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Els withdraws from two Europe events to be with family

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Former world number one Ernie Els has withdrawn from the next two European Tour events to spend more time with his family as part of his plan to cut back on his touring schedule this year. Els will miss the Volvo Golf Champions tournament in Durban in his native South Africa, which marks the re-start of the season after a brief break, as well as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the United Arab Emirates. The Durban event starts next week while the Abu Dhabi tournament is from January 16-19.

Golf: Hend takes Macau Open as Els slips to third

Australian long hitter Scott Hend claimed victory at the Macau Open Sunday as the tournament's star draw Ernie Els was forced to content himself with third place. On a day of drama in the $800,000 Asian Tour tournament, which also saw India's Anirban Lahiri match the course record with an impressive nine-under-par 62, Hend capitalised on his overnight four-shot lead and never let Els come close to staging a comeback. He finished the tournament with a three-stroke victory, closing with a four-under-par 67 for a 16-under-par 268 total.

Golf: Els slips, Hend takes Macau Open lead

Australian long hitter Scott Hend stormed into the lead following the third round of the Macau Open Saturday with a blistering eight-under-par 63 to open up a four-shot lead over Ernie Els. The South African four-time major winner's chances of taking the top spot at the $800,000 tournament took a hit after Hend charged up the leaderboard with an eagle and seven birdies against a lone bogey for a three-day total of 12-under-par 201. Els had a good start to the third round, scoring birdies on two of his first three holes.

Golf: Els and his legacy help unify global Cup squad

Ernie Els looks at an Internationals Presidents Cup squad with five South Africans and marvels at the living legacy his foundation has given golf and his homeland. The two-time US Open and two-time British Open winner helps young players in South Africa through his foundation. He sparked the careers of Branden Grace and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen and helped inspire 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel.

Putter magic on slick green earns Els a surprise par

By Andrew Both GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) - Former world number one Ernie Els needed a moment of magic with his putter to salvage one of the most unusual pars of his career at the Wyndham Championship on Friday. Playing the par-four 10th hole during the second round at Sedgefield Country Club, Els hit his second shot into the back fringe, 37 feet from the cup.

Champion Els shows his frustration after error-ridden show

By Tony Jimenez GULLANE, Scotland (Reuters) - Defending champion Ernie Els was in a foul mood after struggling to an error-ridden 74 in the second round of the British Open at Muirfield on Friday. The 43-year-old South African took out his frustration on a group of journalists after toiling on the bouncy, fast-running East Lothian links course. Els initially described the lightning-quick greens at the par-four 14th and 15th holes as "getting out of hand" and "not very playable" before backtracking later.

Muirfield is No. 1 on Open rota, says champion Els

By Tony Jimenez GULLANE, Scotland (Reuters) - Title holder Ernie Els believes Muirfield, the venue for this week's 142nd British Open, is the finest links course on the championship rota. The globetrotting South African is not only the defending champion, having won the coveted Claret Jug at Royal Lytham 12 months ago, he also won the season's third major when it was last played at Muirfield 11 years ago.

Golf: Open honours up for grabs says Els

A year ago all the talk was of record English rainfall turning Royal Lytham into a soggy nightmare for the British Open golfers. This year it is how two weeks of unblemished Scottish sunshine has turned Muirfield's famed fairways into fast-running billiard tables. The fluctuating conditions all need to be taken on board, digested and then acted upon according to Ernie Els the South African defending champion, who also was the last man to win at Muirfield in 2002.

Golf: Els wins BMW International Open

Reigning British Open champion, Ernie Els led from start to finish to capture the BMW International Open in Munich on Sunday. Els, 43 became the oldest-ever winner of the event posting a last round three under par 69 to win by a shot on 18-under par. Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, winner of the event 13 years ago, was left to count the costs of a 14th hole double bogey in signing for a score of 69 for an 18-under par total.

Golf: Els off to stormer in Munich

Ernie Els produced his lowest score in seven months on Thursday to storm to the front in the 25th anniversary BMW International Open in Munich. The reigning British Open champion broke free from what he described as last week's US Open 'torture chamber' at Merion to record an eagle and seven birdies in sauna-like conditions on the Munchen Eichenried course. Four players, former event winner Martin Kaymer of Germany, Sweden's Alex Noren, England's Matthew Baldwin and Dutchman Robert Jan Derksen share second place on eight under par.
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