PARAMUS, N.J. – Ernie Els had a smile on his face Friday afternoon while discussing a nagging issue with his back and ribs.
“This specimen,” he said of himself, “it can also get damaged.”
The fact that he could smile about it was one clue the injury wasn’t too bad. Another clue came from his scores, as a pair of 3-under 68 rounds have Els in contention for his first PGA Tour victory since the 2012 Open Championship.
All of which underscores the fact that the Big Easy doesn’t think he’s done getting better.
“I'm thinking about improving,” he explained. “Going to the short putter, there was a huge margin there to improve and I feel I've really closed a big gap there that I've been lacking in my game, and it's been my short game. That's great, when you're starting to make putts, you'll even see me smile maybe now. It's hard to smile when you keep missing putts, believe me, as a golfer.”
Els not only believes he isn’t done winning, he thinks he could win a fifth career major someday.
“The whole energy feels different now. I feel I can still pull out a major I think in the next couple of years, so keep grinding.”