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BMW INTERNATIONAL OPEN


June 19, 2013


Ernie Els


EICHENRIED, GERMANY

PAUL SYMES:テつ Thanks for coming in, well played last week.テつ I would imagine the course this week is going to play slightly different to Merion, but obviously the way you played must give you a lot of confidence to bring here.
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, thank you, I'm really pleased to be back at Munich and to play in the BMW International Open again.テつ First time I think I was here was back in'97.テつ I'll never forget it, because that morning, I remember Princess Diana, you know, passing away that Sunday morning.
But on a different note, yeah, I've been coming here for a long time, and I played last week, and, you know, committed to play here through Marco last September.テつ It's good to be back and obviously we'll have a good week.テつ Hopefully the course is not as tough as Merion.テつ Be nice to putt for a birdie now and again.
PAUL SYMES:テつ You've had a couple of Top‑10s here.テつ You obviously like the course?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yes, I've had a couple of mixed results, but I've played well here for the most part.テつ I didn't play too well a couple of years ago right after the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.テつ I flew over and I didn't do too well that year, but normally I like it here.テつ Partly because, you know, as I say, if you play half‑decently, you can putt for a lot of birdies and actually make a score.
I heard they changed the course a little bit and made it a little tougher, some of the par 5s and the par 4s, but for the most part, it's a more enjoyable test.
PAUL SYMES:テつ Are you looking forward to playing with Wladimir Klitschko in the Pro‑Am this afternoon?
ERNIE ELS:テつ That will be nice.テつ Yeah, I met him once before, and it will be an absolute pleasure to play with him, ask him a couple of left hooks, a bit of advice (laughter).
But we'll have a good day this afternoon.テつ Obviously it's his hometown and he's an unbelievable sports figure in the world and it's amazing that golf can bring a lot of different people from across the globe and across different sports zones, so to speak, together.テつ So it will be really nice to play with him.

Q.テつ Before you came in, Matteo Manassero was in; how do you see the young generation?テつ Will they change golf in some way?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Well, I think they have got good futures.テつ Obviously Matteo, already winning big tournaments, he's only 20,21 years old.テつ He's a great young kid.テつ He loves the game and he loves practicing and hopefully he keeps that up, because it's a long rode.テつ You're not always getting things your way, so it's a balancing act that you have to follow, the negatives with the positives.
But I think he's obviously a great talent and just the overall game can really go places.テつ So I would say that he's going to be around for a very long time.テつ There's a lot of players in his category, early 20s, that are really knocking on the door to do big things, so it will be fun to see what they do.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
ERNIE ELS:テつ I'll be 44 this year, so still got a couple years left.テつ I feel good.テつ I've been working good on my game. テつPhysically I feel good again.テつ So, yeah, I'm looking forward to Majors.テつ We've got some great tournaments coming up in the Majors.テつ We have got Muirfield in a couple of weeks, and OakHill at the PGA, so I feel I have good chances, no matter what my age. テつI feel like I can pull out the guns to play with the young kids.

Q.テつ Is it a relief to come to a course like this where 20‑under par, 22‑under par is going to win, as opposed to having to deal with a torture test last week?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ You've still got to hit the shots.テつ Although it's an easier shots and the shot values are a little bit different than the U.S. Open, but you've still got to hit the shot.テつ The course is not going to lie over and die for you.
So you have to hit the shots and make the putts.テつ But at least you feel mentally that you've got a better chance of being able to do that.テつ So hopefully it's not 22‑under par, but it's going to be low, because it's soft, isn't it.テつ They have had a lot of rain here, so the course will be soft and when conditions are soft, these guys will make birdies.テつ So try to shoot a 66 every round.

Q.テつ When do you sort of start focusing on Muirfield?テつ I know going back there as defending champion but also being last Open Champion at Muirfield?
ERNIE ELS:テつ It's a wonderful feeling and I can't wait to get there.テつ I'm off after this tournament and I'm going up to Muirfield next week already, go up there, check it out and the weeks following, I'll keep going upandcoming down and really do my homework and stay sharp.
We have got a big stretch from The Open through back to the States and the PGA and so forth.テつ I want to be fresh for it, so I can't wait to get to Muirfield.

Q.テつ We talked about the young guys, who else on your list has a big future?
ERNIE ELS:テつ So many of them.テつ I think some of the South African kids.テつ Obviously Branden Grace, obviously Charl and Louis, they are not young kids anymore, but obviously I guess Martin Kaymer, but he's also not that young anymore but he's still in his 20s‑‑ well, give me some names, I'm trying to ‑‑

Q.テつ Kieffer?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, I saw him yesterday in the par 3 challenge and he looked like he was not too nervous, he looks okay.テつ It's a bit of a lottery, but if you can keep your card out here for a couple of years and you can win within two years on Tour, then you really have got some talent, because the Tour is quite tough to win now.
So for young guys coming through, try and get your win as quickly as possible and then settle in.

Q.テつ You've come around a lot in the world, so it true you've never drive a Rolls‑Royce?
ERNIE ELS:テつ No, that's not on my play list.

Q.テつ How was the experience?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Still too young for that (laughter).

Q.テつ Too young for the Rolls‑Royce?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Yeah, I think so.

Q.テつ How was it?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Need a driver for the Rolls‑Royce.テつ No, it was great.

Q.テつ Does it make you feel old?テつ (Laughter)?
ERNIE ELS:テつ It was great.テつ I think whenever you have a machine like that, it gets you excited and it was nice to drive.テつ I drove one in the U.S. last year for the BMW Championship in Chicago, or wherever it was, and very nice drive.テつ But it's not quite me.

Q.テつ About 14 years ago, I asked you, can you teach me the South African swing.テつ We were in Switzerland, and you said:テつ Forget it, you're never going to learn it.テつ Which is in your opinion the most important shot for amateurs and pros?
ERNIE ELS:テつ Most important shot, is the next shot.テつ (Laughter).
I get that question a lot, but I think always the putt.テつ You can always learn to drive it.テつ If you can't make any putts, then it's very difficult to score.テつ So the end of the day, the putt is the one that wins you the golf tournament, not always the driver.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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