Big Easy eases through round one

2015-04-10 13:20

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South Africa’s Ernie Els turned back the clock yesterday with a five-under 67 to sit three shots off the lead after making his best start to the Masters in 21 attempts.

“You know, these guys are good. I’ve got a lot of talent but you’ve got to get the most out of it now, we’re running out of time.”

The 45-year-old Els played in his first Masters in 1994 and since then has only managed two runner-up positions at Augusta National in 2000 and 2004.

“I think it’s well documented that I still feel like I get something out of it,” said Els. “But I’ll be up for it.”

The Big Easy surged into contention by mixing five birdies and an eagle with two bogeys for a four-way share of second place.

The first round of the Masters yesterday rekindled the belief that the coveted but elusive green jacket is still in his future. However the two-time British and US Open champion was cautious about pondering his jacket size just yet.

“We’ll see what happens. I still feel I can get something out of (my game). I still missed a couple of iron shots here and there, but for the most part I’ve just got to stay patient.”

After 2004, Els missed the cut four times during the next 10 years, failed to qualify in 2012 and only managed to crack the top 15 once.

“This is wonderful. To get something under par, hitting it solidly. It’s a really nice start.”

Compatriot and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel sits one-under 71, while 2012 runner-up Louis Oosthuizen carded a par on the opening day.

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