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November 18, 2001

Ernie Els

Retief Goosen


TODD BUDNICK: We'd like to welcome our champion of the 2001 the EMC2 World Cup, the team from South Africa, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. Why don't you start us off with a comment about the eagle putt on 18 to get you into a playoff.

ERNIE ELS: Obviously, we needed an eagle. Denmark made a birdie on 18 to get to 24-under and we were at 22-under. I hit a very good drive down the fairway down the middle. And obviously, the real scoring shot is the second shot there, to get it up to the shelf to give us a chance. Retief hit a beautiful 5-iron. We were lucky enough to -- I think it was a perfect yardage for him, and just the best swing you could think of on the shot. It went past about ten feet, maybe eight feet past the hole and it's quite slippery down there. But the tip Retief gave me with my putting a couple of days really worked the last two days. I've made a lot of putts over last two days and felt quite comfortable over the putt; and you just have to trust the line and the ball went in.

TODD BUDNICK: Retief that, was an incredible shot, if you could tell us your thinking.

RETIEF GOOSEN: After I missed the putt on 17, I felt I needed to make up for it a little bit. Like Ernie said, he hit a good drive and he hit a good drive and it was just a perfect yardage. I just knew I could catch a perfect 5-iron and I hit it nice and solid. I knew where we were standing and I knew I just had to go one way, straight at the flag and I hit a great shot and he hit a great putt. Then Tiger went ahead and chipped as well, and then it was all down to New Zealand and they could not make birdie. It was quite exciting in the playoff.

Q. When Bjorn made that recovery on the extra hole, were the two of you a bit worried?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, yeah, it was -- Ernie hit a great eagle putt on the first extra hole that we all thought was going to go in and just missed. You know, we were just lucky that two teams fell out in the first playoff hole and that there was only two of us. Once Thomas hit the bad drive on 14, I knew this was my chance if I could hit a good drive down there; we might get away with winning the hole. I hit a good drive and I put my partner right in the middle of a divot, but he hit a great shot out of there. We were just lucky that they were not able to make 4 from where they were and managed to win it.

Q. How did you decide who was going to hit at the first playoff hole?

ERNIE ELS: I've been teeing off there all week, so it's an easy decision. I've hit it perfect every time except for the playoff hole. (Laughs). So I pulled my drive on the playoff hole. I think, really, to come down to it, the second shot, Retief hit dead, just phenomenal. It was 240 yards out to the flag and the only thing in the line is the bunker, but he hit it under the tree and cut it up to the green. That was the shot of the tournament for us, really. We could easily have hit it anywhere. I almost made the putt, but that 2-iron set us up.

Q. You've both won the U.S. Open and in playoffs ... with the temperature so cold, you must really have to be very patient to play the golf course today?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I've been in a few playoffs this year, so I'm getting used to it by now. Yeah, I think your mind is so focused on the game that you don't really think too much got cold. Your hands are getting cold, but it wasn't really bothering us. The main thing was it was getting dark and it becomes difficult to see the lines on the greens when it starts getting dark.

ERNIE ELS: The first playoff this year -- I won the first one in '94 and I was watching Retief, cheering him on this year at the U.S. Open. But I think Retief is very good in playoffs. He has a competitive mind. I've been in quite a few playoffs since '94 and I think I've only won one or two since then. And I lost a playoff about two weeks ago, also, at THE TOUR Championship. So it was nice coming through. And I agree with Retief; it was cold, but the darkness is more of a factor because to judge your shots into the green, or even the putts on the greens are very difficult.

Q. It's been a while since you won, when was the last time you won a tournament and is it a special feeling?

ERNIE ELS: I had a good year. I've had a lot of chances to win this year, but it just didn't work out for me. The last time I won was the Million Dollar last year in December, so it's almost been a year. Yeah, it's a great feeling, you know, especially playing with a very good friend of mine, Retief. We've started playing junior golf together, I don't know, about 18, 20 years ago, it seems like. So we know each other very well and we've grown up in the game. So it's very, very special for me to win a tournament with him, and especially, the World Cup.

Q. Which of you did the most work this week? Who do you think deserves the Cup?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I think it's pretty much equal. I know that Ernie putted much better the last couple of rounds. You know, I think today, I think in the second round, we were not playing as well. We just couldn't make any birdies. I said to Ernie, "You know, the good thing about this is this is only the second round. There's two more rounds to go." And then the last two rounds it all started falling together and we played well.

Q. What was the putting tip that Retief gave you? And did you see Tiger's chip-in, and if so, what were your thoughts and did you say, "Here we go again"?

ERNIE ELS: Well, the main tip was a posture problem. It's like anything in the golf game, really. It starts with posture and ball position. I was out of whack. You know, the first round, I kind of got away with it in the better ball and I made a couple of putts here and there. But in the foursomes, the next day, I just fell apart with my putting and I was really just trying to lag putts without much feel. Kind of through the round, Retief asked me how I felt and I said I was very uncomfortable. Then we worked on it that evening and as I said, it was a posture thing and we got it all squared up. Even yesterday, I felt like a different guy putting. I made a lot of putts, and, you know, it's been good. Tiger's chip, I didn't watch it. I was actually practice putting. I saw the second shot that David hit, and to be honest I didn't think he had a chance of making it. So I didn't watch the screen. I heard the crowd go crazy so I knew he made it. But, in a playoff, I've had a couple with him and I've lost, but at least I had the Golden Goose with me today to help us.

End of FastScripts....

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