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Els hoping experience will pay off at Augusta

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – As many times as Ernie Els has played Augusta National, currently at 72 tournament rounds and counting, he knows how to deal with the ebb and flow of the Masters.

So when he made four bogeys in seven holes Friday he patiently plodded along and salvaged his day with birdies at Nos. 13 and 15 to finish with an even-par 72 and a 5-under total.

“I didn't get it up and down when I needed to, but I felt in control, patient,” Els said. “I feel I've got a couple rounds in me when I get it all together.”

Els finished in the top-six five consecutive years, including two runner-up showings, in the early 2000s at Augusta National and estimated that as well as Jordan Spieth is playing, who followed an opening 64 with a 66 on Friday and was at 14 under, he’ll need two 67s on the weekend to get back into contention.

“I think experience will help me over the weekend because I've seen what can happen,” Els said. “I've had some good rounds.”