Els determined to regain form

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He might be in danger of missing his first Masters since 1994, but Ernie Els is confident he can get his game back in shape in 2012.

He might be in danger of missing his first Masters since 1994, but Ernie Els is confident he can get his game back in shape in 2012.

2011 has been one of the easy-going South African’s worst years in professional golf, with only one top-10 finish to his name and not a victory in sight, and it has seen him drop outside the top 50 in the world for the first time since 1994.

If he doesn’t either play himself back into the top 50 in the first few months of the new year (he is currently ranked 56th) or win a PGA tour event during the same time (save for those held concurrently with WGC events), Els will miss the Masters at Augusta for the first time since 1994 – something he’ll be desperate to avoid.

But Els still feels there are positives to take from the current state of his game and that he can turn his form around.

“It has been a tough year because I haven’t won any tournaments. Personally I don’t think I have been playing badly, but my putting has let me down at times and I have battled to string together four good rounds,” he said at the recent launch of the Els Club at the Copperleaf Golf Estate in Centurion, South Africa.

“I would like to get the year off to a good start and build momentum as the season progresses. I plan to play more on the PGA Tour next year because my children are at school and I would like to be there for them, but my ultimate goal is to get back into the top 20 on the world rankings.”

Els believes that there isn’t anything seriously wrong with his game, and that he still has the ability to post consistently good scores.

“For the next few weeks I hope to find a way to figure things out,” he wrote on his website. “The fact that I had such a strong year as recently as 2010 tells me that I can do this.

“Also the kind of scores I shot last week at Fancourt (at his Ernie Els Invitational) pretty much reflect how I’ve been hitting it for a while now. There’s really nothing wrong with my game. I just have to find a way to take that form into a proper tournament situation and sustain it over four rounds.

“I think momentum is the key thing. When you hit a bad run it’s tough to turn the bus around. Equally, when things start going your way on the golf course you tee it up and think every day is going to be a good day. I need to make sure I get on with generating the right kind of momentum in my game.”

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