After eagling the 72nd hole to come from behind and win in Dubai, Els spoke about Tiger, tees and flying first-class
This is an article from the March 14, 2005 issue
Q: Can you remember the last time you made an eagle on 18 to win?
EE: I can't remember that. You'd have to look it up.
Q: How long was that putt?
EE: I don't know. It had to be six or seven yards.
Q: How much break did it have?
EE: It had a bit of a swing, probably six balls outside left. It was downhill, quite fast. I was a little tentative on a couple of putts today, but on that one I felt good for some reason. I could see the line and got it on line. It was a great feeling when it went in.
Q: Miguel Angel Jimenez three-putted the last green to open the door for you. Could you understand what he was going through after missing?
EE: I've been there many times, and I've lost a lot of tournaments like that. I know what he's going through now, and it's not nice.
Q: How important was it to send a message to Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh?
EE: I watched them on TV a bit. They are playing at a very high level. Tiger seems like he's really striking the ball well again. And so is Vijay, only he's not making putts at the moment. It's a very exciting year. Nobody wants to back off. A lot of guys are looking for big years, and we'll get together in a couple of weeks and see where it goes.
Q: Outside of the majors, you seem to be monopolizing a few events--Johnnie Walker, Heineken, Nedbank, the World Match Play. How do you explain that?
EE: Sometimes you simply like a place--you like going there, you like the course, you just feel comfortable.
Q: I don't know if you're superstitious, but your previous two Dubai wins came before a victory in a major.
EE: I like that. I am superstitious. I'm a sportsman, and we're all superstitious. I hope that works in my favor this year.
Q: What are your superstitions?
EE: I'm not telling.
Q: Are there a lot of them?
EE: I have a couple. I play with white tees, always. What else? Always get up on the left side of the bed. Those are only two.
Q: A lot was made about the ticketing snafu that forced you to fly from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Dubai in economy class. Will you do that for every tournament now?
EE: I really enjoyed my flight, but hopefully I can keep flying by other means. --ASAP Sports
84% - Increase in the TV ratings for the final round at Doral on Sunday over the last round in 2004.