Ernie Els (Flash)
Score 212, 2‑over
Q. Flying as high as your eagle on 17?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I'm in a much better mood now than I was on the 6th tee. This afternoon I was 3‑over for the round, 7‑over for the event. So to come back and play the last 12 holes in 5‑under is quite amazing, and obviously the shot on 17 is what dreams are made of, a shot like that in a U.S. Open. So I'm really pleased.
How hard is it out there?
ERNIE ELS: Today I felt the course played probably the fairest of the last couple of days. I felt it was a bit more moisture in there and the flag positions were fine; and if you played proper golf today you could shoot under par.
I just played the first six horribly. I hit it all over the ballpark, and if you're going to play that way, the course can be firm or soft and you're not going to score. But I felt if you hit shots today you had a chance.
Q. Talk about the shot on 6. Was that kind of a key momentum for you?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, second shot on 6, I decided to hit driver off the tee, and if you skirt it past the bunker you only got wedge in.
But I went in the bunker and hit a great shot out there have with a 7‑iron and I salvaged par, and then hit a really good bunker shot on 7 actually, the little par‑4. I hit it in the green side bunker there and the flag's just over that hill and I hit an unbelievable shot there.
It was almost as good as the one on 17. I made birdie there. And I made a really good putt on 8 for birdie. So that turned things around those three holes.
Q. How much does experience matter now?
ERNIE ELS: I feel that my mental attitude this week has been quite good. I've had a couple of train wrecks out there. 16th first time I made 8 and I made double on 4 on the first day. So hopefully I got those out of the way.
Experience helps around here. For some reason I'm patient again this week and that's been kind of my virtue in Major Championship golf has been the ability to be patient and wait it out. And I think you're going to have to do that tomorrow. If you have a little bit of a flier somewhere in the round take it and then protect it.
Q. Can you take us through the eagle chip on 17?
ERNIE ELS: Well, I was pin high, which was fine, and the green angles towards you. And, as I said, I was in the first cut the little fringe there, beautiful lie; and I guess it was about a probably almost a 50 yard shot almost into the hole. So it's one of those one in a thousand shots.
Q. How do you go around this kind of a course like this three straight days and not just continually shake your head thinking, I got to just keep hanging in there?
ERNIE ELS: Well, that's what it is. You just got to keep going and hopefully you get good breaks. It depends on conditions. Today it was playable. Tomorrow if it's really firm, you won't see a score under par. The course is really difficult. There's a bit of moisture that gives us a bit of a brick and guys that are really on their games can shine a bit. So we'll see.
Q. How is moving day in a regular tournament compare with moving day in a Major?
ERNIE ELS: Wow, moving day in the U.S. Open, if you shoot even par you're moving. In a regular event you got to shoot 7 or 8‑under par on a Saturday. So it's all relative, and it's ‑‑ it depends on conditions, as said, but obviously you shoot even par in a U.S. Open, you're going to do okay.
Q. How much does it feel to be in this position and you're there with as good a chance as pretty much anybody?
ERNIE ELS: Well, hopefully even if I'm within four that's a great chance I feel tomorrow. I think if you get it into the red numbers, I think you'll win this tournament. Somehow. I know it's saying a lot 2‑over, but red numbers will win.