it close come Sunday. I think we'll do that.

Q. Are the Americans invited tonight and what happened to the press invitation?

ERNIE ELS: My house is too small, okay. (Laughter.) But maybe Sunday. (Laughter.)

Q. Even though you beat Tiger this morning, it seems like he and Charles have pretty good chemistry going, maybe something he's been searching for, and also you and Adam have obviously developed that, as well. Can you talk about how an experienced player like and you Tiger finds a younger partner and how it's gelling?

ERNIE ELS: I think you said most of it. I think coming into this week, you know, I was looking at playing with maybe somebody new, people that you can kind of relate to on the golf course. I think it's important. Adam is going to be in this team for a long, long time. I feel I'll be on this team for a couple of years; so you want to build a nice relationship and get something steady going.

I think Tiger has found his partner and, I mean, they have played well. You come up against anybody, you feel, yeah, they are quality players. Anybody that's hot in the morning or afternoon, you're going to have a tough game against anybody. So far, their pairings worked, and myself and Adam has worked, so it's kind of luck.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Ernie, Adam, it's been a long day. Thanks for coming in.

End of FastScripts.

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