Ernie Els will look to set the record straight and make the cut at the PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club this week. As luck would have it, Els is heading to a venue that he has fond memories of from the past.
‘My own personal experience here is limited to the 1993 US Open, which was also my first ever US Open, and with a top-10 finish that week you could say it was love at first sight. In fact, I’d rate the Lower Course at Baltusrol as one of my favourite courses in the country. Sadly I wasn’t able to play the 2005 PGA Championship here, as I’d injured my knee that summer and was recovering from surgery,’ he said.
The ‘Big Easy’ has endured a tough year, missing 10 cuts in 22 starts, with only a single top-10 finish and a further two top-20 placings. The 46-year-old still has high hopes this week, despite missing the cuts in all of the other majors this year.
‘It’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to. I haven’t got it going in any of this year’s majors, which is obviously disappointing, but we can make up for that in a big way with a strong performance here. Teeing it up to win is, as always, my mindset this week’ he added.
The AW Tillinghast designed course suits long hitters such as Els and the former world number one is one of the best when it comes to putting. His driving has been a bit wayward this year, averaging 52,7% on the PGA Tour and only 45,5% on the European Tour.
If he can get his radar working again and find the fairways more consistently, the four-time major winner may be in with a chance of a fifth, and join Gary Player, the only South African to have won the year’s final major up to date.