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


March 13, 2010

Ernie Els


CHRIS REIMER: Ernie at 12-under par tied for the lead going into the final rounds of the World Golf Championships - CA Championship. Just talk about the day.
ERNIE ELS: You can't complain too much when you have a share of the lead going into the final round. I played really solid today. You know, the mistakes I made was I would call it soft mistakes, but it was still mistakes. I missed quite a short putt on 7. Felt a little uncomfortable, you know, on those shorter putts today. I think it could have been the breeze. I'm 6'4, and I move around a little bit, or feels like it. I think it was a bit of a weak point today. And it basically cost me a little bit. You know, coming down the stretch, I missed one on 12, which came back at me, and you know, then I had a good one on 14, which missed 15, and then a short one on 16.
So you know, if those putts go in, it would have been a really very, very good day, but I can't complain too much.

Q. What do you think about playing with Charl tomorrow?
ERNIE ELS: I think it's great. I think it's a wonderful, cool story. It's great for South African golf, obviously. World golf, obviously, a new young star, 25-year-old really making his mark this year. He's won twice. He's a force to be reckoned with.
And I think it's great. This is what -- when we started the foundation, this is what we were after. Although Charl was an affiliated member with us, he travelled with the team; this is what we all had in mind. And you know, tomorrow, we shake hands and play 18 holes as hard as we can. He's going to try and win. I'm going to try and win. I just think it's very cool. It's a great story.

Q. He said he stayed with you for awhile just after the Match Play. Obviously he appreciated the offer, but it sounds like the two of you guys did some good work together. Did that help?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I don't know how it's going to go down tomorrow. He owes me. (Laughter).
I fed him well. I gave him good wine. (Laughter) So he owes me, big time. And we practiced at the Bear's Club and played Seminole a couple of times with Mr. Rupert, who is a member there. I think he had a great week. We met his fiancée and it was great having him there. I've known him a long time and he almost feels like a little brother to me in some ways.
You know, and now we are in the final round. I think if we talked about it last week to end up this way, I don't think we ever would have even in our wildest dreams have imagined that. I think it's great.

Q. I want to ask about the foundation, I really would hope that you would talk more about in the coming months about how successful the kids down there have really adapted to golf, as opposed to a lot that goes on in the U.S. about golf.
ERNIE ELS: Well, I think it's basically we want to help kids that comes from tough backgrounds. It's called limited resources. We've got a big population in South Africa. I guess we are about 40, 45 million people. We as white people are the minority by a big way. We are 4 million white people. I've always had a great relationship with black people, white people, brown people, yellow people, everybody, and I think we want to help anybody that comes through with talent in South Africa.
I think we've achieved that. You know, we've got James Kamte on The European Tour. We have got Louis Oosthuizen who plays on The European Tour, too. Those guys have won golf tournaments. We have some lady players that have come through, two, girls that have gone through college. So we keep building on that. We always want to get the talent out. You know, obviously the first prize is to have somebody like Charl and Louis, but we want to just better people's lives through golf; if they become, you know, superintendents or club pros, whatever. We just want to help kids come through.

Q. A young player playing the final Sunday round with a major champion like an Ernie Els, there could be a nervousness factor for a guy like that. How much is that factor not -- perhaps not a part of tomorrow, because you and Charl have played so many rounds together?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I think it's going to be comfortable. I think in his own game, he's got a lot of confidence, because of the year he's having.
So I think he's going to be comfortable with himself because he's playing well. And then obviously, if he thinks about, you know, how the final round is going to go down, he might get a little nervous. I think he's got enough experience now that he's going to play every hole for what it gives him, and obviously playing with me, I think he'll play a little bit more calm, as well. I think he should be quite tough to beat tomorrow.

Q. When was it first apparent to you that he had it? Do you remember him when he was a little kid?
ERNIE ELS: Oh, yeah. Every time I've gone out to their surroundings, you know, playing golf at their golf course, he always will be out there just following and had a lot of passion at an early age. There's a lot of kids out there like that but he's really special because he's truly making it now.

Q. Is Charl staying with you next week, as well?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, he is. We talked about it this morning. He's staying with me again next week. It's going to depend how it goes down tomorrow, too. (Laughter). He might be sleeping in the garden, you never know.

Q. Is tomorrow just another step in the process for you or do you consider it a pretty big day?
ERNIE ELS: No, it's big. I felt it, because I just played such good golf, and I think that's why I probably put a bit more pressure on myself on the greens coming in, because I felt I could maybe pull away a little bit, because I was hitting it so nicely. Unfortunately I don't quite -- I wasn't quite on on the greens coming in. But again, like I said, you know, from where I was last week to where I am today, is quite a change.
So totally different mind-set. So I'm ready to play well. But it's going to be a big day for me tomorrow. And obviously I know that.

Q. You said at the start of the week that you're more relaxed this year and you feel more refreshed this year; do you think there's a correlation between that and the fact that you -- it wasn't all that long ago that you went public about what your family has gone through with Ben. Is it too simple to say that one has kind of helped you with the other?
ERNIE ELS: Well, it's hard to say. We contemplated it for such a long time, myself and my wife, which role we should play with autism. Should we keep it very private and keep it to ourselves and deal with it; or, you know, as we've seen, there's so many families that are touched by it. And every time I speak to people, even Ben's school, they feel very -- you can see the pain in people and you can see the frustration and stuff. And I just thought, you know, if we come out, everybody thinks -- we do have great lives, but in a lot of ways, we are very similar to everybody out there.
So we just thought we might bring it out in the public and basically make other people feel more comfortable talking about it and get more attention to it, because it's a huge problem.
So I'm not sure, you know, how it's affected me. I just haven't played that well.

Q. If I could get you to talk about the varying degrees at 18 depending on the wind conditions; I assume we will not see it easier than it was today?
ERNIE ELS: No, today was a birdie hole. Never thought I would say that about 18. First two days, I couldn't believe how tough it was and today it was driver, wedge with a flag down on the bottom.
That's the wind conditions. That's south Florida. If it blows from the south tomorrow, we have got an unbelievably tough hole, again. If it blows out of the west like it has been today, it's a pretty easy hole. The finishing stretch yesterday was tough and today was variable. That's why I was a little disappointed with my finish.

Q. If it came down it tomorrow as a tie going to the 18th hole, what conditions would you prefer?
ERNIE ELS: Good question. Yeah, good question, I mean, if we are tied coming down 18, I mean, I've been striking my driver pretty well. I like it as tough as possible. Maybe like it was the first two days. That will make us think a little bit.
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you, good luck.

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