Ernie Els is making an early statement about 2006
And the hits just keep on coming for Ernie Els. He could not be any happier with the way he is coming back from the knee injury & surgery which has kept him sidelined for half a year.
The knee is still tender but he deemed it fit enough to play for a third week in a row down in South Africa. Els did not win as he did the previous week. What he did was to finish second to Retief Goosen in a classic match-play situation on Sunday. But again, I say, look at how he did it.
Because of the knee, Els begged off of the pro-am on the day before the tournament. In the first round he was unable to overcome the rust of missing a day of play and shot a 3 over 76. From there he missed by one shot on day two of shooting the low round in each of the final three rounds. Even a crippling mid-round double bogey in the final round did not stop this man. He went on to birdie 4 of the final 5 holes, just lipping out an eagle putt on the last. It took a chip-in birdie, birdie finish by Goosen to hold him off. The third place finisher was 7 shots further back.
And it should be noted that if you think they’re playing some podunk course, this performance was on the Links at Fancourt, the same course where that memorable Presidents Cup draw of 2003 was held. Tiger Woods remarked back then that if they played a stroke play tournament on this course, they might never finish.
There is an old saying around sports - beware the sick or wounded athelete.
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