Els misses Masters, vows to return next year


For the first time since 1994, Ernie Els is not in Augusta for the Masters. He says he has no one to blame but himself.

'Of course I'll miss it, but I can't blame the Masters committee for not inviting me,' Els wrote on his website on Monday. 'It is an invitational event, and they have their reasons to invite somebody or not.'

He added, 'To be honest, it'll be quite a weird feeling not being there.'

Els needed a win in Houston to get to Augusta but finished T-12. Coming off of consecutive top-5 finishes in Florida, the Big Easy is optimistic for the rest of the season.

'It's only the first week of April, and I have a long season ahead of me with lots of great tournaments to look forward to,' he said. 'And you know something, I genuinely feel like I can win any time I tee it up right now. That's exciting.'

The South African, twice a runner-up at the year's first major (2000, '04), expects to begin a new streak in 2013.

'(Missing this year is) not going to change my life. It's just one of those things. I'll be back there next year,' he said.