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THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP


July 21, 2012


Ernie Els


LYTHAM ST. ANNES, ENGLAND

ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, it would have been close.テつ Thanks.テつ I did a lot of good things today, you know.テつ I struck it nicely.テつ Gave myself many, many opportunities.テつ The only one that maybe could have stopped my momentum was on 11.テつ I laid it up perfectly 105 yards, and basically frogged my third shot.テつ Three good putts just to make five.
But many chances.テつ If I think back, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, so I need a bit of breeze to help me out, but good position I think, still.

Q.テつ The pin positions were trickier today?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, that's par for the course, yeah.テつ You have no wind, a soft golf course, they've got to defend it somehow and they put in some difficult flag positions.テつ And if you're on the wrong sides you were really penalised.テつ So, yeah, it was a tough, tough‑‑ I wouldn't say tough day, but tough flags, but fair.

Q.テつ Are you feeling good coming become back here?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, yeah, feeling good‑‑ I feel good for the next four, you know.テつ I like the venues for the next four, actually.テつ So, yeah, I mean I'm kind of in a similar position as I was in '96 and 01, trying to chase down a leader.テつ '96 I came close and '01 not so close.テつ But I feel I've got a chance.テつ I feel the way I'm playing, if those putts start dropping I can really shoot a low one.テつ So that's what I'm hoping for.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS:テつ Since a very long time.テつ I'm a rugby freak so I watch a lot of rugby, and she's been working with the Springbok rugby team for a long time and worked with the English rugby team.テつ She started to work with me for about the last eight years, so I gave it a chance now.テつ So she's been wonderful.テつ Since January, sorry.

Q.テつ Among the players, what's the perception of Adam and his potential?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Well, Scottie is obviously, you know, he was almost world No.1 a couple of years ago.テつ His game left him a bit then.テつ But he seems like he really dedicated himself to the game then.テつ He's got all the talent in the world.テつ He's one of my good friends out here and I love seeing him play well because he's got one of the best golf swings, technically best golf swings.テつ With the long putter he's got some confidence.テつ Really great player.テつ He could be No.1 in the world if he gets this one.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, we were talking about it today.テつ It's amazing, absolutely amazing.テつ And, yeah, 5‑under, I felt like I've played really good golf but just can't really get a really low score going.
But it's just been amazing.テつ I can't remember the last time‑‑ I think Hoylake.テつ Hoylake might have been like this in '06.テつ It's just very dead calm.テつ It just shows you what a great golf course it is; even with calm conditions it's tough to score.

Q.テつ The pin positions are all pretty tough‑‑
ERNIE ELS:テつ No, I thought the flags were fine, you know.テつ You need tough flags.テつ What are you going to put flags in the middle of the greens in a major?テつ That's not going to happen.テつ There's no wind.テつ I don't know if the guys are bitching or moaning, it's fine, that's the way it is, it's a major.テつ Balls are backing up on a links golf course, you need to test the guys somehow.テつ I've got no problem with the flags.

Q.テつ One or two of your tee shots‑‑
ERNIE ELS:テつ Not really.テつ To be honest I hit my lines.テつ On 13, if I carry that bunker, which I did, the short par‑4, two yards to the left that ball is on the green.テつ And then 14 obviously I missed the fairway there, but that was my line to cut it off that left side, it didn't quite cut.テつ As long as I commit to those lines, I'm happy.テつ It's not like I backed out of any of the shots.
16 was another unlucky break, I thought.テつ It was on the green and rolled off the green.テつ So I haven't really had a lot of luck going.

Q.テつ If you do win it, it will‑‑ you're going to need your best ever Sunday score.テつ Possibly your best ever round.
ERNIE ELS:テつ Sure, yeah.テつ Give me the good news (laughter).

Q.テつ Is that‑‑
ERNIE ELS:テつ For some reason I've got some belief this week.テつ I feel something special can happen.テつ I feel I've put in a lot of work the last couple of‑‑ let's call it the last couple of years, especially the last couple of months.テつ So something good is bound to happen, so hopefully it's tomorrow.

Q.テつ You're in the mix at this championship on a Sunday.テつ Is the atmosphere different than any other major?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, they're all different.テつ Every one of them are different.テつ Masters has got the noise factor on the back nine, and U.S. Open it's just a hang‑on situation and very loud, obviously.
The Open is also different and special in its own way.テつ You can feed off this crowd.テつ This crowd really knows the game really well and knows the golf course even very well, most of them.テつ They know when you've hit a good shot or poor one.テつ You can feed off this crowd, they're nice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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