ItÂs a quiet week for South African players on the fairways of the international golf tours, with just three getting into the field on the European Tour and two entering in the US PGA Tour event.
Ernie Els has changed his scheduling for the year and entered the Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
In the greater scheme of things, itÂs not a big tournament, but it is perhaps the kind of arena in which the Big Easy can see if the work he has been doing is starting to bear fruit, rather than in the bigger and rather more media-illuminated events in which we are used to seeing him.
ÂObviously my game could be in better shape,Â he wrote in his weekly blog on his website.
But he has a good record in an event he has never won: ÂSeven top-10s in 11 starts gives me cause for optimism whenever I tee it up on this lovely golf course,Â he wrote.
He is joined in the field by Trevor Immelman, who is beginning to piece together a respectable year in the wake of a return to regular tournament play after his injury-stricken last two years.
The 2008 Masters champion has two top 20 finishes to his credit in seven starts this year, and while that is no guarantee of a place in the winnerÂs circle anytime soon, he has the game to stand that prediction on its head.
On the European Tour, James Kingston, JbeÂ Kruger and Keith Horne take up the cudgels for South Africa in the Volvo China Open at the Luxehills International Country Club in Chengdu.
The highest-profile player in the field is 2009 PGA Champions YE Yang, but the European Tour Â and the PGA Tour, for that matter Â has produced some surprising champions this year, and the South Africans are as well placed as anyone to pull off a victory.