Posts Tagged ‘Ernie Els’

Is it Ernie’s Time?

Ernie Els is 40 and has never won the Masters.  He has come close – finishing second twice and has 6 Top Ten finishes.  However, he has missed the cut 4 times, 3 of those coming in the last 3 years.  We know he can win in tough conditions on the big stage.  He has 2 U.S. Open wins and a British Open win on his resume.  But his last major win, The Open played at Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland, was 8 years ago.

He has momentum coming into the Masters this year.  He ended a 2-year win drought with his WGC-CA Championship win at Doral and followed that up last week with the win at Arnie’s Invitational at Bay Hill.  Attribute this sudden improvement to some hard work on the range following mediocre placing at the Honda Classic the week prior to
Doral.  Believe it or not, he has merely adjusted his ball position, moving it slightly back in his stance.  That and a few thousand balls later and he is apparently in a groove. 

His win at Doral was convincing.  His win at Bay Hill less so.  He seemed to have been ‘saved by the rain’ on Sunday as he was beginning to take a ride on the bogey train when the rains came.  He had doubled 13 and bogeyed 14 when play was suspended.  He scrambled his way to the win on Monday.  He had to really work for it after squandering a 5-shot lead going into 13 on Sunday.  While less convincing than Doral, it is a win none-the-less, and probably served to reinforce confidence in finding a way when it counts, albeit with some divine intervention on Sunday.

Ernie has 62 professional wins, and 8 of these on the PGA tour.  His experience on the stage and the momentum he has achieved these past few weeks puts his name back on the list of favorites for the Masters.  If he continues in his groove and his putting remains steady, he has a great chance for a green jacket.  Putting will be the key for Ernie at Augusta.

If what I think will happen happens with Tiger’s re-emergence, we will see some terrific drama unfold with the two of them on the weekend.  I hope so anyway…

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