Captain Els ready for Asian jaunt at CIMB Classic and CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES
Singapore, October 4: South African golf legend Ernie Els will be on a dual mission when he heads to Asia for next week’s CIMB Classic in Malaysia and CJ CUP @NINE BRIDGES in South Korea.
The Big Easy, as Els is fondly known, wants to enjoy a final fling competing alongside the stars from the PGA TOUR before focusing his attention on the PGA TOUR Champions when he turns 50 in 2019.
As the new International Team captain for the Presidents Cup next year, the 19-time PGA TOUR winner is also keen to follow the progress of some of the new talents who currently feature in the team’s standings and will compete in the same tournaments over the next fortnight.
Els will make his fifth appearance in the US$7 million CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur next week, followed by a maiden showing at the US$9.5 million CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES from October 18 to 21 on Jeju island.
He said: “Honestly, it’s been one of my greatest pleasures, as a player and golf course designer, to have been able to travel extensively around the world and obviously all around Asia. It’s one of the reasons I’m very proud of my role as an ambassador and honorary member of the Asian Tour. It’s a special relationship for me.
The first CIMB Classic in 2010 (where he finished T5) also happened to be the first time I’d ever played a four-day golf tournament in Malaysia. The golf course and the setting were great and I remember everybody – the sponsors and the fans – really got involved and made the players feel very welcome. They’ve got a fantastic venue at TPC Kuala Lumpur, a very strong field and, for me, it feels like the perfect way to get the ball rolling on the new season. So really looking forward to this tournament and also the CJ CUP, especially as I missed out on that last year due to having the flu.”