Ernie Els opened up about his family, life and career in GOLF Magazine’s November issue, on newsstands now. But one of the most touching stories he shared centered around one of Els’s most humiliating moments as a professional golfer: his unfortunate six-putt from less than two feet at the 2016 Masters.
Els revisited the memory in his story for the GOLF, which is excerpted below.
“In 2017, I was fourth on the PGA Tour in total putting. That might surprise you if you saw my putting display on the first green of the 2016 Masters. But two good things did come from that experience. The first is that I resolved to break down and relearn the mechanics of my putting. The other positive is that I got to read what our daughter, Samantha, later wrote about that experience, for one of her high school classes. Here’s a shortened version of it:
Through pain we see our true natures. My father has been the most resounding example of this. He is by no means a perfect man, but I have never known someone with stronger character. At the Masters in 2016 on the first hole my father took nine shots. People had never seen anything like it before; it was like some kind of sick comedy. At home, my mother and I cried as we watched. I wanted to run through the screen to him. Then something miraculous happened: My father picked up the ball from the hole and walked to the next tee box the way he has since he was a small boy, and I could see his immeasurable strength. Some might have quit. He played on and tried his best.”
Samantha caddied for Els in the Par 3 contest back in 2016, on the Wednesday before the Masters began. She is currently in her sophomore year at Stanford University.