As Grand Slam opens, Els plans to play in U.S. more often

The Grand Slam of Golf has begun play in Bermuda -- don't fret, you can catch it on tape-delay on TNT -- and one of the competitors, Ernie Els, is bucking the current trend of international players skipping the United States in 2011.

"You're going to really see a lot different schedule next year," Els said of his plans. "I'm going to play a lot more in the States. I'll still [do] the odd trip over to Europe and so on, but it's not going to be what I used to be doing. So I'm going to have a lot more time to be on my game and be fresh."

The reason? Family life. Els wants to remain close to home, and he feels he's still got more to give. "The desire is very much still there. I still feel like I can win majors ... I still feel like I've got a lot left."

For now, though, there's golf to be played. Els and David Toms, two late invitees, will be playing with Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell at the Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda.

As you'd expect, the players aren't exactly crushed with the pressure of the Bermuda event. During a pro-am on Monday, Els took time out to play a little cricket with cricket legend Brian Lara, as pictured above. McDowell, Toms and Kaymer all gave impromptu lessons to fans watching along the course.

Yes, it's a tough life being a professional golfer. But hey, next year this could be you. Just go win yourself a major and you'll be right there with them. Start practicing!

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