Els hopes to bounce back at Houston

HUMBLE (Texas): After painfully digesting throwing away victory last week, British Open champion Ernie Els is hoping to avoid his share of humble pie at the US$4.5 million PGA Houston Open on Thursday. 

The two-time US Open champion from South Africa led by two strokes last week at The Heritage, but made a double bogey on the 16th and bogeys on the final two holes to finally settle for a share of 10th place. 

“Well, I'm sitting here reflecting on last week's tournament and experiencing some pain, I can tell you,” Els said. “Not in the wrist, but in the mind. 

“I'm really sick about not being able to finish the job on Sunday. The way that tournament finished really hurt.” 

Losing control at the final holes added to his disappointment at a sixth-place showing in the Masters a week before. 

It also prompted Els, fully recovered from a wrist injury, to make Houston a last-minute addition to his schedule. 

“I was originally scheduled to take a couple of weeks off and head back to England for a break, but the wrist injury at the start of this month has put a different spin on events,” he said. 

Among those who will test Els are fourth-ranked Phil Mickelson, who finished third at the Masters, Fiji's Vijay Singh, the defending champion and David Toms. – AFP  

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