Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Golf | US PGA Tour

Big Easy ready to set record straight



Open champion Ernie Els believes he has a chance to improve his poor record at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, in Florida, United States, starting on Thursday.

Els will be one of seven South Africans teeing it up in the USPGA Tour event – the unofficial 'fifth Major' – and fresh off a second place in Asia last week, the Big Easy could be due for a big win.

“My long game feels in good shape, and if I can get the putter going we might set the record straight this week. That would be nice,” Els said on his website.

The 43-year-old hoped to challenge for the title this week, after a number of years of average finishes at the event.

“I'm back on the PGA Tour for The Players Championship, which is about as big as it gets outside of a Major or WGC event," he said.

“I can hardly believe it but this will be my 20th appearance in this event and I have only four top-10s to show for it. It's hard to put my finger on a reason for that."

A new approach this year, following a Major win less than a year ago, could see a more confident Big Easy turn it around.

“It's a wonderful golf course but there is something about it that I often can't seem to get to grips with. Still, I always look forward to teeing it up here.

“There is obviously a really strong field and it has that buzz of something a little bit special.”

History suggests the bigger hitters are not necessarily at an advantage on the course, with current world No 1 Tiger Woods victorious in just one of 15 attempts.

“The key I think is you have to hit it in the fairways," Els said.

“In fact, when I look back at the times I've struggled here, it is when I haven't driven the ball well enough.”

The design of the course means it is seldom an all-out birdie blitz, and players often need to grind out a score, according to Els.

“Pete Dye's Stadium Course is one of the best-known layouts on the PGA Tour and there is very little margin for error on a lot of the holes.

“You need to be patient and there are moments when you need to play the percentages and make par your friend.”

The other South Africans in the field include 2010 champion Tim Clark, who has seen an improvement in form in 2013, and was the top placed SA player in the Masters, at Augusta, last month.

Two time US Open champion Retief Goosen is down to play after withdrawing from last week's Wells Fargo Championship with a bad hip.

The hip problem was believed to be minor, and a week of rest could see Goosen ready to tee it up at The Players.

Charl Schwartzel, Rory Sabbatini, Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen make up the rest of the South African contingent.

Shop

The big miss
The big miss - My Years Coaching Tiger Woods
R296.00
Think like a Caddie...Play like a Pro
Golf's Top Caddies Reveal Their Winning Strategies
R238.00
Gary Player
Golf's Global Ambassador from South Africa to Augusta
R251.83
Wilson Pro Staff Junior
Wilson Pro Staff Junior Package Set Age 11-14 Junior
R1140.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Football's Greatest - Paolo Maldini
Africa Medal H\L - Ep 35
Badminton - Sgl & Doubles Prelims Day 3
Lawn Bowls - Men's Fours Sfs/women's Triples Bronze & Gold Medal Match

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Michael Todt
The ageless wonder
Okay, so a day or two after South African golf fans finally have a significant win to celebrate, it...

The Open, with Glenmorangie
England's Rose
There’s no getting around the fact that it’s been a pretty dismal year for English sports fans. Or...