Ernie changes course to Macau

This week the European Tour heads to Lake Karrinyup Country Club, where Ernie Els set the European Tour record for the lowest winning score against par of 259 (-29) at the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2003.

But The Big Easy is teeing up on the other side of the seas in the Venetian Macau Open, where he’s enjoying a bit of life at 45.

“I’m happy to be back at the Venetian Macau Open. The difference with this event with the others is this resort … I don’t think we stay in a resort like this anywhere else in the world which makes it totally different,” he said.

Last year at Macau Golf & Country Club Els shot a second-round 65 on his way to a share of third place, four shots behind winner Scott Hend. This year he’s ready to go and heads into the week with a fifth place finish from Sunday at the Hong Kong Open.

“The back is feeling better,” said Els. “It locked up on me on Sunday in Hong Kong and I felt quite difficult playing. My trainer got in late last week and it’s getting better and I’m feeling really good for this week. 

“Last year, I got into Macau only on Wednesday afternoon and this year, I’ve got a lot more time and really enjoying my time here.”

His biggest rival this week will be Australian Scott Hend, who is the defending champion and won the Hong Kong Open last week. But The Big Easy was aware of the threat.

“Scott’s going through a golden period now,” said Els. “I’ve seen his back over here in Asia. But I’m just happy to be here for the Venetian Macau Open and try to play as good as I can and see where we finish. Anybody around here can win. It’ll be a good battle out there.”



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