FedExCup Spotlight: Ernie Els

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Ernie Els has three top-25 finishes in five trips to PGA National.
February 26, 2013
Chris Dunham,

Each week, PGATOUR.COM will take a look at one of the FedExCup contenders in the field and break down his past performances at that week's event, FedExCup history, and potential for success in the 2013 FedExCup chase.

World Golf Hall of Fame member and 19-time PGA TOUR winner Ernie Els returns to PGA National this week to compete in his 10th Honda Classic. In the last five years at PGA National, Els has accumulated a trio of top-25 finishes including a victory in 2008.

Els, who resides in nearby West Palm Beach, Fla., comes into this week at No. 104 in the FedExCup standings. He’s made his first two TOUR starts of 2013 in the last two weeks, finishing tied for 13th at the Northern Trust Open before bowing out in the first round of last week’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.

The South African has never left PGA National outside the top 100 in the FedExCup standings and a good showing this week would ensure that the trend continues. Els, who has just four sub-par rounds in his 20 tries at this track, has managed to make the cut in each of his five trips to the difficult par-70 layout.

Els’s season is just getting under way, however. Only once (2008) in the previous five years has he played in fewer than two events prior to The Honda Classic. But his schedules each of the last four seasons, have reached 16 or more events total. Those numbers include 22 of a possible 24 starts in FedExCup Playoffs events.

His high point in the FedExCup era came in 2010 when Els won both the World Golf Championships-CA Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard in March to take over the top spot in the standings for the first time. He would not relinquish that lead until the Playoff-opening Barclays. That season, Els went on to finish a career-best 9th in the final FedExCup standings.

After that point, Els hadn’t cracked the FedExCup top 10 until his win at last year’s British Open. The stunning victory showed that the 43-year old still has plenty of game left and can still be a factor on the FedExCup stage.

Els's FedExCup finishes
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
19th 13th 16th 9th 67th 26th
FedExCup highlights
• Ernie Els has finished inside the FedExCup top 20 four times and qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola five times in the six-year history of the FedExCup race.
• Els has competed in 22 of 24 possible Playoffs events
• Els spent 22 consecutive weeks atop the standings following his 2010 victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
• He boasts six top-10 finishes in Playoffs events
Els's The Honda Classic results, FedExCup standings
Year FedExCup before Honda result Points earned FedExCup after
2008 182nd Won 4,500 11th
2009 32nd T22 47 32nd
2010 19th T67 2.5 29th
2011 68th T70 0.98 78th
2012 116th T21 48 85th