European Tour

Els calls two-shot penalty on himself

2017-05-25 22:16
Ernie Els (Sunshine Tour)

London - Four-times major winner Ernie Els underlined why golf has a proud reputation for integrity and fair play by calling a two-shot penalty on himself at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Thursday.

The veteran South African chipped in for an eagle three at the 12th after having replaced his ball when it became plugged in a greenside bunker.

Els, however, said he quickly felt uneasy about his new lie and eventually ended up signing for a par-five instead.

"My second shot ... I pulled a bit left and hit it into the bank of the bunker," the 47-year-old told reporters after completing a one-under-par 71 in the opening round of the European Tour's flagship event.

"I asked my guys (playing partners) if I could check it and they said 'yeah'. I put it back and hit my chip shot and just felt uncomfortable by the way the ball came out.

"The ball came out way too good so I felt I probably didn't quite put it exactly where I should have ... so we took a two-shot penalty," said Els. "I called it on myself.

"The game of golf, it is what it is. I know deep down the ball wasn't quite where it should be and, you know, I wouldn't be able to live with myself."

Els, who is based in the United States but has a house on the Wentworth estate, received stinging criticism from some of his fellow players after masterminding extensive changes to the BMW PGA Championship venue in 2009.

The course has undergone more radical alterations in the past 12 months, especially the putting surfaces, and this time they have met with widespread approval.

"First and foremost, you have to thank the greens staff," said Els who won the British Open in 2002 and 2012 and the US Open in 1994 and 1997. "The greens are absolutely as pure as you can find.

"We listened to some of the player comments through the years ... and I think we've got it right this time."

Read more on:    european tour  |  pga championship  |  ernie els  |  golf

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.