Can Ernie Els repeat?

mulligan, 12 June 2007, Comments Off on Can Ernie Els repeat?
Categories: ernie

Anyway, I travelled to Oakmont at the weekend, so I could get here nice and early and start playing some practice rounds. It’s a huge week for me, going back to where I won my first US Open way back in 1994. That was a big breakthrough for me. I was only 24 and to be honest, it was almost like a shock the way it happened. But I always thought I had it in me to win majors. And I always had dreams of winning quite a few. Man, what I’d give to win another one this week. That’s what I’m here to do.

My first impression when I got here was how different the course looks compared to last time. They have got rid of something like 5,000 trees, which counts for pretty much every tree that was in play in the ’94 US Open. It brings Oakmont back to what I hear is more like its original character and the result is absolutely tremendous. I really like what they’ve done.

They’ve put in some new bunkers, as well, which look great. And as you’d expect the course has been lengthened from the 6,946 yards – the length that it was when I won – to 7,230 today. You may have already read or heard about the par-3 eighth hole, which I think will play 288 yards on at least two of the four rounds. Yep, 288 yards. Depending on the exact hole location it might even stretch to 300 yards. That could be interesting, to say the least. It must be 25 years since I last hit driver on a par-3!

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