Think You Need a Break Try Els Schedule
Ernie is just like that sweetheart that goes around and around in circles every day. If youve got a golf tournament and youve got a million bucks burning a hole in your pocket, you call Ernie. I dont care where it is on this planet, he will have his clubs and plane on the ready.
This week, for instance, he is about to play the second in a string of six consecutive weeks. Lets see, last week he was in Texas to play the EDS Byron Nelson. This week its Germany for the Deutsche Bank ' SAP Open (TGC, Beginning Thurs at 8:00 a.m. ET). Next week its off to England for the Volvo PGA Championship. Then he crosses the Atlantic again to Ohio for the Memorial.
Breathless yet? OK ' four weeks and counting. The fifth week is just a local stop ' 1,000 miles or so for the Buick Classic in New York And if he isnt dead by then, the sixth and final week is something called the U.S. Open.
This isnt such a bad leg, though. Theres no Australia thrown in there, no Thailand. Theres no long hauls to his native South Africa. Theres just a tournament every week for six weeks, with two ocean crossings. He does that as easily as you cross the street to get a quart of milk.
Of course, the obvious question is: werent you a little concerned about the run-up to a major tournament ' the Open, which incidentally he has already won twice. Arent you just a wee bit concerned that by then there wont be any gas left in the tank?
Yeah, absolutely, Ernie said. But when you play both tours, you know, it's kind of difficult sometimes because I won the Order of Merit (money title) last year in Europe, and Ken Schofield (commissioner of the European Tour) really wanted me to play at the PGA at Wentworth.
That's their flagship event, and they were having their big awards dinner and everything that week. I think it would have been awkward if I wasn't there, and the fact that I've got a house there (at Wentworth near London) also helps.
SAP, Deutsche Bank - SAP is my main sponsor so I've kind of got to go there.
They're actually playing a nice course this year, it's further south, so we should have good weather.
Of course, he wouldnt think of upsetting Jack Nicklaus, so he pencils in Jacks Memorial Tournament. Then the Buick Classic is my favorite event, also, so it's difficult to leave some events out, said Els. And then theres the national championship.
Actually, Ernie had a whole three weeks off before the Nelson. Tsk-tsk ' arent we lazy, now! Of course, even when hes off work, hes still traveling. There was a five-day jaunt from London to his South African home thrown in there. But that was nothing ' just a milk run across the street, in your parlance.
I just felt after a three-week break, I've just got to get back to work and do what I do best - and that's play golf, he said half-apologizing for his laziness.
Who knows what Els could do if he concentrated on just playing one tour? He might win 10 times and average 65 ' or he might fare worse than he does now. This go-go-go thing might be just what the physio ordered.
I've been doing it my whole career now, and it's a little easier the way we travel nowadays, so I can sleep a little better, he said.
Yeah, jetlag still gets you. Coming this way is no problem. Going back to Europe from here tends to get me a little bit more. I'm a fit young man and I've been doing it my whole life. It's not such a big deal.
When you go through serious time change, if you go to the Far East, that's a totally different story, but a nine-hour flight, I get on the plane, I have my dinner, sleep, wake up on the other side, and there you are. It's just an overnight flight. It's not a big deal. As I say, I come from South Africa and I've been doing it since 1984, so it's been 20 years.
So he will go on with his life, grabbing sleep where he can, not really belonging to any country, but then again, belonging to golf around the world. Hes a citizen of the planet.
I've said to you guys so many times through the years that next year I'll play more, next year I'll play more (in the U.S.), but I guess I'm comfortable with it. I can't really see myself playing just one tour at the moment, especially with where my family is now (London). It would be difficult for me to do that.
I'm doing OK, you know, I feel when I play over here three weeks that I can take a break. I can go somewhere else. I play over there a couple of weeks, I can get out of there.
The bottom line is, dont feel sorry for Ernie. Ernie certainly doesnt.
I'd like to believe that I've got the best of both worlds, he says, that I can get out when I want to, and I feel comfortable with that and I'm fine with that.
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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.
Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.
The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.
Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.
The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.
Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.
The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:
The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.
For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.
But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.
Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":
Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.
Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.
The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.
“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.
In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.
“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”
Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.
“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.