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June 21, 2013

Ernie Els


ERNIE ELS:  I didn't feel a lot of energy today for some reason, especially on the front nine for the first 12 holes or so.  I don't know, maybe it's the jet‑lag or age or something.  I made an absolute mess of two holes.  16 was just an absolute mess, and 7.  You take those two really big mistakes away, and then I had a really good round.
But I felt I really had to fight quite hard to score something today.

Q.  The form has been coming, you've been showing signs of it, so your confidence must have been building to bring you to this week?
ERNIE ELS:  Yeah, it has been coming, thank you, even since the Wentworth tournament.  And had quite a nice U.S. Open, and feel like the club is swinging nicely at the moment, and I'm making some putts.  So, yeah, when that happens, you know, you can start looking forward to playing again.

Q.  I spoke to Colin Byrne going down 15, he called your second shot from out of the trees as one of the best shots he's ever seen.  I have to be honest, I was clapping, as well.
ERNIE ELS:  Thank you, that was a special shot.  It was one of those, you can only play that one shot and get it on the green and it came out really nice, a little 6‑iron out of the trees.  But I had quite enough practice, so I should be good out of there.

Q.  Thoughts on the weekend?
ERNIE ELS:  In a nice position obviously.  I'm on par, 6‑under, I think it's going to play a little tougher over the weekend.  It's getting a little bit firmer but I would like to swing a little better tomorrow.  But I'm in a really nice position.

Q.  Your thoughts on how today has planned out?
ERNIE ELS:  Quite fortunate to be where I am.  I didn't play as good today as I did yesterday obviously.  I fought hard for a score today and satisfied with that.

Q.  Seemed all together the pins were tucked away a little bit more?
ERNIE ELS:  Exactly, the course is getting a little bit firmer now and they tucked a couple of flags.  You are not going to see the scoring we had yesterday, but I still felt I needed to get something under 70, which I luckily did.

Q.  Does the lead actually matter to you, to keep it maintained after two days?
ERNIE ELS:  Yes, but no.  It's so much golf to be played.  If you fall out of the lead, if you're not leading after three rounds, it doesn't really mean much at all late Sunday.
So you just want to stay in the race and keep trying to go forward.

Q.  And it was lovely to recover from that little blip that you had, as well?
ERNIE ELS:  Yeah, that was a terrible mistake on 7, tried to hit it over the little creek with my drive, and I made a mess of that, made double‑bogey there.  Then I made another mess off No. 16.  Other than that, I played quite nicely.

Q.  I take it you're in the kind of form and attitude that you can shrug them off and take the positives, because there's so many of them?
ERNIE ELS:  It's hard to take a double‑bogey on this golf course; there's so many birdies to be made.  But you really go backwards if you make a big number like that.  Hopefully I won't do that again, and play a little bit more sensible.

Q.  Thoughts into the weekend?  What's needed?
ERNIE ELS:  I'm not sure what's needed.  Depends on weather.  The weather is perfect for scoring.  Something low, still.  I think the course will get firmer and faster but I still feel that I've got to shoot something in the 60s to have a chance.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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