Masters

Els: Enough of Masters misery

2010-04-11 17:20
Ernie Els (AFP)

Augusta - Another year at the Masters, another flop, and Ernie Els says he has had enough.

"I tell you it's killing me," he said after a third round of 75 quashed any remaining hopes he had for this year.

Making it all the more galling this time around is the fact that the big South African, six months into his fourth decade, came into Augusta as one of the hottest players in the tour.

In what signalled a distinct revival in his fortunes, Els won back-to-back tournaments in the buildup to the year's first major at the World Golf Championship CA Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

It all started well on Thursday as Els moved up the leaderboard early on, but a double-bogey six at the 18th took the wind out of his sails.

Thereafter, he was never a factor and by the end of Saturday's third round, when he shot four over 39 on the back nine, he was a distant 15 shots behind leader Lee Westwood.

"That first day double-bogey on 18," said Els shaking his head.

"I played beautifully ... but to finish like that. It all started going down to script until the 18th hole Thursday."

The story line has seldom gone to plan for Els at Augusta, where he first teed off in 1994, the year he joined the US PGA Tour.

While he won US Opens in 1994 and 1997 as well as the 2002 British Open, Els has come up short at the Masters year after year.

It's not that he was never in contention, having finished second twice behind Tiger Woods in 2000 and Phil Mickelson four years later despite a closing round of 67.

Since then he has struggled, missing the cut for the last three years and then this time around seeing all his bright hopes fail to materialize.

It has left the normally easy-going Els morbidly fatalistic about his chances of ever winning a Masters green jacket.

"If it's not going to happen, it's not going to happen," he said.

"What can you do? I'm just beating my head against the wall every time.

"I've had a good attitude and the game was there (this year). Everything was there. We just don't gel.

"It has done it to a bunch of people and I'm probably one of them. I mean, go down the list - (Tom) Weiskopf, (Greg) Norman, (Johnny) Miller and many, many others.

"It'll be something that's a huge void in my career, but if I'm not going to do it, I can't worry about this anymore.

"I'm killing myself and I don't want to do it anymore."

Els said he would limit his ambitions to bettering par in Sunday's final round, after which he would spend a few weeks taking stock of things before moving onto the US Open at Pebble Beach and the British Open at St Andrews - two courses he believes can be kinder to him than Augusta National.

"I've had a great start and I could win four, five or six tournaments this year and that's what I'm looking forward to," he said.

Read more on:    ernie els  |  augusta  |  masters
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
32 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which of the SIX South Africans competing at this year's Masters has the best chance of winning?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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