"Els Battles to 71, Extends Well Wishes to President Mandela"

Fri 29 Mar 2013

"Els Battles to 71, Extends Well Wishes to President Mandela"

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Chiangmai, March 29: South African star Ernie Els struggled to a one-under-par 71 in the second round of the inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT on Friday, and then extended his well wishes to ailing former President Nelson Mandela.
The four-time Major winner fell eight shots off the pace at the Alpine Golf Resort-Chiangmai following a lackluster start which saw him drop two early bogeys before salvaging his card with four birdies against another dropped shot for a four-under-par 140 total in tied 37th position.
Els, using a short putter for the first time in a long while in preparation for an impending ban on the anchoring method by golf’s authorities, said: “I don’t know. I thought I hit some good putts. I didn’t hit it as good as yesterday. That wasn’t in my favour.
“I was kind of facing an uphill battle, had a tough start. Missed a short one on three and three putted five (for bogeys). It wasn’t a great start. I kind of had to fight just to be here for the weekend. I’m going to stick with the short putter for the next two days and hopefully roll some in.”
Els reckons he is too far back to fight for the title in the US$750,000 full-field Asian Tour event, the first held in the northern city of Chiangmai. But with the Masters Tournament, the year’s first Major around the corner, the “Big Easy” hopes to go low in the weekend rounds to take some momentum to Augusta National.
“It’s going to take a lot of work (to win). I’ll go out there with an aggressive mindset tomorrow and hope to get something going. I’ve not had a really low round all year and I would love to have a low round in the next two days. That’s what I’ll be aiming for. It’ll take a lot to win the tournament from where I am. I just want to get some momentum going through the weekend,” said the reigning British Open champion.
Els took time to turn his thoughts onto ailing President Mandela, who was hospitalized late Wednesday for a recurring lung infection. “I just want to say that our thoughts are with our former president, President Mandela. He’s going through a bit of a tough time now and as South Africans, we want to wish him all the best and wishes he recovers,” said Els.
The Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT is primed to extensively promote Chiangmai as a top golfing and tourist destination through the four days of live broadcasts on the Asian Tour’s global television platform, which reaches over 200 countries and 650 million homes.
The Chiangmai Golf Classic is supported by PTT Group Company Limited, one of the largest corporations in Thailand, while other premier sponsors include PTT Public Company Ltd, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Advanced Info Service Plc, Siam Commercial Bank PCL, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Provincial Government of Chiangmai, Chiangmai Provincial Administrative Organisation, CAT Telecom Public Company Ltd, TOT Public Company Ltd, Thai Airways International Public Company Ltd, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, Samart I-mobile PCL , Loxley Wireless Co Ltd, Forth Corporation Public Company Ltd, J.R.W Utility Plc, Standard Tour Co Ltd, Advanced Information Technology Public Company Ltd, Fenix Apparel and Accessories Co Ltd and Sports Authority of Thailand.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistic Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
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