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July 22, 2007

Ernie Els


Q. You nearly had your low round?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I really had a nice start and was hitting the ball nicely. Just around the turn I kind of lost momentum. 9, 11 and 13, obviously. And 11 I thought I made that putt but the ball didn't turn.
I made a good putt on 12.
On 13 it just came up short. I made bogey on 13.
I put it in the worst spot on 14 of the week. I had a beautiful second shot in there and just never got on the line, I really needed that putt.
I missed the fairway on 15 and made bogey. The holes coming in are so tough.

Q. Overall a good week?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I just walked off the course, you know, it's hard to be very pleased right now. I love this Championship so much and I had a chance. I did have a chance. I was only one shot out of the lead for a good hour or two hours. So not to finish it is kind of difficult, but Padraig played great, he obviously made the putts and we missed.

Q. What happened on 13 and 14?
ERNIE ELS: 13, a tee shot on the par-3, I hit a 7-iron. I just came out of it. I've been having a tough time trying to cut the ball this week and I came out of it a bit, but still it was just six inches short.
14, I had a 3-wood off the tee and a beautiful 5-iron. I found it easier to draw the ball, and that was a draw shot. So I hit a good shot in there.

Q. Were you aware you were one back for a long time?
ERNIE ELS: Oh, yeah, I was watching the board. And as I say, I think that -- well, the putt on 11, I hit such a beautiful tee shot and good second, and I thought I made the putt. I think if I made that putt it could have been different. The tee shot on 13, obviously, I wasn't -- wasn't great. But I still had chances coming in.

Q. What do you think of Padraig?
ERNIE ELS: Well, it's going to be interesting. I was trying to make the putt even on 18 to get to 6-under. You never know what's going to happen, it's such a tough finish.

Q. Was that lie on 15 almost impossible?
ERNIE ELS: Oh, yeah. If I was a left-handed player, I think I would have been okay. I was always kind of pulling, there's that tall grass. Yeah, that wasn't nice.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: Well, I think I had a chance even before that. I think 13, that was probably the shot that cost me the tournament. 8, 9, 11, and then the tee shot on 13 from the bunker was probably the shot I'm probably going to look back and not be happy about. But I think if I had made putts I would have been really close. I think like 7-under might win this thing now.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: Well, a lot, you know. I mean, the Callaway equipment is going really great now.
I started making some putts this week, especially over the weekend. I've got to stay patient. But at least I had a much better major, so I'm looking for better things over the summer in the States now.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS: Well, I have to. The last major, it's going to be very similar. The tee shots, you can hit a lot of 3-woods there, a lot of doglegs. I know what I've got to work on in my game right now. And I'd like to give it a good shot. We have a very good tournament leading up to the PGA and Firestone, so I'd like to get ready for those.

Q. With Paddy and Sergio kind of battling down the stretch, it looks like finally a European will win a major. Is it almost a relief to not hear about that anymore?
ERNIE ELS: You'll have to ask them.

Q. Are you happy for them? There's so many good European players that haven't come through, and obviously you want to win yourself. But do you feel happy for them?
ERNIE ELS: It's a difficult question for me to answer, Mate. I don't particularly care, to be honest with you (laughter).

Q. How hard has it been to get your form back, fully?
ERNIE ELS: You've been around me and you've seen me. It's been very difficult. It's been difficult on myself, the family, a lot of people. So I'm trying to my best. I'm trying to do what I should do. This game, it's a very difficult game at times. But it's like my caddie said to me, we are getting close, and I keep saying it and I keep saying it, I am getting closer.
I've got to get myself in these positions more often. I had a good week last week. This week, you know, I played a little bit defensive, I think, coming in. I could have been a bit more aggressive. And I think when the putter starts changing I think a lot of things will start changing. There's been some good signs these last two days making some putts.

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