Ernie Els' strong performance a good sign that he's back. PGA Championship performance proves Ernie Els is on the comeback trail at last

TULSA, Okla. - Ernie Els is close to being one of the elite golfers he once was, before injuries set him back.

Els was one of only two golfers, the other being Woody Austin, who made Tiger Woods a little uneasy in the final round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

Els fired a 66, at one time coming within a stroke of Woods on his way to a third-place finish.

"I'm still not quite to where I want to be, but I'm getting there," Els said. "I want to play at a really high level, that's my plan. I've played two good majors this year, especially a chance at the (British) Open, a really good chance which I didn't quite take. But, to come back from six (strokes) against the world's No. 1 was always going to be tough to do. But, you know, I gave it a good shot."

Els said he is just starting to feel comfortable with his new Callaway clubs.

"It's been a big change for me this year," he said. "I changed before the Masters, and I'm starting to feel comfortable with that. My putting is better, my short game is coming around. I just have to keep going on this trend and hopefully start giving (Woods) a go soon"

The Rules of Golf (or: That damn rake on No. 6)

This is for you rules freaks.

Corey Pavin incurred a two-stroke penalty because of a blunder by his caddie.

Pavin hit into a greenside bunker on No. 6. Before he played, his caddie placed the bunker rake on the bank above the water hazard, to the left of the bunker. Pavin's sand shot landed close to the green, but started rolling back down the slope toward the bunker.

Pavin's caddie quickly grabbed the rake, while the ball was in motion, and the ball rolled into the water.

Rule 24-1 says: "When a ball is in motion, an obstruction that might influence the movement of the ball, other than an attended flagstick or equipment of the players, must not be removed."

The rake is a movable obstruction and not considered players' equipment.

Tim Herron also had an incident involving a rake on No. 6. Herron hit into the water, took a drop, then hit over the back of the green. He then chipped back over the green, down the slope and his ball came to rest against the bunker rake, which was still lying on the grass bank above the water.

Rule 24-1a: "If the ball does not lie in or on the obstruction, the obstruction may be removed. If the ball moves, it must be replaced, and there is no penalty provided that the movement of the ball is directly attributable to the removal of the obstruction."

"When Herron removed the rake, the ball did in fact move and rolled into the water hazard," the PGA of America explained. "He attempted to replace the ball, as required under the Rule, but the ball would not remain at rest. He then placed the ball at the nearest spot at which it could be placed at rest that was not nearer the hole, approximately 10 feet away from its original position."

No penalty.

Tailed by the cops

Tiger Woods, John Daly and Phil Mickelson all had their own, personal police details.

If only…

TNT's Bobby Clampett on Joe Durant: "If Joe could putt, he would win three tournaments a year…He's got more putting strokes than I've got coats in my closet."

Succumbing to the heat

Tulsa paramedics had treated 107 heat-related cases through Saturday's third-round, one of them life-threatening; 26 of those treated were taken to the hospital.

Excessive heat warnings were in effect since before the tournament started and are expected to last through Wednesday.

Paramedics used bike teams to get to stricken spectators fast, followed up by teams on carts.

Tiger and Tulsa's big moment

The Tulsa World newspaper informally ranked Tiger Woods' 63 on Friday as the most memorable sports moment ever to occur in Tulsa. Others included the University of Tulsa beating Louisville in college basketball 68-60 in 1980, Tulsa beating Texas A&M 35-34 in college football in 1991 and heavyweight fighter Tommy Morrison getting knocked out by Michael Bentt in 1993.

August 13, 2007

Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

Comments Leave a comment
  • Corey Pavin

    Anthony Allaway (PGA Punter) wrote on: Aug 13, 2007

    There is another twist to the Pavin story I believe because it was reported somewhere Sunday that his regular caddie had More »


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