home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 28, 2007

Ernie Els


GORDON SIMPSON: A welcome back to Ernie Els to the Johnnie Walker Classic. Ernie, a title you've won twice and you've come here via Hawaii, so it's been a fairly busy few days for you since Tucson.
ERNIE ELS: Just like anybody, anybody that played the Match Play, coming up here has been a very, very long journey. We are doing a golf course in Hawaii, so I stopped over there for two days and broke the trip and then came over here.
GORDON SIMPSON: This tournament has brought you a lot of luck, especially the one in Perth where you were setting all sorts of records?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, it was a good week. I've played this tournament a very long time, first time I played this tournament was I think in '93 in Singapore. I missed maybe three tournaments since then. But I've really enjoyed my time here, made some good friends here and really good sponsor for the Tour and they really look after the players very well. So it's enjoyable to play. It's just to get there, you know, is a long way.
GORDON SIMPSON: In terms of your own game, looks like you're just bubbling under there, just ready to motor on from here?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I had a bit of a mess-up there at The Match Play, but I feel like my game is good. I've been swinging well and putting nicely, and I had a couple of chances in three tournaments before the Match Play to win. Didn't quite put any of them off, but you know, at least I had chances and I'm playing well. So looking forward to this week.

Q. Retief was just talking to us a little bit about the growing strength of the Asian Tour and the Far East and the Middle East. You come to the region a lot. What are your thoughts on that, the standard of golf here, are there going to be more major events here, more big players coming?
ERNIE ELS: Well, I think what The European Tour has done has really helped the Asian Tour, to co-sanction events, to have the Asian players play against stronger fields, and I think the Asian players have really caught up really well. The standard of play has been lifted through The European Tour, and subsequently, you have a lot better Asian players.
They have got a great tour on their own, the Asian Tour. I've played some events on the Asian Tour. They played good golf courses and they have a solid tour.
Yeah, it's just a matter of time before they have a real champion. I mean, already last year at the HSBC, you know, one of the Asian Tour players Y. E. Yang played wonderful and beat the world's best. So that's an indication of where it's going. So it's just a matter of time before they really start breaking through.

Q. You still enjoy playing a global schedule?
ERNIE ELS: Well, I think I've been traveling all my life, as you know, and I've been supporting tours around the world so to speak. I've enjoyed my time. I've built my own little brand around me with other business interests. So like everybody knows, Asia is a good place to have some other interests and you know, it's helped me a little bit off the golf course as well.
So for me it's golf with a little bit of some different angles attached to it. So it's been good. It's been good to my career.

Q. Have you seen the rule change proposal for grooves on clubs that's come out yesterday?
ERNIE ELS: What is it going back to V-grooves?

Q. Effectively, and the idea being to make it more difficult to have control and have spin out of the rough, and just wondered what your reaction to that would be.
ERNIE ELS: Well, they have been back and forth with that rule over the last 20 years, so it's not that big a change. You know, some of those clubs that we use actually create too much spin, so some of the guys use V-grooves anyway, so it's not that big a deal.

Q. You were just talking about some of your other interests outside of golf which seem to be playing a bigger and bigger part of your life, the wine and the course design, have you thought about a point where the golf is going to take second place to these other interests?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, when I'm about 50. (Smiling).

Q. You said you've had some good results this year, which you have had, but you're still looking for another victory; is it important to get another win up before you go to Augusta for the first major?
ERNIE ELS: Well, a win would be great, but I'd just like to play some decent golf, get decent scores under my belt. Obviously I've got to travel a long way getting back to the States after this event, so I'll stop in London.
You know, after that, I'll be in Florida for two weeks and then a week off before the Masters. So time is kind of running out so to speak. Yeah, a win would be great, but as I say, to play solid stuff also would be fine.

Q. Just a word about the course, I guess there's been a few changes since we were here last.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, the front nine has changed a little bit. The back nine hasn't changed much. They have a new tee on No. 1 and No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 8, so a little bit longer. But it's basically two separate nines here. The front nine seems to be a real tough nine but very undulating greens. And the back nine, it gives you a little bit more chances. And the par 3s are very tough, very tough par 3s, so you've got to play the par 3s well and the 5s well and hope for the best.

Q. One last question, if I may, I know you don't like to dwell on negatives, but is this a course you think owes you one after what happened last time?
ERNIE ELS: What's that?

Q. I know you never want to dwell on negatives, but is this a course you feel owes you one after what happened last time?
ERNIE ELS: Well, you know, I didn't play a good weekend. I played -- I remember playing really well the first two rounds, and then you know, the putts kind of dried up. I remember Tiger finished very early on that last day. I mean, he was almost done by the time, you know, we made the turn. You know, he posted a score and I think I needed to play 1-under the back nine or something to beat him, and I didn't and I lost in the playoff.
I played a good tournament. I played the course yesterday. It was hard to believe that I opened up with a low score. It's a tough golf course. I must have made a lot of putts.
You know, I don't think about that. It's ten years ago. And, you know, you lose more in this game than you win, so you might as well -- I've had a lot of losses, too. (Laughing).

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297