Els looking for end to frustration in New Orleans

His best finish in the last two years on the PGA Tour is the share of fourth Ernie Els achieved in last month’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

He goes to New Orleans to play in this week’s Zurich Classic in his first tournament after missing his first cut of the year in the RBC Heritage – and, although the Masters is a thing of the past, he will be keen to get a victory to reverse his slide in the world ranking and to show there is enough in him to have warranted a place in the year’s first major.

And, with 23-year-old Branden Grace breathing down his neck in the world rankings, the 42-year-old Els is in the midst of a season which – while it won’t be career-defining – can have a big effect on the burnishing of a wonderful legacy.

It has been a good season so far, with two top-10s (the other was a share of fifth in the Transitions Championship) and a share of 12th in the Shell Houston Open.

But it has been frustrating for the Big Easy who has come so close to getting the victory which would put the cherry on top of all his hard work on a game which has been hampered by uncharacteristic putting problems.

Writing in his weekly blog on his website, Els said, “I’ve played a lot of good stuff these past four or five weeks, so I’ll be hoping to draw on that and have another strong week.

“Missing the cut in Hilton Head was a little bit out of the blue, to be honest. Straight after getting home from there I spent a lot of the week working on my game and everything feels in pretty good shape,” he added.

He will be joined in the field by three other South Africans also looking to do better in PGA Tour seasons which need to ignite: Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman and Garth Mulroy are also in town and in search of a spark.

It’s a good place for the South Africans to fire, too: Four of the world’s top 10 are in town, including Masters champion Bubba Watson who is ranked at number four.

Second-placed Luke Donald, Steve Stricker at seven and number 10 Justin Rose make up the balance of that quartet.

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