Els looks to repeat Bay Hill success

Published 23/03/2011 14:48:29

Ernie Els will continue his build up to next month's Masters by defending his title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill this week. The big South African will be hoping to improve on his early season performances, which has seen the 42-year-old fail to record a top-ten finish in his five events so far this year. While Ernie hasn't been playing quite like he would have wanted at this stage of the season, there has been signs of improvement over recent weeks, notably his 15th place at the WGC-Cadillac Championship earlier in the month. With the first major of the year just around the corner, Ernie is hoping he's found some form at the right time, although those looking to place a Masters bet will probably avoid him.

"I had a couple of good rounds in Miami, but I need to really convert those putts, and I'm working on that. It's really starting to feel good now. I'm playing this week and I'm playing next week and obviously the Masters. So it's kind of becoming a little bit more fun the game, for me. I would just like to put four rounds together now," he said.

Success at Bay Hill last year handed the South African back-to-back titles on the Florida swing part of the tour. That momentum saw Ernie put in a decent showing at Augusta, finally finishing tied for 18th at the end of the weekend. It was Els' best result at the Masters since his second place finish in 2004. Following that runners up finish the South African struggled with the unforgiving Augusta course, and it looked as though his chance of ever winning this major had disappeared and the Masters betting 2011 reflects this.

In a tournament where Els racked up five back-to-back top-six finishes, it would be disappointing for the 41-year old to never have the chance to finally win that green jacket and this year could well be his time. While not many will back a player over 40, it is a different story when discussing 'the Big Easy'. The South African has two US Opens and an Open Championship titles under his belt, but his third place finish at Pebble Beach last year showed Ernie is still a force to be reckoned with at major tournaments.


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