Vs

Ernie Els has been the most suc­cess­ful player in Dubai over the years, but Rory McIl­roy looks most

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

South Africa’s for­mer world num­ber one, Ernie “The Big Easy” Els, is hop­ing to end a nearly three-year win­less spell in the top flight when he tees up at the Omega Dubai Clas­sic at the Emi­rates Golf Club on Thurs­day.

The go­ing has been tough on the fair­ways of late for the 43-year-old leg­end of the sport, who failed to make the cut at the SA Open ear­lier this month.

The last time Els made his mark on the Euro­pean Tour stage was in June 2013 when he lifted the BMW In­ter­na­tional Open tro­phy in Ger­many af­ter card­ing an 18-un­der par 270 to beat Dane Thomas Bjørn by a stroke.

Since then, Els has been bat­tling to prove him­self on the Euro­pean and US PGA tours, mainly as a re­sult of in­juries.

His im­pos­ing phys­i­cal stature (he stands at 1.91m), along with a fluid golf swing, rightly earned him his moniker many years ago. But he’s no longer as feared as he used to be

PHOTO: AN­DREW RED­ING­TON / GETTY IM­AGES

WON­DER BOY Rory McIl­roy will de­fend his ti­tle at the Omega Dubai Clas­sic

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