Johannesburg – It was a nervous wait after his round, but Ernie Els made it into the top 70 of the FedExCup play-offs with a share of 20th at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday.
Known as “The Big Easy”, Els needed a better than 23rd place finish to ensure he advanced into the top 70 of the FedExCup standings.
His rounds of 66, 69, 68, and 69 for a 12-under total at the TPC Boston, in Massachusetts, left Els with a share of 20th place on the leaderboard.
As it turned out Els snuck in to advance to the BMW Championship starting on September 12.
When Els finished his round, he thought his 12-under total would not be good enough to get the job done.
“Well, I kind of knew I was right on the line,” Els said.
“But I really felt I needed to get to 14-under to be safe and I didn't quite do that. Right now it feels like I've just missed the cut.”
Again, it was an inconsistent putter which left the four-time Major winner frustrated.
“Obviously the goal this week was to try to finish something like top-20,” he said.
“I've had a bit of a tough summer and I really felt my game was coming around this week. I missed a bunch of putts, but I made some good putts.”
Earlier, Els started his round with two birdies in the first four holes at the par-five second and par-four fourth.
He churned out the pars from that point with 14 in a row to leave the nerve-wracking wait to see if he made the grade.
Meanwhile, Tim Clark started the week right on the border in 70th position.
Clark, however, could only manage rounds of 73 and 71 and missed the cut by three.
He eventually dropped to 80th in the standings as he watched from the sidelines.
It was not all doom and gloom for the South Africans as Charl Schwartzel and Rory Sabbatini advanced to the next play-off event.
Sabbatini compiled a six-under total for the week, enough to ensure he finished 60th in the standings.
Schwartzel had a far less nervous time as he put together an 11 total to maintain his place in the standings at number 29.
The FedExCup is a season-long money list which awards points according to where a player finishes, with the top 125 at the end of the regular 33-week season advancing to the play-offs.
The play-offs are made up of four events, with points adjusted after each tournament. – Sapa