Ernie Els took a major step forward last week with a season’s best second place finish in the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.
Ernie had been in good spirits all week after taking delivery of the new Callaway ball. It provided the kind of feel off the club that he had been searching for and consequently his short game was like the Els of old.
No wonder then that he stood on the last tee 10 under par for his round and searching for another birdie to secure the title. Unfortunately it didn’t come and Phil Mickelson sneaked through to collect the spoils despite Ernie shooting a course record equalling 63.
Ernie will no doubt be encouraged to continue his rise up the rankings and back into Major contention next season. Over 40 does not mean over the hill in his case.
Not far behind Ernie came another last round charger. Rory McIlroy also shot 63 to finish fourth while Lee Westwood was our third representative to finish in the top 10.
Lee earned enough to keep ahead of Rory in the Race To Dubai which should prove a magnificent climax to the European season next week.
Elsewhere, congratulations to Steven Tiley, whose determination and persistence finally paid off at the Egyptian Open when he beat a strong field which included Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie by four shots.
If effort and dedication continue to get their rewards then Steven will force his way among the big boys very soon.