Els says Irish toil is perfect prep for U.S. Open

Sun May 31, 2015 11:16am EDT
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By Bernie McGuire

NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Four-time major winner Ernie Els feels his four testing rounds at the Irish Open have been the perfect preparation for next month’s U.S. Open, he told Reuters.

Els endured a trying time at the Royal County Down course in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, finishing on Sunday with a one-over-par 72 for a 10-over-par tally in bright but windy conditions.

The South African recorded one eagle and eight birdies but also 18 bogeys and a double bogey over the four in his first Irish Open appearance in 17 years.

Els will play in the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio next week before traveling to Washington State for the U.S. Open, which begins on June 18 at Chambers Bay.

"After four days here at Royal County Down, it will make Chambers Bay look like it’s on steroids," Els told Reuters.

"This course was tricky but then I hear Chambers Bay is really tricky and I’m glad I played here this week as this will have been great practice heading up there to Washington State.

"You’re going to get all those links type shots from uneven lies, putting in wind and sometimes rain, so this will be a great test for Chambers Bay even though most of the guys going there have never played the golf course...

“I’m sure when I get to Chambers Bay my links type game will be pretty sharp.   Continued...

Golf - BMW PGA Championship - Virginia Water, Surrey, England - 21/5/15
South Africa's Ernie Els in action during the first round.Action  Images via Reuters / Paul Childs