Els requested a rules official on his first tee (No. 10) and asked how long he could have to receive treatment before teeing off. The 2010 WGC champion found the fairway with a fairway wood off the tee but struggled to a double-bogey 7 on the hole (He rebounded with a birdie at No. 11).
Els’ trainer Vern McMillan treated the South African on the first hole and according to Slugger White, the PGA Tour’s vice president of rules and competition, he can continue to treat him throughout the round.
Els had already created some news before he teed off on Thursday, when he suggested earlier this week he might switch back to a short putter. He used a short putter during Monday’s Seminole Pro-Member and had the traditional-length model in his bag, when he arrived at the golf course but decided to stay with the belly putter.