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


October 13, 2007

Ernie Els


GORDON SIMPSON: Okay, well, Ernie, congratulations. You're in your eighth final, and it looks like a pretty tasty one, as well. South Africa can beat Argentina twice tomorrow, and you're up first.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, it never crossed my mind, actually, until now.
Yeah, I'm really excited obviously to get into the final. It's been a long week, tough week. Today was really tough. And, you know, that's what you play for, to come to this week and to get into the final. It's really satisfying to get there.
So hopefully I can -- I know I'll get some rest tonight, and hopefully feel refreshed tomorrow and give Angel a good game.
GORDON SIMPSON: A lot of times when you made the final, you were starting from a Friday position, weren't you. How do you feel physically and mentally at the moment?
ERNIE ELS: I'm a little drained at the moment. It was a tough match. I had to really dig deep the last couple of holes to make those putts and get the shots up-and-down, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.
So I made a lot of good up-and-downs to try and stay ahead of Henrik. Obviously, you know, hard work.

Q. Did you change anything in your putting because it was much, much better this afternoon.
ERNIE ELS: Absolutely. I had to make some kind of a change. It was awful this morning ton the greens. It was very, very frustrating. I made a change. The lunch hour, I felt I was hanging too far on my right side on address, and subsequently I was hitting up on the ball and not giving a true roll. I just leaned on to my left side and really kind of tried to punch the ball, make the stroke a little shorter and a little more punchy.
So I had a much better roll. I think the putt on the first hole made me feel a lot more comfortable. You know, I made some putts.

Q. Two years ago, you redesigned this course to stop big hitters like Angel hitting around here. Do you wish you had put a few more bunkers in?
ERNIE ELS: I think the golf course has really changed. If you ask the guys, it's one of the longer, tougher courses we play anywhere around the world now. You can hit a lot of drivers. You've got to be very careful and you've got to hit it straight, but you can't just, you know --

Q. Bomb it.
ERNIE ELS: Or just be off your game and get it around this golf course. The course will bite you.
I missed some shots there this afternoon. I wasn't reaching the greens, and that was the whole plan was to get the guys to be aggressive, but you've got to be on target.

Q. You're now guaranteed you'll be top of the Money List on Monday morning, any chance you'll make Valderrama, or is Singapore just too tied up?
ERNIE ELS: You know, it's unfortunate that this has happened. I am not sure why the two tournaments are the same week. Last year, Singapore was much earlier in the year.
You know, I've got a commitment to sponsors. I signed the deal with Barclays and the Singapore Open last year, before last year, and I've got a three-year commitment with them.
You know, unfortunately that's the way it is. I've missed the Presidents Cups before because of other commitments; in '94, I had a commitment with the British Masters and I stuck with that. Unfortunately I've got to stick with playing in another tournament. That's why you sign contracts, and that's what I'm going to have to do. I'm as disappointed as the Tour and anyone else, and hopefully it's a lesson for everybody.

Q. You said next week there is a chance of going to Portugal.
ERNIE ELS: I've been to Canada; I've been to Scotland; I'm now here. I'm done. (Laughter).

Q. What do you do, I saw you out on the fifth and you were really down on yourself and you went and had another couple of putts. What do you do then within yourself to keep the rest of your game together?
ERNIE ELS: This game, it tests you so much. I can't imagine another sport that tests you mentally like this game.
You know, you always want things going your way, and most of the time, it doesn't and you've got to find a way of countering those feelings. You know, I guess with persistence today, I kind of got through it. It's not that I played better than Henrik. I think it was just persistence. I kept on working on my game all day, and that's why I like 36-hole match play. I would have lost 1-down this morning, but come back, and you win three four holes and you win the match. You've got to play well all day.

Q. We all know what a great rugby fan you are, and tomorrow you could have a fantastic day all in all. You're obviously going to have to compartmentalize the whole thing; how are you going to do all that? How are you sort of get yourself concentrated and forget about other things which might be on the line?
ERNIE ELS: You know, all those other things are bonuses. If I feel like I don't want to go to the game, then I'm not going to go to the game if it's too much of a rush, you know.
I've got to take care of what's most important, and that's trying to win the tournament. And, you know, if we have a lot of time, maybe I'll go. If not, you know, I won't go. It's one of those things. I can always watch it on television. It would be great to go.
But I've love to win tomorrow, and I know Angel would love to win tomorrow to get a little something going, if the guys, if they even look at it. But yeah, it will be a good day tomorrow.

Q. How late could you leave here and get there in time?
ERNIE ELS: I think we spoke to the pilots, and they said we could leave at 7.30, and it's still quite a ways away. Like I said, I don't want to be thinking about that tomorrow on the golf course.

Q. When you've won as much as you have, does the first prize matter, a million, half a million?
ERNIE ELS: It's big money. If you had asked me before I played the game, I never thought I would have been playing a tournament for £1 million first prize. Where I come from, that's a bucket full of money.
It's a great sponsor. I think HSBC has been wonderful. But I want to win a tournament. I haven't won a tournament for a while. I'm playing at home and I would love to win. Again, all those other things are bonuses.

Q. You've said this season that it's been a year of frustration for you. Getting to the final and maybe winning it, does that make it all come together for you?
ERNIE ELS: You know what, I'm still going to know that I didn't get a major. I had a couple of chances. I'm still going to feel that I had a couple of chances slip away.
You know, I've got a chance of winning tomorrow and I want to concentrate on that. And if I win, it will be great. If I lose, you know, it will still be a good event this week. I've played some good golf.
So I don't want to putt added pressure on myself trying to make my year into a very good year with being a little disappointed. It is what it is and I've just got to try and get through tomorrow.

Q. Can you just tell us about you and Angel in the Presidents Cup; you played together, and how did you get on, bother in terms of results and personally?
ERNIE ELS: We played the foursomes together, and I think Angel is still angry I missed a 2-footer on the 18th for us to halve our match. We were in trouble all day and kind of fought our way back. Angel hit me into the bunker. I hit a beautiful shot into the green, and he lagged it up to about two feet and I missed it. (Laughter).
So he wasn't too happy. But I had a nice Presidents Cup. I played with Mike Weir and won my singles, I won three points. Angel played really well.

Q. Who was the match against that you missed the two-foot putt against?
ERNIE ELS: I can't remember now. It was the first match --

Q. Two Americans.
ERNIE ELS: Two Americans. (Laughter).

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