BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Ernie Els doesn’t have a lot of reason to believe he can win a third U.S. Open title this week. Then again, that’s not much different from how he felt 14 years ago at Congressional.
Els is off to one of his worst starts this year, failing to register a single top 10 in the 13 tournaments he has played. He says some of that is the lingering disappointment of the U.S. Open last year at Pebble Beach, when his game got away from him on the back nine.
But this is Congressional, and the memories are strong.
Els recalls missing the cut in his two tournaments preceding the 1997 U.S. Open. He wound up winning by one shot over Colin Montgomerie, and a week later won again to become No. 1.