May 05, 2014
By Ernie Els, PGATOUR.COM
- Ernie Els has posted four top-10s in 20 appearances at THE PLAYERS. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
A pair of 67s on Friday and Saturday at Quail Hollow gave me a taste of the kind of golf I’ve been threatening all year, so that felt good I can tell you!
Going into the final round on the fringes of the top 10, of course you’re looking to push on and post a high finish. That didn’t work out on a challenging Sunday afternoon, with swirling winds, but like I said, the two 67s give me reason to be optimistic and a feeling that I’m slowly getting my game on track. When you’ve had a run of poor results, mentally you have to try to use those good rounds as a stepping stone to something better, something a bit more consistent.
And it would definitely be good to find some consistency in this week’s PLAYERS Championship -- otherwise the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass can really bite you in the behind. I’d say it tests every department of your game as much as almost any other course that we play on the PGA TOUR, aside from the major championships. It’s a tough track and it has its own little quirks. You have to drive it well and hit your irons in the correct spots; you need to be patient and there are moments when you need to play the percentages and make par your friend.
The guys have had some issues with some of the greens, due to the cold and wet winter that we've had in Florida, but that's not too much of a problem in the practice rounds because we're all so familiar with the ins and outs of this golf course. Hopefully, with a bit of assistance from Mother Nature, they can get things right for the first round on Thursday.
Anyway, let’s see how we go. This will be my 21st appearance in this event and the truth is, since my last top-10 back in 2008 I haven’t got to grips with this golf course at all. Still, I always look forward to teeing it up here. There is a really strong field and it has that buzz of something a little bit special, which it obviously is.
In the meantime, I just want to mention that the 2014 Els for Autism Golf Challenge tees off this week at the beautiful Floridian. We have some wonderful venues on the schedule this year, including Harbour Town, Baltusrol, Hazeltine and even this year’s U.S. Open venue, Pinehurst. Click here for more information and details of how you can enter. Golfers and fundraisers alike can all win a place with me and some of my friends from the PGA TOUR in the spectacular Grand Finale in Las Vegas in October. Trust me, it's a fantastic event.
Also, as you may know the RBCGolf4Kids Challenge is in full swing now at www.rbcmakeyourmark.com.
We’re going all out to try to win this thing and raise a good chunk of cash to help people on the autism spectrum. The main thrust of the campaign, and the only way to win, is through retweets so if you get the chance please do follow me on @TheBig_Easy.
Also, if you follow @ElsForAutism you’ll be able to enter regular competitions and win some nice prizes, which my team has pulled together. They’ll be running these all through the summer until the competition ends the week of the RBC Canadian Open.
Thank you again.