Els not dreading the greens anymore
Ernie Els of South Africa thinks before playing a shot during 2nd round of the 2016 Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai on February 5, 2016. AFP Photo
Dubai - The only three-time winner of the 'Major of the Middle East,' Els followed up his first round of four-under 68 with a bogey free five-under 67 in the second round at the Emirates Golf Club on Friday.
South African legend Ernie Els said that his love for the Majlis Course as well as a change in mindset has helped him do well over the two days of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The only three-time winner of the 'Major of the Middle East,' Els followed up his first round of four-under 68 with a bogey free five-under 67 in the second round at the Emirates Golf Club on Friday.
An overall nine-under had leapfrogged Els from tied sixth overnight to the top of the leaderboard but Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello slipped into sole lead at the end of the day after shooting an identical 67 to his first round for an overall 10-under.
Nevertheless, Els was pleased to be up there and was looking forward to the weekend.
"I think the love of the golf course," Els said when asked about the secret of him doing well here.
"I've been feeling better and better since the first week of the season. I've got Vern over here, my trainer, Vern McMullen, and we've been working off the golf course a little bit. I feel like I've been working on my equipment a little bit, also, so things have been coming along a little bit, slowly. I'm falling in love on the greens again," he added.
Els is coming off a bad year and said that after having worked on his game, he revealed that the mindset has changed and that the hunger is back.
"It's an exact turnaround from a couple weeks ago where I was dreading to get on the greens. I'm actually enjoying it on the greens. The surfaces are just unbelievable and I've got a lot more confidence in the stroke and in the setup and all of that stuff. So I'm actually starting to enjoy myself on the greens, which is an absolute turnaround," smiled Els.
Again, he gushed about the Majlis Course and said that it fit his eye very well.
"You get to golf courses where you like it and this is obviously one of them. I've played it enough times, you know, played it since '93. So I know it quite well. A lot of doglegs right-to-left, and the greens are perfect. You can get on to the par 5s a little bit and you've got some holes where you've got 9-irons, wedges in your hand, so you can get aggressive. It's a course that sets up nice for me," said the four-time Major champion.
And the 46-year-old was looking forward to the weekend.
"I'm looking forward to the weekend. I'm not dreading the greens. That's where I've been there for the last two or three years since I won The Open Championship. I feel very different," said Els.
"I was really nowhere and now I feel like I've got some game. So, really pleased with all the work, as you say, we've put in on and off the golf course. That's what you need to do sometimes, get your feet under you and get ready for the rest of the year," he added.