Thursday, May 20, 2010

BMW PGA Championship tees off today

Ernie Els stumbles at Wentworth's last hole

Ernie Els came a cropper at Wentworth's controversial new 18th - the hole over which he argued with the club owner - when the European Tour's flagship event began today.
Three under par on the tee and sharing the first-round lead in the BMW PGA Championship, Els hit his three-wood second shot into the ditch that now curls round the green.
After walking off with a bogey 6 while playing partner Ross Fisher, who chose to lay up, birdied it for a four-under 67, the South African threw a second ball into the water in annoyance.
"I don't feel very good right now," said Els, who was hired by the Surrey club to make extensive changes, but admits he was not left to do everything his own way.
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On the shot that cost him dear he added: "It was on. I had been hitting the ball so good and it was a perfect little five-wood. I just dragged it. I didn't make a good swing.
"Right now I'm disappointed, but overall the course played fair and very well. The way it was set up gave people the opportunity to make birdies, and that's what we had in mind."
Fisher, a member of the club from his junior days and runner-up to Paul Casey after a closing 64 last year, has been fairly quiet since his World Match Play victory in Spain late last season.
But the Ryder Cup hopeful came back to the fore with a round that contained no fewer than nine birdies, but also three bogeys and a double bogey on the 470-yard 13th.
While Els' finish still left him in the hunt, Ian Poulter crashed to a 78 and Padraig Harrington had to settle for a level-par 71 after running up a triple-bogey eight on the long 17th.
Englishman Danny Willett finished with three birdies to set the clubhouse target at six under par 65, two shots ahead of Aberdeen's Richie Ramsay and Danny Willett.



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