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May 8, 2008

Ernie Els


Q. So are you ready to blow up 17?

Q. Talk about the great 17 holes you had.
ERNIE ELS: Anybody will be wanting to blow 17 up after making 6. Yeah, it was tough. I played so good all day. You know, I really worked hard on my game, and I just felt like I hit a lot of good shots.
You know, I felt a bit awkward. Normally I've played 17 pretty well in the past. I think I've only hit it in the water once before. I just felt the greens were so firm, and I had 127 yards to the front and 147 to the hole. If I got the wedge too good it was going to bounce and go through. I had sand iron; I had my 54 sand iron in my hand, then I changed and went back to the wedge and hit it way too soft. I actually chunked it a little bit and it went in the water.
Yeah, so it's tough to take. I'm not the only one who's done that. There are a lot of other guys that have done that.

Q. Talk about the other 17 holes.
ERNIE ELS: The other 17? Yeah, it was good. I had a really good front nine. I hit all the greens, made two birdies -- three birdies, excuse me, and a three-putt on 6.
You know, I hit a couple of loose ones on the back nine, but I got the ball up-and-down when I needed to.
It was a tough day. I felt if I could have got it in the house at 2-under par where I was, playing 17, I thought that would have been a great score, actually.
But it is what it is. But I'm swinging much better. I've got a lot more confidence in my game than I've had for the last five, six weeks.

Q. How disconcerting is it to stand over that shot, of all of them, and not feel good about it?
ERNIE ELS: You know, as I say, I'm not the only one. I've played it pretty well in the past. Today I just made a mistake and paid a penalty.

Q. How baked out was that green?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, the green was firm. The only shot you had was into that mound about ten yards short of the flag. I was trying to do that, but I didn't make a good swing there.

Q. Was it dead downwind at that time?
ERNIE ELS: Dead downwind, yeah. As I say, if I caught that wedge a little too good, it would have been right through the green. I probably should have just hit that sand iron as hard as I could. Probably would have felt better if I hit it in the water then.

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