Monday, March 03, 2008

Easy Does It

Some Tour professionals may never win an event. For some pros, it can be a decade between victories. But for Ernie Els, 3 years and 5 months was long enough, as his final round score of 67 propelled him to victory on Sunday at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

"We play out here to win," Els said. "I guess we get addicted to that feeling and, when you don't get your rush, so to speak, you miss it. I definitely missed winning over here."

Els carded 4 birdies on the front nine and was able avoid trouble on the back, making his only bogey of the day at the 17th hole, the tail end of the Jack Nicklaus-designed “Bear Trap”.

The leaders going into Sunday couldn’t stay there. Luke Donald, Matt Jones and Mark Calcavecchia each played their rounds over par and could not drop enough strokes to catch Els.

It wasn’t easy for Ernie. His 1st-round exit at the WGC-Accenture as well as a painful loss at this years’ Dubai Desert Classic (he missed two par putts within 5 feet on the final two holes) put the 38 year-old South African under the microscope.

This was a much-needed victory for Els, whom many thought was heading for the downside of his career and losing his touch. But that hardly matters to Els.

"I am 38 right now and I can, quite easily, go and enjoy my kids and go build golf courses and stuff," he explained. "But I really still want to achieve a lot in the game and I still want to win a lot."

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