Ernie Els Masters Q&A

masterslogo2.gifErnie Els attempted to talk about the course changes and the impact of technology, but seemed to be holding back.  His Masters Tuesday session with the intrepid inkslingers:

Q. What's the most extreme of the course changes out there, which hole do you think is the most extreme change, and which of the changes do you possibly disagree with the most?

ERNIE ELS: You know, I think that the changes have been made, we've all talked about technology, it's changed so much, and I think Augusta National has made the biggest changes to compensate that, basically.

We haven't really played many Masters with dry conditions yet. We might find it this week.

I think with technology, with all of these golf courses changing, I think we just hold back and see where it goes. See how we play the game on this new Augusta National. I think we've just got to give it some time and see where it goes. I don't think anything should be rushed now with technology or anything. Let's see where it goes.

 With all due respect Ernie, we've been doing that for about 10 years now, and look where it's gotten us.

I think the changes they have made, I've played with Gary Player this morning and he was saying that they were playing certain clubs into certain holes, and we're basically playing the same clubs into those holes 20, 30 years later. So I guess that's where Augusta National is trying to go, is to make us play a 5 iron into 11 where they were playing 5 irons into 11 in the '60s, '70s. So that's what we're doing now.

They have a couple more trees to look out for, but we're playing those clubs into these holes now. No. 4, Gary was saying that he was playing a lot with Jack, who was the No. 1 player back then, same as Tiger now with us and Jack was hitting 3 irons back then. I'm sure you're going to see Tiger is only hitting 3 iron at 4. That's basically their plan is to bring back the course where they used to play the shots into the greens back then.


Q. Do you think the fact that they have lengthened the course has reduced the number of people that can win here?

ERNIE ELS: Yeah, it's a tough one. You know, I think with technology, I've got a 5 wood out this week, I can hit that club 245 and hit it quite high. So I can stop it on the greens from that distance.

I think a lot of guys have got those kind of clubs, 7 woods, and all kind of different stuff. I think technology will help a lot of players like myself. It's difficult to say. As I say, we haven't really played Augusta the last five, six years in very firm, fast conditions. We haven't played a new course, so to speak in firm, fast conditions.

I think the players are so good, there's going to be a mix of players in there.