Els Ready for Masters after Chiangmai Trip

Sun 31 Mar 2013

Els Ready for Masters after Chiangmai Trip

Chiangmai, Thailand, March 31: Reigning British Open champion Ernie Els believes his game is in good shape for the Masters Tournament in a fortnight after ending his campaign at the inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT with a closing two-under-par 70 on Sunday.

The South African star settled for tied 14th position in the US$750,000 full-field Asian Tour tournament at the Alpine Golf Resort-Chiangmai in what was his final tournament before the year’s first Major.

Els reverted to his belly putter for the final round today after using the short stick in the first three rounds.

“I came here to get my swing under control, which I think it did. The short game is not too bad, everything is kind of there. It’s just the confidence search now,” said Els, a four-time Major winner.

Els took 29 putts with the belly putter, which he is phasing out in view of the impending ban on the anchored putting method. The South African star said he will use the belly putter at the Masters but switch to the conventional stick leading up to the U.S. Open in June.

“I just wanted to play (with the belly putter) today since it was my last competitive round before the Masters. Mentally, I was going to do the long putter at the Masters. I wanted to feel what it is like under a little bit of pressure,” said Els.

Although satisfied with his week’s work, the Big Easy was frustrated by the tricky greens at the Alpine course. “I played well especially today but didn’t get anything out of the round. I’m hitting it nice again. I’m really glad I came here. I’ve had a great experience in Chiangmai. The people are just wonderful, and the golf course was good. I just wished I made more birdies,” he said.

Els was also impressed with by quality of young Asian Tour players whom he played with this week. He was paired with India’s Anirban Lahiri in the third round and played with Thai teenager Thitiphun Chuayprakong during the final round, with the youngster outscoring him by one shot.
“Great guys,” enthused Els. “The guy I played with today, he’s a great little guy. He’s got a good game and yesterday as well with Lahiri. I think on the Asian Tour, the players are really good. It’s always good to come here to play,” said Els.

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

About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in India, China, Brazil and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com.