Rotella key to Els success
Big Easy learning to relax even more
Last Updated: 03/03/08 9:07am
Ernie Els says a new relaxed approach helped him regain the winning touch in Florida on Sunday.
And the South African is hoping victory in the Honda Classic can be a springboard to further success and even help him build on the ambitious goals he set two years ago.
Els, without a win in America since the American Express Championship in 2004, has endured a difficult time in the last 18 months since knee surgery interrupted his career.
The 38-year-old has been working with renowned sports psycologist Bob Rotella, who was present throughout the final round, and Els was quick to acknowledge his influence.
"He's just such a wonderful guy and he's gotten to know me a little bit better now and he basically just wants me to be Ernie Els again, to be kind of like the Big Easy again," said Els.
"I've been a little bit uptight and a little grumpy basically because I've been trying to get better and win those tournaments.
"You have either bad luck or bad play but whatever happened to you, you start getting a little uptight. So he's been trying to relax me a little."
And Els, who revealed plans to threaten Tiger Woods' world dominance in 2006, admits he still has the competitive streak required to get to the top of the tree.
"I am 38 right now, and I can quite easily go and enjoy being with my kids and go build golf courses and stuff," he added. "But I really still want to achieve a lot in the game, and I still want to win a lot.
"I guess we get addicted to that feeling and when you don't get your rush, so to speak, you miss it. I definitely missed winning over here.
"I just felt that's the kind of goal for me to really strive for and practice for. So I'm not sure where I am right now, but we'll see."