U.S. Senior Open Championship

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA


Ernie Els

Quick Quotes

Q. You finished strong. What did you find in your game as the round went on?

ERNIE ELS: Well, I just started getting a bit more comfortable. You know -- well, I've got a swing thought. I was trying to get something going in practice, but I didn't want to spend too much energy at practice. So I didn't quite do what I normally do.

Anyway, I found the swing thought like on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th hole, and I went with that; started hitting it better. I'm sure you saw that in the stats. Yeah, that was kind of that.

It's really playing like a U.S. Open. It's really playing where you've got to kind of hit shots where you're going for the perfect miss -- get your wedge out of the way there. You're going for the perfect shot, but you've got to miss yourself where you get it up and down.

Q. As you said the other day, stay out of that juicy rough.

ERNIE ELS: I was in the rough a lot. I hit a lot of squirrelly shots, especially at the start. Did get a couple of lies in there to advance the ball just trying to make par. Just kind of a survival test for me, the front nine. I had a really nice birdie on number one, the 10th hole.

Unfortunately, I bogeyed 6. As I say, the course is so tough. Take even par after the start and move on.

Q. You took a birdie on 5. What was your thought process? Did you go for it? Did you lay up? Did you go for the green?

ERNIE ELS: Yeah, 5 was playing pretty short. The wind was off to the right a little down. Hit a nice tee shot just short of the bunker. Had 208 to the flag, downwind, so I hit 6-iron.

Did that out of the back bunker and then two-putted for birdie. This was the easiest hole I played the way it turned out.

Yeah, you've got to take the par-5s on, but then again, No. 14 is so long, there's water on the right. You have to be cautious there too.

Q. For sure.

ERNIE ELS: We'll always take 71, and we'll get going tomorrow hopefully.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
134392-1-1041 2023-06-29 19:00:00 GMT

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