I had a conflict of interest with the WGC-CA Championship this past weekend: In my heart, I wanted Ernie Els to win; but I had Charl Schwartzel as one of my fantasy picks.
In the end, I cheered for Els. It’s been a long drought for the Big Easy. He hasn’t won in two years, but he handled this one in fine fashion, going bogey-free over the last 23 holes at a traditionally tough Doral. He looked great, and that beautiful swing was on full display.
Els now is forty years old, and I’m sure that in the back of his mind, he’s hoping for a renaissance of the sort that Vijay enjoyed over the past decade.
An Els resurgence would be great for the Tour. He’s a likable guy, and his cause is a noble one. After the win, Els mentioned that he was refocused on winning in part to bring greater attention to the plight of autistic children, of whom he has one of his own. Today (Monday after his victory), Els is participating in a charity fundraiser for a proposed $30 million Els Center For Excellence autism treatment facility in Florida.
I’m having a Masters fantasy in which Els, Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson are at the top of the leaderboard heading into the Amen Corner.