Els addressing putting woes

Ernie Els is hoping the use of a new putter will help him claim a fourth Dubai Desert Classic victory this weekend.

The South African has an envious record in the tournament, having clinched a top-three finish in each of the last seven years, although victory has narrowly escaped his clutches in the past two events.

And with Els slipping outside the top 10 in the world rankings on Monday, now would be a good time to record his first victory since the Honda Classic last March.

However, the 39-year-old has been struggling on the greens in recent times and is pinning his hopes on a new flat-stick in a bid to turn around his fortunes.

Not comfortable

“I am playing okay but not scoring well,” he said after finishing in the ruck in Qatar last week. “I’ve had some putting problems.

“I started in Hawaii. I played two weeks there. I played the Mercedes and the Sony Open. Played pretty well at the first event but on the third day there, I really had some putting problems.

“I think that put a little bit of doubt in my head. The last couple of weeks I haven’t been very comfortable on the greens.

“So I’m looking at a new putter this week – hopefully I can get that straightened out and have a good week. It’s been a good tournament for me.

“I have lost three or four times by just one shot in Dubai but I’ve also had lots of success.

“I think it is important to win early on in the season – just to settle your nerves.

“If you can win a tournament before the Masters you can overcome a little battle within yourself before you get to a major.”

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