Nothing Els to drink
OPEN champion Ernie Els used to boast his private jet was carrying more booze than fuel — but not any more.
That finish, which saw Els finish his final round before rival Adam Scott crumbled out on the course, would have been enough to have anybody reaching for bottle.
But caddie Ricci Roberts, explained: “We were having dinner one night a couple of months ago when Ernie suddenly announced: ‘I’m not going to bother having a glass of wine tonight.’
“He said: ‘In fact I may not have a drink for a while — even if I never have another party night for the rest of my life, I still think I’ll be well ahead of the game.’
“And I haven’t seen him touch a drop since.
“Even when he was handed a glass of champagne after he won the Open, I didn’t see him take a single sip.
“I know he said he wants to meet Nelson Mandela again to share a drink from the claret jug, but there’s a good chance it might be filled with Diet Coke!
“I’m not saying the big man has gone soft — just that he’s become a little more sensible than the rest of us.”
Besides giving up the booze, Els has also claimed he will continue to travel on easyJet, after travelling to the Scottish Open on the budget airline.
Mind you, that can be taken with a pinch of salt because he is between personal jets at the moment, while debating which one to buy next.
But despite his love of the luxury lifestyle, there is no doubt he has re-dedicated himself to the game according to his coach, Claude Harmon.
He said: “No one seems to appreciate how hard Ernie has been working.
“When you consider he has a private jet — or will have again soon — all the money he could need, a son with autism and a family he adores, it would be easy to for him to walk away into the sunset.
“But the drive and the desire are as great as ever.
“He took a lot of encouragement from playing himself into contention at last month’s US Open, and that put him in great heart for Lytham. This won’t be Ernie’s last Major win, I’m sure of that.”
Els, 42, has also benefited from linking up with eye specialist Dr Sherylle Calder, who has worked with top sportsmen to improve their visual skills.
He said: “I’m working on some good stuff with Sherylle. She’s got me reading putts better, and getting her on the payroll was a great move.
“She wrote a computer programme called Eye Gym where you have to do certain reaction stuff.
“There will be rugby balls, cricket balls and soccer balls coming up on screen. There’s a little up and down arrow, so as this happens you have to react.
“Then there’s a number that appears for a split second which you have to remember and type in.
“I’m seeing things differently. You get your body in good shape and now I’m getting my eyes in good shape.”
The good doctor will certainly be pleased to hear Els is no longer bleary-eyed.<< back
Leave a comment