When Ernie Els said he was going to “blow off” this week’s RBC Canadian Open following his victory Sunday at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, he was referring only to the Monday events he was scheduled to appear for, not the tournament itself.
“I should choose my words more carefully next time,” joked Els, who did end up getting out of his obligations on Monday. “But it was nice to have a day off with the family. It’s good to be back in Canada.”
Els, who is sponsored by RBC, is playing in the event for the first time since 1998 (click here to follow his round live).
In terms of missing Monday’s events, it was understandable given the magnitude of his fourth career major championship and the long flight from Royal Lytham & St. Annes to Hamilton G&CC in Ontario, Canada. Els also told the tournament he’d make it up to them.
As for how Els plays, he admitted this week he hasn’t prepared himself maybe the way he wanted to, but he feels “fresh.”
“I went through the yardage; I saw a couple holes,” Els said.
If he plays anything like last week, he should be in contention again.
Much of Els’ success at the British Open could be attributed to his ball-striking. Given how Hamilton G&CC sets up, that should play well again this week.
And the last time the tournament was held there, Jim Furyk, one of the best ball-strikers in the game, won.
At Royal Lytham, Els led the field in greens hit (57 of 72, three more than the next best player in the field and about 14 more than the field average). On the back 9 there, Els didn’t make a bogey all week after missing just five greens the entire week.
Els also played the par 4s in a combined 6 under — again, best in the field. That should play well on the 6,966-yard par-70 layout in Canada.
So what will Els do this week? Discuss below.