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October 11, 2007

Ernie Els


GORDON SIMPSON: Well, Ernie, I think that goes in the book as a very impressive victory and probably just the start you needed for this year's event.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, first of all, I've got to say that think if you ask Colin the same thing, it was tough both of us playing each other in the first round. We've had so much success around this golf course and in this event. I kind of feel a little -- I'm always glad going through, but I feel kind of sad beating Colin in the first round. It happened early in the tournament and I know we've got no say in the tournament. If we could have played each other later in the tournament, it could have been a really great match. But, you know, I'm through, I'm glad that Monty is happy in his personal life. So I wanted to say that.
I played really good this morning. I drove the ball very, very well. That's as good as I've driven the ball for a while around Wentworth, and just, you know, when I drive it well, I can hit my irons in there put some pressure on my open and that's what I did. I think I made six or so birdies this morning, seven birdies. It was good enough for a nice lead and you know, both Colin and myself played quite scrappy this afternoon. I bogeyed the first hole and gave him the eighth hole. It wasn't great golf.
But you know, as I say, it was good enough to get through.

Q. Playing Romero tomorrow, what do you know about him?
ERNIE ELS: Well, you know, obviously I've never played him and obviously he's a big talent. He almost won The Open; I remember looking at his name on the leaderboard. And then he won I think the week after that.
So obviously a lot of talent and coming from Argentina, I'm sure he's a long hitter like all Argentines hit the ball very long. And you know, he's young and he's going to be fresh tomorrow and, you know, we deserve to take it from there. As I say, I know nothing about his game. I've got to do what I can do best and that's trying to make birdies.

Q. You don't have a ticket for South Africa v Argentina in Paris on Sunday do you?
ERNIE ELS: I actually do. It's a nine o'clock game, so I might go. Here it's a Sunday game, so I might go. Mr. Rupert has got a box there, and, you know -- got a ticket to get in.
GORDON SIMPSON: Well, Paul Casey won 10 & 8 last year, so there's a precedent.

Q. So is the jet booked?
ERNIE ELS: I'll organise something.

Q. What about today's win?
ERNIE ELS: My swing was nicely in place this morning on the range, so I felt comfortable hitting the ball. Just felt it was good, you know, just my swing was feeling -- I was feeling it basically.
You know, I was feeling good last week, too. But nowadays you've got to drive the ball well and you've got to place the ball well. You can't just steer it around this golf course anymore. You've got to hit proper drives. I was lucky to do that today.

Q. How hard was it to recover from Sunday?
ERNIE ELS: It was difficult to take, let me tell you. I was obviously trying to hit the perfect shot. It was the wrong choice of shot. I probably should have chipped that shot across the bunker and take my medicine and maybe try to make an 8-footer for par. But I was trying to be very cute, and I don't normally do that. I normally play a little safer than that. That was just a horrible feeling. Especially, you know, me not winning too many tournaments this year, I felt making a little charge on the back nine, I had a feeling I could still maybe pull it off.
So it was really, really difficult to take. So I don't think you ever get used to blows like that. It takes you a while. You know, it's almost a good thing that I'm playing a tournament this week; to get into this week and now it's almost forgotten, basically.

Q. Would you have been stewing if you hadn't played this week?
ERNIE ELS: Well, I think the stewing was done after Sunday night. But you're not made out of wood, you think of mishaps like that. Yeah, I guess you would have been thinking about it a little bit more.

Q. Inaudible.
ERNIE ELS: No, anyone will be good right now, you know. But I've had a good run here. But I mean, hey, I've got a long way to go. Today was nice to get through and to get -- the next couple of days, who knows what I've got to do. I've got to play really good golf and we'll talk about it later.

Q. What is it about this particular course, is there something that suits your eye?
ERNIE ELS: Well, it helps when you've got the chance to re-December sign the course and you know where the bunkers are and so forth. And also it helps that it's your home club. And I've played a lot of golf here, spent a lot of time at the club and feel very comfortable here. And I've had a lot of success in The Match Play, so I kind of have half an idea of what I have to do.
I wish almost every tournament was like this, because, you know, you know the course well, you know what to do. So just feel comfortable.
GORDON SIMPSON: Ernie, thank you.

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