Ernie Els + Beer = Hockey Fights

With all due respect to the attention Rickie Fowler and Anthony Kim are getting this week, neither can hold a candle to the charisma and natural humour of The Big Easy aka. Ernie Els. The man is a star. He has an aura of confidence despite his self-admitted poor play this year, and the crowds swarm to him, whispering after each smooth swing, shaking their hands in disbelief that he can make it all look so easy. Not to mention the fact that he shot a 2-under-par 68 and currently sits tied for second midway through the first round of the RBC Canadian Open. Here’s a sample of what he had to say post-round:

When asked about players complaining the rough was too long: “I agree (laughing). It is what it is. You know, it’s Canada’s national open, and I’ve played many national opens – British Opens, South African Opens – you know, this is the way a national open should be played. It should be played as tough as possible on a very stern test, and that’s what you’ve got here.”

On the attention given to his caddie, former NHLer Dan Quinn: “On 18 I think he had 12 guys around him, and only one person around me. He’s a hockey player in this country, you know? He’s a good friend of mine, and a good player as you know.”

On Dan Quinn teaching him about hockey: “I watch hockey like any other fan. I listen to the stories and some of the stuff like the Greatest Fights on Youtube, you know. We’ve watched those many times after a couple of beers. Haven’t quite seen him in any of those fights (laughs) but he’s teaching me, put it that way.”

On the state of golf: “I feel that the art form of driving has gone out the window. Technology has taken over so much. And the guys are longer, you know. I think that’s just going to keep happening… I remember when I was in my 20′s, Nick Price was almost where I’m sitting now, and he was moaning about the length of the young guys. And I guess I’m saying the same thing now; some of these guys are hitting their 3-woods as long as I hit my driver, and that’s just the way it goes. That is just the cycle.”