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October 20, 2010
Ernie Els -5
David Toms -4
Martin Kaymer +3
Graeme McDowell +3
THE MODERATOR: Graeme McDowell in the media center. A real interesting day out there with the conditions.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, conditions were tough out there today. That breeze strengthened as the day went on. The conditions were tricky, very tricky. Obviously Ernie played well the last five, six holes. David hung in tough all day. Pretty good tussle. Martin and I had a pretty good tussle for the booby prize.
I was actually very happy the way I played today. Two 7s these last two days were just a killer for me. I felt like I could have competed apart from those.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Can you talk about this kind of being a nice way to cap off the year. Do you have anything else coming up after this?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, the experience here was amazing. This is the four ball you want to be a part of. The PGA of America put on a great show for us, Port Royal Golf Club and the Fairmont Hotel. Bermuda is a beautiful place to come and play golf. To be part of a special foursome, it's definitely one you want to play in every year.
I really enjoyed the week, to be out there with three great guys. Obviously disappointing not to have the two other major champions here, but Ernie and David are great major champions in their own right. I really enjoyed it. It was a great golf course. Really enjoyed the challenge.
I'm a busy man from here in. From next week, I'm playing seven straight. That's the end find my season, so I'm a pretty busy man.
Q. Can you talk about your grinding with Martin at the end. Were you really grinding to get that third place? Talk about the interplay between the two of you there.
GRAEME McDOWELL: You know, I think we both kind of switched off a little bit, then I 3-putted the par 3, followed up with a 3-putt on 15. All of a sudden Martin was like, Hold on, this ain't over yet. Those last four holes are pretty tricky. When Martin birdied 15, that made one shot. He birdied 17, as well.
Yeah, of course, there's an element of pride kicks in. No one wants to finish last for sure. It was tough. When you're completely out of the mix, it's very difficult to keep the pedal down. We had a nice little tussle the last four or five holes. It was a lot of fun.
Q. Couple years ago there was talk here that the course might be good enough for a European Tour event. Any thoughts on that?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I mean, I'd like to see a full-field play that 16th hole. There would be eight groups waiting in the tee box. It would be a nightmare.
No, I think the golf course is really, really good. It was great conditions this week, well-presented. This golf course is a great test for any European Tour event. Stiff breeze across us like we had today. Level par is a good score out there, it really is. I certainly concur with the fact that it's good enough for a tour event.
THE MODERATOR: We will see you next year here.
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'd love to come. Is that an invitation (laughter)?
THE MODERATOR: It was a question.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, of course. If I earn my way to come back here, I will be back here next year.
THE MODERATOR: Martin Kaymer joining us, ladies and gentlemen. Plus three today. Very interesting day out there. Looked like you had a little bit more fun than yesterday even with the elements of the weather.
MARTIN KAYMER: Going into the second round today, my goal was to catch Graeme. I was struggling on the front nine.
To be honest, it was kind of like a split field. Ernie and David, they were playing for the win, for the tournament. Graeme and me were trying to hang in there and finish third. I was quite pleased with the tie at the end.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Martin, I know you struggled a bit on the front nine. Is this one of the best even-par rounds you shot?
MARTIN KAYMER: I had a very good finish. I didn't play great golf yesterday and today. It was a good round. Ernie, I don't know what he shot today, a couple under, 3-under, it was fantastic. Level par is a very good round today. It was nice for me the way I finished today. Gave me a little bit of motivation and a small satisfaction.
Q. Can you talk about your experience as a whole this week in Bermuda.
MARTIN KAYMER: What I said yesterday already, I was walking onto the first tee, walking over the golf course, thinking I'm one of those major winners now, very elite circle of major winners. Felt quite special to me.
That experience that I had the last couple days, it's very difficult to explain, but it makes me very proud to be here and to play with the greatest players in golf.
Obviously you saw David and Ernie today, their short game has been very, very good. I know what I have to work on.
THE MODERATOR: Martin Kaymer, thank you very much for joining us.
David Toms, ladies and gentlemen, your second-place finisher in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at minus four.
David, not quite sure if you were enjoying what you were doing out there, but certainly looked like a rollercoaster from in here.
DAVID TOMS: It was. It was just a tough day. First of all, I guess I had the lead for the last, I don't know, 29, 30 holes. Sometimes that's really hard. Everybody else is just kind of winging it. A day like today, you could hit one shot, make a double real fast. So you kind of protect, you're playing safe, trying to hit the smart shot, hanging in there as much as you can.
I think early on if I would have made some of those birdie putts, I had some early on, but the back nine, you're hanging on. I felt like I didn't necessarily lose this thing. Ernie birdie-ing 14, 15 and 16, the putt he made on 16, I'd say he won the tournament. For me to go through those holes, play them under-par would have been a pretty good feat in itself. He played them 3-under.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Chipped in on 12 and 14. When the one went in on 14, you might have thought that it was going to be your day.
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, but we still had 16 to play. You could make double-digits on that hole quick. Certainly one of those holes. And 15, very demanding tee shot, as you could see the way guys played it yesterday. You either hit a good shot or it's not a good spot.
I felt good about it. I kind of felt bad for Ernie in a way. He is up there putting for birdie. I am all over the place, end up making par. Right after that he tops me. That's why I said, he won the thing. Doing that after I chipped in to make that birdie, then two more back-to-back, then 17 when I was in good position again, then he made that long putt.
You know, it was fun, though. I really had a good time. Enjoyed the company of the guys. We talked a lot out there. To even have a chance to be in the hunt, see how I held up, I felt like I really stayed positive, just kept grinding till the end.
Q. To that point, can you talk a little bit about the psychological swings out there.
DAVID TOMS: I think it's probably a lot like a match play kind of format, like a Presidents Cup, Ryder Cup thing, where you go back and forth. That's probably what he thought, too: What do I have to do, this guy is chipping in on me? A couple holes later, it's reversed.
Like I say, it was fun. I enjoyed that. Enjoyed my time here. To be able to compete here in the end, that's all I could ask for.
Q. Everyone made a big deal about Ernie turning 41 and competing. And you're 44?
DAVID TOMS: I'll be 44 in January.
Q. Still competitive, coming off a solid year. Is it just a number to you?
DAVID TOMS: I think that's just our sport. The story was this year that the young guys are playing well, so many young guys. But guys with experience, a guy like Ernie, it paid off today.
For me, I feel really good about the way I've played the last month and a half or so. I feel like I'm getting really close. Today would have helped, being able to get over that hump. I backed up the last couple weeks of the season. Had a chance in Greensboro as well. Finished second there. I need to get back to where I finish strong instead of just kind of coming back.
Today would have helped, but I still feel pretty good about the way I'm playing.
THE MODERATOR: David Toms, ladies and gentlemen.
DAVID TOMS: Thanks.
THE MODERATOR: Ernie Els minus five, he is your winner of the 2010 PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Ernie, what a day out there. Let's hear it.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I mean, yesterday was an unbelievable day. Felt like I shot 68 yesterday, which was a good score, but it was almost a very easy 68. Today shooting 69, felt like I had to work very hard for it.
I was struggling on the greens a bit yesterday. I was struggling on the greens again today until let's say the last five, six holes when I found something in my putting stroke. My speed came back. I made some really big putts. Those are the putts that I was missing almost a day and a half, then started dropping, and that was the difference.
THE MODERATOR: Let's go through your card real quick. Talk about the bogeys and the spectacular birdies.
ERNIE ELS: No. 1 I bogeyed. I was a bit safe off the tee. Gave myself a long second shot into the green over the water, played it really safe to the right side of the flag. About 60 feet away. I 3-putted. Left my first putt way short and missed that.
2nd hole, the par 5, moved a two-footer there for birdie. Wasn't a great start.
Birdied No. 7. Hit a driver, 5-iron short of the green. Pitched it up about 10, 12 feet, made the putt.
No. 9, I missed the fairway left, missed the green short left in the bunker, missed about a 7-footer, 8-footer for par.
Obviously the back nine I played nicely. Hit a good driver on 11. Pitched it up from about 70 yards to about four feet and made it.
The par 3, I hit the wrong club off the tee. Hit a 6-iron short of the green, pitched it up to about 12 feet, missed that for par.
I birdied 14. Hit a 7-iron for my second shot to about 15 feet, made that.
15, I hit a good drive and a sand wedge to about three feet. Made that.
16 was probably the biggest putt of the week. I hit a 6-iron on that par 3 just through the green on the right and made about a 35-footer there for birdie.
I made another good save on 17 for par after driving it into the bunker. Made about a 10-footer down the hill there.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. When David was chipping in on 12 and 14, what was going through your mind?
ERNIE ELS: No, I thought when a guy does it once, thinking, Good shot. When he does it twice in three holes, you're thinking maybe he's destined to win this thing. Took a bit of the pressure off me in a way where I free-wheeled it, see how close I could get to him. He made a mistake on 15. I made birdie, he made bogey. That was a big change.
Yeah, he's got a great short game. Always had a great short game.
Q. Can you talk about the 17th hole. You looked not so happy with that third shot. Then you make a tremendous up and down for par. Also with that one, how many pink jackets do you have in the closet?
ERNIE ELS: I think it's good style. I live in Palm Beach now. I don't have another pink jacket.
But to come back to your question. Yeah, on 17 I wasn't happy. I had a very similar yardage on 14, 7-iron there. On 17, you're blocked by the hill behind the green. I wasn't sure if the wind was going to get it or not, but I couldn't take a chance being short. I hit 7-iron. Made a bad swing on it, too. Wasn't one of my proudest moments.
Then I hit a very nice chip shot, but obviously a little bit soft, made a very big putt there. As I say, I was missing those putts, wasn't doing what I was doing there. Maybe I was owed one, and that was it.
Q. You had your putter in here yesterday, went to the putting green. What were you working on specifically this week?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, just really basic stuff that I've always worked on, you know. If you saw at the start of the year I was really bent over the ball. I just started feeling uncomfortable being so far bent over the ball. I just wanted to find a more natural way that fits me.
In Scotland I started just standing up to it a little bit with a narrow stance. That started feeling uncomfortable a bit yesterday. I've always said when I putted my best, I set up the way I'm going to hit a 7-iron. That's what I started doing the back nine.
Maybe I'll stick with this technique for now. That helps me release the putter head. When I hang my arms, when I stand up to the ball a little bit. As I said yesterday, I'm working on a putting routine. It's still not quite there, but will help.
Q. I saw you exchange a very familiar look with Brian Lara on the 15th tee box. Talk about coming to an unfamiliar place, but sharing it with someone familiar to you.
ERNIE ELS: Brian is a good friend. We met way back in the early '90s after he did that record beating inning, I think it was back in '94. We've known each other a very long time. We've become good friends. He's a very avid golfer himself now.
I was really happy to see him, yeah, this week. I didn't know he was coming. We played golf in the ProAm. Now that I'm living in Florida, I said to him, he's got to come and help me make money over weekends against my members there at the Bears Club.
But we're going to play some more golf now in the future and spend some more time together. It's been nice to see him again.
Q. When you came here last night, you had a putter in your hand. You went straight out to the green. Did you do anything on that green which helped you today?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, no. I mean, as I say, I'm working on a couple things. Just trying to find a way where I'm comfortable. Only way I'm going to do that is really to spend time hitting a lot of putts, really practicing that.
I'm going to keep doing that until the end of the year and hopefully it will all settle into a routine that I can really fall back to and really contend. You need to putt really well to contend and to try to win.
If I didn't make those putts, I wouldn't be sitting here.
Q. On 16, that clutch putt to take the lead, can you take us back through that.
ERNIE ELS: 16 is a spectacular hole. Today and yesterday it played downwind, thank goodness. I don't think we would have reached it if the wind was blowing the other way. 6-iron through the green. Gave myself an opportunity to putt. For some reason I felt very comfortable on the line, over that putt. I was putting into the wind, so I could really hit it firm. I had a perfect line. Just one of those beautiful things, you know. Just kept curling and went in the hole. It was a key moment.
Q. What was going through your mind 2-putting for the championship?
ERNIE ELS: Don't 3-putt (laughter).
I wasn't sure to be aggressive or just to lag it up. I lagged it up. I didn't want to take any chances. Even the second shot, that 18th green is very tough. I just wanted to try to get it on top. It just stayed on top. Still had about 25 feet to go. I was happy just to 2-putt.
Q. What are your general impressions of Port Royal and what will you remember most about playing here in Bermuda?
ERNIE ELS: I really think today it was a real challenge. If there's no wind, you can make a lot of birdies around this place. When it's like this, it's like this probably quite often, because it is an island, get a lot of wind, it's a really great challenge.
Again, I have to thank the greens staff for getting this golf course in such great condition. The greens were to a quality. Really everybody, all the players, I've spoken to all the players, all the players are very happy the way the golf course was set up. Had quite a nice gallery on the back nine.
I can't see any reason not to keep coming back here. I'll come back here. The Fairmont Hotel we're staying at is a fab place. Can't see too many negative things.
THE MODERATOR: His pink jacket goes with the Els merlot.
ERNIE ELS: I think I'll have the dark rum today (laughter).
Q. What is your schedule the rest of the year?
ERNIE ELS: I'm going to Malaysia. Get on an airplane Saturday, go there. I'm going to play Shanghai. I'm not sure about Dubai. I might give it a skip because of Martin. Martin basically won the Money List. I'll go see and see what kind of bonus we're playing for over there. If it's worthwhile, I'll go. If not, I'm going to play the Million Dollar where I haven't been for three years. Quite a schedule. Then I'll take all December off and start it up in Hawaii.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Ernie.
End of FastScripts