Goosen, Els look for South African Open spark


South Africans Ernie Els and Retief Goosen have combined to win their national championship seven times. This season on the PGA Tour, however, each managed just one top-10 finish.

Despite the poor year in the U.S., Goosen believes each will shine in the South African Open this week – fueled by their rivalry for one of the game's oldest titles.

'Ernie and I have had an interesting rivalry in the South African Open over the years. It's something I'm particularly proud of, that we can produce our best golf against each other in our national Open,' Goosen said, according to AFP.

Goosen has won this championship twice (1995 and 2005), with Els winning it the next year both times. Els is the defending champion this week, seeking his sixth win in this event.

With Masters winner Charles Schwartzel and 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen off in China to represent the country in the Mission Hills World Cup, Goosen knows the pressure is on him and Els to keep up the national banner.

'It is important for the South African fans as well as the tournament, which is one of the oldest in world golf and one which we as South African professionals are very proud of,' he said.