Els upbeat about putting despite position


ORLANDO, Fla. – This week’s story within the story at the Arnold Palmer Invitational is the collection of players who are trying to crack the top 50 in the World Golf Ranking to earn an invitation into next month’s Masters.

Ernie Els, who missed two 4-footers on Sunday at the Transitions Championship and a playoff by one stroke, needs a third-place finish or better to crack the top 50 and his second-round 70 left him tied for 15th, a touchdown adrift of frontrunner Tiger Woods.

Still, Els – who hasn’t missed the year’s first major since 1993 – was upbeat about his game, if not his chances.

“It was not as good as yesterday but it’s OK,” Els said. “I've definitely got my putting shoes back. So I'm really excited.”

Els was paired with Woods on Friday and also on Sunday at the Honda Classic when the former world No. 1 closed with a 62 to tie for second place. Combined Woods is 15 under paired with the Big Easy this year.

“When I watch him on TV he misses a lot of putts, but when I play with him he makes everything,” Els said. “He should pay me.”