Tuesday, December 17

The Presidents Cup Aftermath: 'Tiger, You Got Me' —Ernie Els

POOR ERNIE ELS. IN IMPORTANT WAYS, the Big Easy's career, an era that included many other would-be winners, is defined by coming up short against Tiger Woods.

That was also the case at the recent Presidents Cup contested at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, where the United States slipped by the Internationals on Sunday, 16-14.

As Karen Crouse wrote for the New York Times, Captain Els gave it his all:
The United States' opponents, the Internationals, also had a first-time captain, Ernie Els, a PGA Tour member who turned the appointment into another full-time job. He devoted the past year to studying statistics as if they were tea leaves. And he left no team-bonding exercise undone, so great was his obsession with finding a way to turn around the fortunes of his team, which had only one victory in the 12 previous competitions.
Els, 50, gave his players wings, but he couldn't make them soar.
After jumping out to a 6-1 lead, the Internationals won only eight of the final 23 points, including four of the 12 available in Sunday's deciding singles.
For Els, the loss was especially difficult to digest because he has spent the better part of his professional playing career running headlong into the wall that is Woods. He finished second to him seven times in his career, including four times in majors.
The 13th edition of the Presidents Cup was going to be where Els's luck turned. But in the end, the Americans, led on and off the course by Woods, were too good.
"Tiger, you got me," Els said ruefully during the trophy presentation.
For Els, those four rueful words also sum up the Hall of Fame career of the man who is second only to Gary Player as the greatest golfer from South Africa.

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