Els working on restoring confidence

By Associated PressOctober 1, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Ernie Els has come so close to winning the Dunhill Links Championship so often that he feels its about time he pulls it off.
To do it this week on three great Scottish links courses, the South African will need to get his confidence back.
Im working on that at the moment, Els said Wednesday.
Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington is a two-time winner of this event (2002, '06). (Getty Images)
Hes finished second twice at the Dunhill Links Championship, and finished in the top 10 three other times in the past seven years.
Ten members of Europes Ryder Cup team - minus Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter - are in the 172-man field at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie are also in the field.
Id crawl over to this tournament, said Padraig Harrington, the British Open and PGA champion.
Harrington said he is fighting fatigue as he pursues a third title after victories in 2002 and 2006.
Harrington has won three major titles, the same as Els, who won the last at the 2002 British Open following victories at the 1994 and 97 U.S. Open.
I know what hes going through, Els said of Harrington. He just wants to go home and reflect on what hes done. He wants to sit back and watch the video and really take it in, because since the Open he has had to play the world championship events, then the PGA, the FedEx Cup and the Ryder Cup.
Els said hes getting tired of finishing second at Dunhill.
Ive had chances, Els said. Paul Lawrie made a huge putt against me one year and Lee Westwood beat me down the stretch in 2003. Then last year I putted into a bunker at the 15th on the last day.
Yeah, obviously I would like to win here, like everyone.
Now down to No. 8 in the rankings, Els hasnt been satisfied with his year so far.
I had a very bad Masters and missed the cut. Then I actually had a very good U.S. Open until the 15th hole on the final day. I made a triple there, he said. I felt that was my best chance to win a major because I hit the ball as well as I have all year. But I was clueless on the greens.
One of the Ryder Cup players, Justin Rose, was second to Nick Dougherty last year on his way to winning the Volvo Masters and the Order of Merit.
Rose said he is still trying to digest the Ryder Cup disappointment, even though he won three out of four points against the Americans.
A team victory is the whole goal and its a hollow victory when you play well yourself and the team loses, Rose said. But I made sacrifices to play in it and they were worthwhile because it was an amazing experience and a great atmosphere to play in.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.