Monday, May 02, 2005

Ernie Els Plays in China

Ernie Els wins by 13 strokes in China. Lance Armstrong beats local junior league cyclist runner-up by 38 minutes in 10K road race.

Els 2005 win total now equals those of Tiger and Phil, at three. Is there any more revealing statistic in golf? Let’s break it down and see:

PHIL

Phil has won the Phoenix Open, the Open at Pebble Beach and the Bellsouth Classic. The respective victory pursues were $936K, $954K and $900K. He beat Kevin Na (No. 89) and Scott McCarron (No. 75) in Phoenix, then toppled Mike Weir (No. 12) at Pebble Beach and finally beat out four other guys at the Bellsouth classic, including Jose Maria Olazabal (No. 59). Let’s not forget that Phil lost by a stoke to Tiger at Doral.

TIGER:

Has won the Buick Invitational, the Championship at Doral and the Masters. The respective victory purses were $864K , $990K and $1.26Mil (Christ!). He beat CHIII (No. 38), Luke Donald (No. 13) and Tom Lehman (No. 20) at the Buick, then went on to beat Phil at Doral and Dimarco at Augusta. Both are now top tenners.

ELS:

Has won the Dubai Desert Classic, the Qatar Masters and the BMW Asian Open. The respective victory purses were $356,823.01, $242,377.81 and $245,654.65. The respective runner-ups were Miguel Angel Jiminez (World No. 18) and Stephen Dodd (No. 107) in Dubai, Henrik Stenson (No. 68) in Qatar and Simon Wakefield (No. 2-0-fucking-5) in China.

Why the hell is Ernie Els playing junior league golf? He should be playing here in the US. Not simply because it is the US, but because this is where the real talent and the real money is. Phil’s and Tiger’s victories were far more valuable – approximately 3-5 times more valuable per victory. Phil had to beat a runner-up, on average, 54.75 spots behind him in the world rankings (not including the three scrubs who snuck into the Bellsouth playoff). Tiger had to beat a runner-up, on average, only 15.4 spots behind him. Els had to beat a runner-up, on average, 99.5 spots behind him.

Let’s look at the past 13 months. Since then, both Tiger and Phil have picked-up Green Jackets. Vijay, the only other player besides Woods ranked above Els has won one major and ten other PGA tournaments. Els’ fellow countryman, Retief Goosen, has won a US Open and a Tour Championship. In the same time, Els has three decent PGA tour victories and a basket of Australasiantarcticarussofrancocanadian victories.

I’m ready to say it: Els is the most overrated golfer in the game. But, worse than that, Els lacks more integrity and more stones than any other world class golfer. Take Doral for instance. While Tiger and Phil were in the midst of an epic Sunday duel, and Goosen and Vijay were making top-ten runs, Els was winning the Dubai Classic. Fuck Dubai and their Classic.

I see it was very easy for some golf pundits to wake up this morning and bash Chris Dimarco because he’s let two majors and a Zurich slip by him recently. Remember, however, that Dimarco really shouldn’t even be getting that close in any tournament. His odd swing, short drives and claw putting grip don’t exactly spell consecutive major championship runner-up. On the other hand, Els is absolutely overflowing with God-given touch, power and coordination. And, yet, he’s wasting it winning nothing golf tournaments in nothing golf countries like China. Where’s your outrage over this, pundits?

Ernie can take his appearance fees and shove em. He couldn’t get it done on any one of four Sundays last year. He barely made the cut at the Masters this year. And the best he can do now is pocket a 13 stroke win in China. Why not make it 17 next time,. Ernie.

2 Comments:

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