Els May Come Back Even Stronger
Monday we learned on Els own website that another surgery'one that will include the reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament on the damaged knee'is planned.
Meanwhile Els agent, Chubby Chandler, has informed me that the boating accident occurred while Els was playing with his children. Chandlers best guess is that the next surgery is about two weeks away. And, he said, Els is committed to a fitness regimen during rehab that will make him fitter.
The silver lining in this dark cloud of a development that will cause Els to miss the PGA Championship next week and the Presidents Cup next month is this: Els may come back stronger than ever.
That suggestion comes from top 100 golf instructor Mike Malaska. One of Malaskas specialties is the biomechanics of the golf swing. And, he says, Els action will make it easier for him to recover from ACL reconstruction.
Unlike, say, Tiger Woods or Adam Scott, Els doesnt hyperextend his knee as much through the ball. He has more lateral movement and, because of that, doesnt put as much pressure on the knee.
Malaska also points to advances in the state of the art of arthroscopic knee surgery. Twenty years ago, Malaska says, this could have been a career ender for Ernie.
Els has never dedicated himself to physical fitness the way Woods and Vijay Singh have. Malaska suggests the education Els is about to receive regarding the moving parts of the knee will give him religion in the gym.
Woods underwent non-reconstructive knee surgery in 2002. And some insiders have suggested that the swing changes he has been working on with new teacher Hank Haney reflect his awareness about the importance of a stable left knee.
Malaska says surgeries need to do two things: Fix the pain and address the source of the pain. Woods surgery was a result of wear and tear. Els surgery was the result of an accident.
You watch him swing and instantly realize why they call Els The Big Easy. Its a swing thats built to last. And now, assuming the doctors dont find something unexpected when they look more closely, Els, the third-ranked player in the world, will probably get another good chance to improve that number.
Meanwhile dont be surprised if Els plays competitively in his home country of South Africa before the end of this calendar year.
He is a good guy. And he is a tough guy.
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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3
Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.
Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.
No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.
No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.
No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.
No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.
No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.
And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.
Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.
Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods made six birdies and one bogey on Saturday for a 5-under 66 in the third round of The Open. We're tracking him as he vies for major No. 15.
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Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.
Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.
Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.
After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.
“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”
Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).
It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.
Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage
NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:
Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)
Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)
8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.
Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)
Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.
1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.