Els’ Return Good For Golf

Ernie Els won his second of the year this afternoon at the rain delayed Arnold Palmer Invitational. That’s good for Els, and even better for golf fans.

Ernie’s resurgence this year has been nothing short of remarkable. He’s had seven starts, making all seven cuts, with two Wins, four top 10s, and six top 25s (wins inclusive, of course). He’s got to be a favorite for The Masters, where he has been close in years past. It’s the year Phil Mickelson was supposed to have.

But inasmuch as Els is winning, so too are golf fans. The big South African with the impossibly smooth swing is exactly the sort of golf star we can all rally behind. Els, in recent years has faced personal difficulties, but they are of an entirely different nature than Tiger’s. He’s recovered from his 2005 knee injury, and has had the understandable distraction of dealing with his son’s diagnosis of autism. Els has turned that family difficulty into a cause, however, by establishing the Els Center of Excellence and raising millions for autism research and treatment.

I of course have no idea how he is in person, but in interviews, he comes across as quite friendly and open. Again, the kind of guy appreciated by the fans.

I’m going to make a bold prediction. I think this is the year Els joins the ranks of those with career Grand Slams, needing The Masters and PGA Championship.


1 thought on “Els’ Return Good For Golf”

  1. Els for the Masters, in two weeks?  I sure hope so- that is what I have been hoping.  Well, Els and Mr. three-peat, Freddie C-  Most of us expected Freddie to do well on the Champions, but to go from 2nd in his first outing to three wins in a row is spectacular.  That type of play (or Els) and the confidence from it could mean big things in a couple weeks.  It will be interesting to see how Couples fares this weekend.

    How great will it be if Freddie and Ernie are at the top of the leader board going into this Sunday?  It will be as if the stars are aligning to actually make Augusta about something other than Tiger Woods.  In fact, we may already be at that point – the Els and Couples stories are both such great stories for the beginning of this year.

    Part of me still wants Phil to win, and since NOBODY is expecting that at this point, it just might happen.  I will be happy with my new driver from Golfsmith for winning with Phil, but I would so rather see Ernie or Freddie win at Augusta.  At least if one or both of them perform well enough to get the cameras off Tiger for at least 23% of the coverage.


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