Els Ready for Whistling Straits


The International 2004CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Watching putt after putt slide by the edge of the hole, Ernie Els walked off frustrated after the third round of The International on Saturday.
But it wasn't all bad. The world's No. 2 ranked player hit the ball great and was good around the greens, a good sign headed into next week's PGA Championship in Wisconsin.
'I've been striking it very nice. I just have not been good on the greens. I haven't made anything,' said Els, who is 13 points off the lead with 16. 'I think I've made four bogeys, a lot of pars and not enough birdies. I feel like my game is there.'
Part of Els' problems has been with the weather.
Thursday's first round was halted because of rain and lightning and there were two more delays Friday before the second round was stopped. All the starting and stopping has taken its toll.
'I never got into a rhythm yesterday on the greens,' Els said. 'It's been really difficult this week. We always have rain delays, but when you get pulled off three times in one day it kind of gets to you a little bit.'
Hal Sutton's upfront style has led some to wonder if he'll make a good Ryder Cup captain.
Former Ryder Cup member John Cooke has no doubt headed into next month's matches against Europe.
'Hal's going to be great because it's Hal's way and if you don't like it, 'Here's the door and don't let it hit you on the rear end on the way out,' Cook said. 'That's the way Hal is and that's the way you've got to be. I think he'll be a great captain.'
Players headed to the PGA Championship next week in Wisconsin aren't looking forward to it.
No one in the field has played a competitive round at Whistling Straits, and the narrow, links-style course is expected to be even harder than Shinnecock Hills was at the U.S. Open.
'I've seen Pete Dye describe it on my laptop, hole by hole. It looks very hard,' Arron Oberholser said. 'If they intend to play it all the way back at 7,500 yards, it will be very difficult.'
The second-round cut line of six points was the highest since it was seven in 2001. The record is nine, set in 1999. ... Notah Begay had the best stretch of the day, with birdies on five straight holes -- starting at 17 -- and eight of 10. He finished with 13 points. ... Mark Hensby had a streak of 31 holes without a bogey until taking a five on No. 2. Billy Mayfair had the longest streak of the week, going 33 holes without dropping a point. ... Players who have held or shared the lead after 54 holes have won The International six of the past seven years. ... Brenden Pappas had the longest drive of the week on the 485-yard 10th hole, hitting it 380 yards on Saturday.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - The International

  • Full Coverage - The International

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