Sunday 11 December 2016

Els belly flop proves he must change method

Published 24/01/2012 | 05:00

ERNIE ELS complained last week that his recent putting woes had cost him his sense of humour.

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And, even if he managed to raise a smile after making a three-way play-off at the Volvo Champions, his first tournament of 2012, ultimately it would be through gritted teeth as Els contemplated an exasperating string of missed birdie chances which denied him his first victory on Tour in 25 months.

Though the South African shot a Sunday-best 67 at Fancourt, even holing a 15-footer for an eagle on 13, he still looks awkward wielding that belly putter he controversially took up last June.

The putts he missed at 14, 15 and 16 gave fellow South African Branden Grace (23) the chance to complete his second win in seven days and strongly suggested that the embarrassment Els (left) endured in turning to the belly putter was not worthwhile.

Els reports good results from early consultations with Dr Sherylle Calder, an eye specialist who helped the Springboks, All Blacks and England ruby teams enhance their eye-hand co-ordination, concentration and other visual performance skills.

Hopefully, his work with the good doctor will help the 43-year-old see the error of his ways with the belly putter.

Irish Independent

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