EIGHT Aussies line up at the 2012 Canadian Open this week but of course the man everyone will be watching is 2012 British Open Champion Ernie Els.
Typing the words “2012 British Open Champion Ernie Els” wasn’t as painful as I had expected just there and it must be one of the advantages of aging that the memory of unpleasant events begins to fade so conveniently.
Followed his despatch of Adam Scott at Royal Lytham on Sunday, Els has had whirlwind couple of days but he arrived at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario saying he still had enough juice left in the tank to be competitive at what is the third oldest championship in golf.
“I feel very fresh,” the 42 year old South African said. (He’s just finished stabbing a dagger in the heart of every Australian golf fan and he’s not even puffing!).
Other big names in this US PGA Tour event include Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk.
The Australians are led by 2009 champion Nathan Green, who threw the cat among the pigeons this week by saying he would putt a belly putter in his bag for this event, despite the fact he still wants them banned.
“My putting has been filthy. So I am going to cheat this week and put in the belly putter,” Green said.
“I am still all for them banning them but at the moment I’ll give it a crack because I have been struggling for continuity with my putting and I have reached a point where I feel I don’t have a lot to lose. I have to try something.”
Noises are being made about belly putters by the international golfing bodies but don’t expect any movement probably till the next rule changes are due in 2016.
In the meantime, Green would love to replicate he 2009 win – still the highlight of his career.
“Ernie and others have proven that you can hit the middle more often and the speed can be better,” Green said. “It’s obviously a confidence thing. I just can’t seem to find a formula I have confidence with. But in practice I’m hitting it well with the belly putter. So even though I hate doing it, because I feel like it’s against the rules, I just need something so I’ll give it a go.”
The other Australians in the field are Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Matt Jones, Steven Bowditch, Gavin Coles, Mathew Goggin and Nick O’Hern.
The Canadian Open is being telecast in Australia on Fox Sports beginning live Friday 5am – 8am.
2012 Canadian Open Leaderboard2012 Canadian Open Leaderboard