Monday, March 19

Ernie Els Takes Stock and Moves On

Ernie Els finished T5 at the Transitions Championship. (cmiked)
ERNIE ELS NEEDED TWO pars for a closing 65 and 14-under total that would have won the Transitions Championship. Instead, The Big Easy stumbled home with two consecutive bogeys and a couple of short misses at 16 (for birdie) and 18 to lose a spot in a sudden-death playoff by a shot. Luke Donald won the four-man scrum with a birdie on the first playoff hole and is back on top of the golf world.

(Good thing Rory McIlroy got to the White House last week. The No. 1 ranking didn’t last long.)

If there is a better blogger than Els on tour, please point me to him. Ernie writes a weekly diary at ErnieEls.com and, as tour pros go, is pretty transparent. I wanted to read him today after his disappointing finish and uncomfortable post-round interview with Golf Channel’s Steve Sands.

There was no doubt that Els was burning mad when he came off the Copperhead course.
I’ve said throughout my career that whenever I tee it up I always play to win, so any time I get the opportunity to do that and don’t get the job done, obviously I’m disappointed and angry with myself. That pretty much summed up my emotions on Sunday evening. I was so hot I found it difficult to even think straight.
Ernie wrote that 12 under would have sounded great at the beginning of the week. “But that putt on 18,” he said, “it kind of leaves a nasty taste. I was trying to jam it in there and I just pulled it, simple as that.

“It’s a tough deal, but I have to take stock and try to see the positives. This was one of my best performances on the PGA Tour since 2010. I drove the ball well, topped the greens in regulation for the week and I was right up there in the number of birdies made. I made some nice putts, too.”

Just not late on Sunday, which must have been tough to watch. I confess that I didn’t see Els miss those short ones that could have won the tournament and put him in the Masters. I was watching March Madness.

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