Will it be Els or Goosen?

2004-12-02 22:11
Sun City - South African golf enthusiasts face a tough choice on Friday - who to support - Ernie Els or Retief Goosen? They are the joint leaders after the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge being played at the Gary Player country club.

Both carded rounds of 70, two under par.

Els and Goosen were joined by Lee Westwood of Britain and Stuart Appleby of Australia, also playing two under par. And one must not forget about Chris Di Marco, Nick Price, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk.

One does not need a sports psychology degree to understand the thought processes of local golf enthusiasts. There are 12 professionals competing for a $1.2m bounty.

Goosen said: "I am quite satisfied with my round because I have not been feeling too well." He has had a severe cold the past fortnight.

"I undertook several trans-Atlantic flights recently and the birth of my daughter also resulted in too little sleep. I have had a couple of vitamin injections and was also placed on a drip on Wednesday evening. I hope I will last until Sunday."

Els, on the other hand, is facing other pressures.

"I was a bit nervous before my first round. You always want to play well before your home crowd and the spectators expect you to win. You have to concentrate to stay focused," the world's No 2 said.

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