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July 15, 2005

Ernie Els


STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, Ernie Els, today, 67 for a total of 141, 3 under par.

Ernie, that's a great round to come back with after your round yesterday, which you perhaps thought wasn't the best start. How do you feel now with that round behind you?

ERNIE ELS: Well, that's what I needed to do, you know. I needed to come out and make some birdies, which I did. I made 8 birdies all day. And unfortunately three bogeys. So I'm still making mistakes. But I've got to be happy with that. I was actually trying to get to 4 under by the end of the day. And after the start I had, you know, that was really on. I made birdies on the first two holes.

But I played better today. I made some putts today, obviously. And I'm a bit more comfortable. Yesterday wasn't a good day.

Q. Are you going to church now to pray for a hell of a wind this afternoon (laughter)?

ERNIE ELS: Yeah, it would be nice, wouldn't it? A bit of wind, a bit of rain. It's pretty nice out there right now. We started off this morning, the wind was blowing from the direct opposite way. The front nine was playing quite long, and then the wind just died down. We were about on No. 12 and then we felt it changing, and now it's playing this way. So the front nine is downwind and the back nine is into the wind. Who knows what's going to happen.

Q. Which part of the game were you more comfortable with today?

ERNIE ELS: Well, I would say that I hit my irons better today. And I definitely putted better today. I made some good ones today. So it kept my round going. I still hit some bunkers, but I kept it out of most of them. I hit it into No. 12, into the bunker there off the tee. But I made par out of that bunker. Where yesterday I think I hit four bunkers and made bogeys out of those.

Q. How long did you practice for last night, Ernie, and was it mainly putting?

ERNIE ELS: Well, I was going to practice a little bit and then it started raining, so I thought, skip back into the house. I know what I want to do with my putting, it's just a matter of getting yourself around to really do it under competition conditions. So today I was a bit more committed to what I'm supposed to do, and subsequently, I made some putts.

Q. Is it something we'd understand if you told us?

ERNIE ELS: It's nothing technical, really, it's just getting comfortable. I moved the ball a little back in my stance and keep my head more steady, just simple things. It's nothing real technical.

Q. Ernie, obviously you'll keep trying, but do you feel sitting here now that you have (inaudible)?

ERNIE ELS: Given the best player in the world's excellent start, it's not a great way to start your championship. But I didn't play great yesterday. He really did play well. So as you said, I need a bit of weather assistance right now. Whether we get it or not tonight, so be it. I didn't play well yesterday. But as you said, I'm not going to stop going now. I've got some birdies going my way now and I need a lot more of those over the next two days. I know what I have to do. I've got to try to get somehow try to get to 15 under par. I know it's saying a lot, but I might be close with that number.

STEWART McDOUGALL: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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