Johannesburg – Ernie Els turned back the clock on Sunday as he finished in fifth place at the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club on Sunday.
The 46-year-old did not produce the final round heroics he would have envisioned at the start of the day, as he began two shots off the lead held by American Billy Hurley III.
The Big Easy carded a frustrating one-over par 72 to slip back to 12-under following opening rounds of 66 69 and 65. Hurley, meanwhile, was steady throughout the round as he shot 69 to finish on 17-under and win by three over 53-year-old Vijay Singh of Fiji.
On the course where Els won his second Major title at the US Open in 1997, he produced a rollercoaster opening nine with five birdies, three bogies and just a single par to go out in one-under.
With nine to play, Els was within one of the lead courtesy of back-to-back birdies at 8 and 9. On the par three 10th, however, the four-time Major winner’s challenge would suffer a serious setback as he made double bogey.
Another drop at 13 followed, and it ended any chances Els would have had of pulling off his 20th PGA Tour victory. Still, it was a refreshing return to form for the former world number one breaking a streak of four missed cuts in a row on the PGA Tour.
Els was especially good with the flat stick as he holed his fair share of putts throughout the tournament. In fact, Els ranks 21st on the PGA tour in putting this season and is easily the strongest part of his game.
That is despite a horrendous start to the Masters in April where he six-putted from inside four-feet which thrust Els into the headlines for the wrong reasons.
African News Agency
Source: IOL Sport – Golf
Big Easy returns to form at Congressional