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February 4, 2007

Ernie Els


ERNIE ELS: I played well. I knew after the start, I just wanted to give myself a chance coming down the stretch. I really got out of sorts on the greens and a couple of bad swings.
But I think I got myself under control after the start and then it was a real battle, you know, who could make putts and who could hit the right shot in there.
Unfortunately on the 18th here, I thought I was perfect. It came up just a little short. The grain was into me and the ball was down. I didn't have much of a second. I could only blow to the back of the green.
Henrik was great. It was great playing with him for four days. One shot separated us for four days. I had a good time.

Q. Pretty exciting coming down the stretch, you're all knocking in birdies, the top 5 all the way through.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, the change I think was 13 and 17 obviously. 13, I mean, I hit the bunker shot and the bunker shot came out left-to-right past the hole and I thought it just stayed out there.
And then 17 was basically the same putt. I thought it was right-to-left and it just kind of stayed out there to the right again. So those two putts, and I had five 3-putts through the week. So on perfect greens, you know, you shouldn't do that.

Q. Is that stroke or pace?
ERNIE ELS: I just got a bit off the pace. The pace was a little bit off. Still kind of experimenting a bit with my stroke. You know, some of the strokes I made out there wasn't quite me. I blew some ten feet by the hole from only 30 feet.
Just a bit that, and obviously not a great start today.

Q. Was it concentration or the wind?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, it was the wind a little bit. I just put myself a little bit under pressure with some tee shots. The second hole, I was in the sand there and I fluffed it, 3-putted. The fourth hole, the wind was off the right, water right, didn't make a good swing, left side and then chipped down the hill. Just wasn't quite sharp enough out of the block, so I can definitely work on that. The first hour, I wasn't quite myself.
As I said, I got myself back. I did okay. I'm not too disappointed. I'm not too far off. I'm striking the putts nicely. I just have to find the one stroke that I'm happy with. Sometimes go with a long, slow one and sometimes a little compact one. Just got to get those going.
It was nice to make a little one on the last, a foot. Hopefully I can make it for a tie. Yeah, I saw there were quite a few guys on 17, so it was important to finish second on my own, a spot better than last week.

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