Els sticks with caddie plan

2010-03-31 08:16

Orlando - Fresh off his second straight victory, Ernie Els headed to Augusta National for a quick practice round on Tuesday and planned to take his caddie with him.

Only it's not the caddie who has been on the bag for those two wins.

Els has been using two caddies this year - former NHL player Dan Quinn, whom he met in South Florida; and Ricci Roberts, his longtime looper from South Africa. Els plans to play 26 times this year, and each caddie gets half of the tournaments, including the majors.

Quinn was to caddie at the Masters. Even after two straight wins with Roberts on the bag, Els said that won't change.

"I know a lot of guys said I should take Ricci, but we have made a decision," Els said.

"I've spoken to Ricci and Dan about it, and they are happy and we'll stick with it. I don't think anybody can tell me anything more about Augusta than I already know. I've had local caddies take me through there. I've had everybody take me through there. So I know exactly where everything goes."

Els first used Quinn late last year, and he came within one 5-wood into the water of winning the HSBC Champions.

Quinn, a 44-year-old Canadian, spent 14 seasons in the NHL, scoring a career-high 40 goals with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1987. He took up golf when he retired and played on the Celebrity Tour.

Els met him a few years ago and started playing golf with him.

"Found out that he was a very good hockey player. I didn't quite know that," Els said. "And he played for such a long time, but he was retired for a while. Pretty easygoing guy, although he's serious about what he does."

Quinn caddied for Els before the Florida swing, and will work the Masters and the PGA Championship.


  • Abrie - 2010-03-31 08:27

    Stick to your decisions Els, the right thing to do. Many people threw you away, now they can eat garbage. You are now getting to where Tiger is. You can win even if you are playing badly, like @ Bayhill. Can't wait till you tee it up again!

  • Richard - 2010-03-31 08:44

    I'm not sure, but Ernie, this could be a mistake! Don't change anything! It's not about what you know about Augusta - it's about your mental state, confidence, assurance that a caddie who knows you gives you when things get tight - i.e. the back nine on Sunday, such as the toughness you demonstrated at Bayhill last week. Stick with the formula that has been working and got you 2 wins in a row. Sticky with Ricci... But let's see - can't wait for the Masters and Tiger's return.

  • Al - 2010-03-31 08:53

    So Quinn with his hockey background is simply a bag carrier? Isn't Ricci just a bit more than that or is Quinn a charity case?

  • richard makhubela - 2010-03-31 09:24

    he is best golffer in sa

  • Hacker - 2010-03-31 10:11

    I tend to agree with Richard on this one. The caddie-player relationship is a key component. A caddie who knows his player well knows what to say and when to say it to keep his player calm and focussed. The fact that Ernie blew the HSBC Championship by dumping a 5 wood in the drink, suggests that he and Quinn got things wrong when the chips were down.

  • Spock - 2010-03-31 10:12

    Quinn and Els drinking buddies ???

  • shosoloza - 2010-03-31 10:31

    Go Elsie Boy!!!! You have always been my hero in South African sport!!!!!!! I know you can be the best again!!

  • Anne - 2010-03-31 11:28

    Go Ernie - you can do it - behind you all the way

  • Pire - 2010-03-31 14:08

    It does not matter who he takes, Tiger is back, so even if he has Chuck Norris as his caddy, he wont win.

  • tshepo - 2010-03-31 14:49

    Tiger's back...everyone will be fighting for 2nd place. But, i hpe Ernie wins....he had SA's back for the longest time!

  • Bogi - 2010-03-31 14:59

    Pire, it sure looks like you have a glass ball, I hope for your sake it does'nt change into 2!!

  • lawler - 2010-03-31 15:57

    Ernie’s game has improved and if ever he was ready to win another big one it is now. As for Tiger he will always be a great golfer…… But our little philandering chipmunk friend with his glassy eyes may have played one too many rounds on the 19 hole. Tiger will have to show great resolve to overcome the media and public scrutiny to win a major on his return. Hopefully therapy to keep his golf game to 18 holes only has worked.

  • Bob - 2010-04-01 04:49

    I reckon Ernie could carry his own bag he's still gonna finish ahead of the "Cheetah", there are a lot of blind faith Tiger fans that will be very sad after his attempted comeback, I am not the least bit excited at seeing his sour puss face on my TV screen cos thats what all the cameras will be focused on instead of the great golf going on around him.

  • Jin J - 2010-04-01 06:34

    Who Els will win 'The Masters' ! Caddie Issue: It would be great to have Ricci at your side when you win ' The Masters'. You owe it to him! Don't pull a 'Tiger' now & end up having 14 caddies!

  • Pieter - 2010-04-01 08:09

    No caddy ever sunk a winning put. A caddy is a companion and should keep his player in a positive mindset. Quinn is a seasoned pro and know what it takes to win.Good call.

  • Punani - 2010-04-01 10:07

    The Big Easy could have Winnie Mandela carrying his bag and he would still be able to win. The guy has won 60 times around the world... his caddy is purely academic.

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