Friday, November 20, 2009

It's no surprise that Ernie Els is dead last after two rounds of the European tour's season-ending big-money bonanza, the Dubai World Championship. Els, whose four-over 148 (74-74) leaves him 15 shots off the lead, must be wiped out from globetrotting, which may also be a big reason why he's been majorless since taking the 2002 British Open and winless for five years on the PGA Tour. Most big-time pros routinely crisscross the globe in search of trophies and dollars, but Els logs so many thousands of miles that his travel schedule stands out even among his peers. Take Els's November as an example. Two weeks ago, he played in China at the HSBC Champions before jetting to his home outside London to work on the redesign at Wentworth and see his wife and two children. (They were there on holiday from their new home base in Florida.) Now Els is in Dubai; he must feel like a zombie.I often read the weekly diary entries at Els's website, and it's amazing to read about his travels. He's like Marco Polo for most of the year, hopschotching between tournaments, course-development projects and sponsor outings. I can't fault him; Els knows what he's doing. I might perpetually be on the road too if I could earn money like he does. Still, I would not expect Els to return to the old Ernie, the one who consistently contended in majors and won Tour events, until he dramatically scales back his travel schedule.

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