Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Is Ernie Committed to Being #1?

Sal Johnson, over at Golf Observer.com, penned this particularly poignant thought about Ernie Els and his 3 year plan to become the world's best player:

We have to wonder if in his flight from Dubai to Delhi on Monday to play in the Emaar-MGF Indian Masters, Els reconsiders his three-year master plan to catch Woods. It’s just not going to happen and this week is another example why. On top of that, we have to also question if Els really wants to be the best and beat Tiger. If so, why is he going to India this week and not showing up in Tucson at the end of the month for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship? Yes, it’s a long way to come from London to Tucson for only one match, but I don’t think a player like Tiger Woods looks at it that way. He would go to the moon for a chance to win a tournament in which the best players in the world are attending and I would of thought that Els would have the same thinking. But it’s becoming obvious that Els would much rather travel the globe in his jet to events in which someone is paying the jet fuel and the field is easy pickings for him.
It's a great point to consider. Tiger Woods makes his schedule based upon the best events - the WGCs, the majors, and other global events that attract stellar fields. Ernie Els does not seem to be doing that. In fact, he said last year that he would not be playing in the Volvo PGA Championship in the Euro Tour finale because he would rather put money in his wheel barrow by taking huge appearance fees for lesser events. Perhaps the plan has changed to one of comfort instead of one of determination.

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