• Els leads Saffa MC pack at the PGA

    Ernie Els
    Els moved swiftly into contention

    Ernie Els paid the price for his disappointing opening round after missing the cut in his 100th Major appearance at Quail Hollow, writes WADE PRETORIUS.

    Els produced a 10-shot turnaround between Thursday and Friday, but will be among the notables going home early at the PGA Championship.

    On Thursday, the Big Easy’s card showed three doubles and four bogeys with just one birdie, but the turnaround on Friday was as dramatic and more fitting of the South African legend.

    He made just two bogeys, which came on the third and ninth holes, undoing his two front nine birdies which came consecutively at the seventh. Els then played the back nine – his final nine holes of his 100th Major – in one under par, with a four on the par 5 15th his only red number.

    Joining Els on the plane home are countrymen Branden Grace – read about his second round HERE – and Brandon Stone, who still has three holes to complete, but sits at +12 for the championship.

    With Louis Oosthuizen far and away the top South African in North Carolina this week, Charl Schwartzel, Dylan Frittelli and Richard Sterne are all at +2, with the projected cut at +5.

    Sterne still has five holes to play early on Saturday, but is expected to make the weekend.

    Schwartzel made a four-shot improvement – helped by a back nine 33 which included an eagle at the 14th – to move 31 places up the leaderboard with a halfway tally of 144.

    Frittelli was two shots better, as his even par round on Friday helped him make a Major cut in his second try. He enjoyed a relatively quiet round, with two birdies and two bogeys.

    Joining Els, Stone and Grace in the departures lounge will be Thomas Pieters, Phil Mickelson, Danny Willett, Sergio Garcia, defending champion Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson.

    Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

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