Here’s a protip for all you aspiring sports reporters out there. If you really want to know what a pro athlete thinks about something, wait five years.
“This (Royal Melbourne) is a classic golf course. We’ll have a tough day and we can talk again. The defence for this course is the greens - firm and fast and when the wind is blowing you are going to play pretty well to break par.
“I am not going to shoot 60 again tomorrow, but I’d like to keep plugging away. I’ve got the lead in the tournament now and I’ve got to concentrate on that.”
Today Els talked about that same round during a press conference in Akron for the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. His account of what happened that day in Melbourne?
Q. What’s your all-time low anywhere?
ERNIE ELS: 60. I shot 60 a bunch of times but never could crack the 59.
Q. On TOUR?
ERNIE ELS: On TOUR I shot 60 once on the European Tour. At Royal Melbourne of all places. Those Aussies were shi–ing themselves. Nobody could shoot under 60 at Royal Melbourne and they were trying to talk on my backswing the last three holes.
Q. Was that at the Heineken?
ERNIE ELS: At the Heineken, yeah.
Q. Did you have a shot on the last or did you birdie the last?
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, I had chances — I had 12-under through 15 holes, mate. Kind of choked, made a bogey and then I made birdie, and I had two chances coming in. Didn’t quite do it. I think I felt embarrassed for them.
Okay, Els was joking, but where did those comments about the Aussies come from?
Most likely the heated rivalry between Els’ South Africa and Australia. The countries are bitter opponents when it comes to rugby, cricket, golf and tennis.
And, apparently, golf course design.