Skip to main content

Els in rant at Wentworth officials over state of greens as Donald leads the way

May 26, 2012 -- Updated 1727 GMT (0127 HKT)
Ernie Els completes his third round 70 at Wentworth but was critical of the state of the course in his later press conference.
Ernie Els completes his third round 70 at Wentworth but was critical of the state of the course in his later press conference.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ernie Els criticizes officials over state of greens at Wentworth
  • Els masterminded re-design of West Course where PGA Championship held
  • Defending champion Luke Donald leads after third round of 69 for 11-under 205
  • Donald set to return to World No.1 in place of Rory McIlroy

(CNN) -- A furious Ernie Els blasted Wentworth officials over the condition of the course he redesigned after completing his third round at the PGA Championship Saturday.

The popular South African moved into a tie for fourth behind leader Luke Donald after a solid two-under 70 in blustery conditions on the West Course.

But rather than talk about his admittedly slim chances of victory, Els only wanted to bemoan the state of most of the greens, which he described as "virtually unplayable," due to a lack of watering.

He told the official European Tour website: "It's such a pity as so much work and effort has been put in.

"I wish the Tour and the green staff would put more moisture in, I have asked them, begged them to do it but obviously they see it differently.

"It's a never-ending story around here," he complained.

I wish the Tour and the green staff would put more moisture in, I have asked them, begged them to do it but obviously they see it differently
Ernie Els

Els, who owns a property near the course, was commissioned by Wentworth owner Richard Caring to make radical changes back in 2010 and not all have been greeted with acclaim by leading players, particularly those to the par-five 18th.

The 42-year-old, who won the World Match Play tournament seven times at Wentworth, had to use all his expertise and local knowledge to move up the leaderboard.

Els was one of only 10 players to be under par, with Donald, set to reclaim the world number one spot, finishing with a birdie on the final hole for a joint best of the day three-under 69 for 11-under 205.

Fellow Englishman Justin Rose also shot a 69 to trail by two shots going into the final round where he will be paired with Donald.

The defending championship needs to finish in the top eight to leapfrog Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut at the European Tour's flagship event.

Donald first attained the ranking thanks to his 2011 victory and despite losing the No.1 spot since has shown incredible consistency.

"It will be a proud moment personally to go a whole year and still be at the top of the world rankings," he told BBC Sport.

"But obviously my main focus is to try to win the tournament."

Ireland's Peter Lawrie challenged him at the top of the leaderboard until dropping shots on the back nine to be third on seven-under.

Els, fellow South Africans Richard Sterne and Branden Grace and former British Open champion Paul Lawrie shared fourth, but six shots behind Donald.

Overnight leader James Morrison of England slumped to an 81 to go back to three-under.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
Not many people make the leap from teenage market trader to golf pro and fashion entrepreneur, but that's just what Ian Poulter has done.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT