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January 10, 2013

Ernie Els


Q.  The bogey, can you tell us about that?
ERNIE ELS:  That was probably the best bogey I've made this year, because I hit it dead right and it went into very long rough.  I was lucky to find it and then hit it and get it back to the fairway.  And then I had 240 yards to the flag and hit 5‑wood, probably one of the better shots I've hit all day, too.  Very pleased to make 5 there after my drive.

Q.  If the wind stays as it is predicted, are you quite comfortable in those conditions as you were today?
ERNIE ELS:  Yeah, the wind, it makes the golf course play what it is.  That's why we call it‑‑ it can be a tough golf course and if the weather conditions come, it's almost like a links course.  When it's very calm, you can kill it and then when the wind comes‑‑ but in any case, yeah, I'd like to see wind.
I think it's going to turn.  Hopefully this weather comes through‑‑ that makes the first five holes very difficult.  I don't mind.

Q.  You got off to a hot start, a few birdies; tell us what happened?
ERNIE ELS:  Yeah, I had an unbelievable start.  I was in between two clubs on fourth tee and I was going to hit a 6‑iron and I went to a 5‑iron and I basically just made a bad swing on top of the ball.  And then I didn't have much of a second shot.  I played quite a nice second shot, just stuck it on the green and I hit a putt and thought it was going to be very fast and it wasn't, and five, six feet, so 3‑putt, so that wasn't great.
Off to such a great shot, to give shots back like, that that wasn't good.

Q.  Given the start that you had, can you just tell us about, that‑‑
ERNIE ELS:  The first tee shot, I was thinking, this is the first tee shot of my new year.  Normally I'm very focused but I was actually, here we go, one of those moments, like let's have a good year.  Just start the new year, to start the new year off with a birdie and make a long putt on the second hole, you're basically playing to the back of the Cup, and I thought, here we go.
The second you think that in this game‑‑ then you go double‑bogey.  But I think I knuckled down nicely.  Had to get the ball up‑and‑down numerous times.  So it was a very scram will go round.  It's a tough day so I'm just pleased to be able to sit here and see what happens the next few days.

Q.  On some of those holes, you had about 150 metres behind Colsaerts.
ERNIE ELS:  My God, I don't think I've ever seen anybody down there‑‑ I think we counted it down, it was 419 yards down the fairway and I was coming from a different zip code‑‑ but I just love playing with him.  First time I've played with him.  I've played with Bubba and Dustin Johnson and those guys just bomb it 40 yards further than any of us.  It's quite exciting when they take their driver out.

Q.  Aren't you glad you're not at Kapalua this year?  What do you feel about this course now that you've played it in tournament conditions versus the other times?
ERNIE ELS:  Well, as I say, today was a very difficult today.  In 2010 when we played here, it was very wet but there was no wind.  You just went for the flags.  And then yesterday, although the wind was blowing, it was blowing a different direction.  But you know, when you have wind on a golf course, and rain, it doesn't get much tougher than that.

Q.  What club did you hit on the third?
ERNIE ELS:  I went 3‑iron and then 6‑iron, but I was still 80 yards behind‑‑ (laughter).  As I say, these guys hit it in places you've never seen before.

Q.  You've never played with him before?  Had you met him?
ERNIE ELS:  Yeah, I know Jos, my friend, worked with him early on in his career.  He's been out probably ten years now but he's really come on obviously the last two, three years.  And he's a great talent.  He's a great talent for the game, and he's got a great short game, he's got great feel.  Obviously this golf course is not quite suited for him but he's a wonderful, exciting player.

Q.  Saw you had a chuckle with him‑‑ what did you say to him‑‑
ERNIE ELS:  Down there?  I've been coming here at least since '88, '86 I think I played here, and what's that, almost 30 years, and nobody has‑‑ they should put a little mark down there.  I don't think anybody's going to be there again.  I think he had 84 metres to the front.  Different game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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