Els sorry for foul-mouthed rant

South African apologises for third-round outburst at the BMW PGA Championship

Golfmagic Tour
Mon, 28 May 2012

Els sorry for foul-mouthed rant

Ernie Els has apologised to European Tour officials for his criticism of Wentworth’s greens.

The South African, who has overseen three redesigns of the West Course, was furious that the greens had not been softened enough on Saturday.

“I asked them to put water on the greens, so put f***ing water on the greens,” fumed Els after completing the third round.

But European Tour chief executive George O’Grady has released a statement saying Els has apologised.

“Ernie Els asked to see me this morning and apologised for his intemperate language,” said O’Grady. “He stated that he had already apologised to all the individuals concerned and offered a substantial donation to the European Tour Benevolent Trust, which I accepted.

“The European Tour now consider this matter closed.”

Els, who owns a house on the Wentworth Estate, helped re-design the course three years ago to much criticism from top players. A few extra tweaks this year were met with approval but Els was unhappy with the hard condition of the course for this week’s tournament.

“I landed my second at the 18th probably five yards too far,” said the 42-year-old on Saturday. “How much money did we spend on the 18th? We built a dam there. Why the hell was the green not holding?

“My point is, you hit a driver and then a four-iron gets you in the middle of the green. What else must you do next? Must I be the greenkeeper here?

“The Tour has got to play ball - it’s not my job. The 15th green is holding, the 16th is not, the 17th is not, the 18th is not.

“I’m fed up, but this is not a surprise. I’ve been talking since I landed on Monday - keep the moisture on the greens. It gets to me. I want everybody to have a fair and tough examination.”

On hearing Els’ comments, tournament director David Garland added: “We want a tough and fair set-up. The greens have been hand-watered every night after play.

“This was done last night and because we knew that east winds were forecast, sprinklers were also put on every single green to give them more water.

“Because of the conditions, some fairways were also watered and tees were moved forward on the 13th, 15th, 17th and 18th.”

Wentworth’s head greenkeeper Chris Kennedy described the last few weeks as “the most difficult build-up I have ever known”.

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