Cape Town - After four missed cuts, Ernie Els bounced back to tie for 13th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this past weekend.
The South African closed with a four under 68 at Bay Hill on Sunday to finish on a very respectable ten under for the tournament, just one stroke shy of world number one Rory McIlroy.
Els revealed that he and the legendary Arnold Palmer have been friends for the better part of 20 years
"He's a man of his word," said the 45-year-old of Palmer.
"He said he liked my game and I would have a spot in his tournament. I came here in '93 and played with him. He made the cut and I missed the cut. And we've been friends ever since."
The good performance should give Els the confidence he needs to compete at the Masters in April, where he failed to make the cut last year.
Els gets putting advice
Els received a putting tip from a veteran golfer Larry Rinker, which lead to a much better performance on the greens. The American also reminded the four-time Major winner that he was a Hall of Famer.
"It was nice to hear a fellow player compliment you a bit," the Big Easy is quoted as saying on Yahoo Sports.
"We go back to the early '90s. We played a lot of golf together. He remembers me as a good putter. He said, 'You are a good putter.' We looked at tape the other day before I went to Tampa, and he saw it immediately. My left hand was too weak."