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March 4, 2004

Ernie Els


Q. How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the overall 70?

ERNIE ELS: I made some mistakes, I guess that's a little bit of rust -- especially with my short game, I missed quite a few putts, but all in all I'm happy with it. I didn't play well for my front nine and then made some mistakes on my back nine, so to shoot a two under par is not a bad start. You're always looking for something better, but I can build on that.

Q. I suppose with all the hype -- Tiger being here and all the rest of it -- you must be happy to just get underway?

ERNIE ELS: I'm not worried about Tiger, I'm worried about my game. You guys keep talking about that but I'm here to do as well as I can --as I normally do -- and leave less out on the golf course by getting it back tomorrow.

Q. That is the big media story -- you seem to be getting a bit fed up with it.

ERNIE ELS: Yes, well, every question I get is about that and there's 156 players in the field who have to play 18 holes and the best score on the board is going to win the tournament -- it's as simple as that. To keep going on about the same thing is boring. I'm just here to play as good as I can.

Q. There is a very strong field, and I suppose Thongchai Jaidee, who was playing with you today, outscoring you and Lee supports your point.

ERNIE ELS: Exactly -- everybody that plays here has a chance to win and the golf course is the hurdle that you have got to get over.

End of FastScripts.

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