Ernie Els penalizes himself for a curious -- and noble -- reason

Paterniano Del Favero
Mag 30, 2017

Your Golf Travel ambassador Lee Westwood made the once-in-a-lifetime competition prize even better by scoring a hole-in-one during the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in the Pro-Am.

Els looked to have shot a solid 3-under 69, but his apparent eagle at the 12th was switched to a par and a round of 1-under 71 as the four-time major champion was unhappy with the lie he recreated for a plugged lie.

"I wish I could take them up and put the old ones back", he said. "But you can't blame the greens - I suppose it's just a case of me getting used to them". The ball came out way too good so I felt I didn't quite probably put it exactly where I should have. "You know, when I was in there with her and listening to how she thinks, it's incredible what you can learn from somebody that plays at her level".

"The greens are so good".

Defending champion Chris Wood was round in 72, level par, and joked he would like to see the new greens replaced by the ones from previous year.

Four of the 18 putting surfaces were also reshaped while five more were partially rebuilt.

"We listened to some of the players' comments through the years since we started first changing and I think I feel we've got it right this time".

Swedish star Henrik Stenson was handily placed on 68, one behind Italy's Francesco Molinari, Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and Scott Jamieson of Scotland.

Pieters, who bogeyed the last after finding the water with his approach, was making his first start since finishing in a tie for fourth at the Masters, having opted to miss the Players Championship in favour of a family holiday.

"I didn't have any confidence from inside four or five feet".

'But I don't think he would want to be surrounded by Americans for 365 days a year'.

However, the 47-year-old was unhappy at the flawless contact, believing it impossible from his original plugged lie and thinking he must have replaced the ball incorrectly.

Another birdie on the 10th then took Storm, who defeated Rory McIlroy in a play-off to win the South African Open in January, to six under par and into a two-shot lead, before a double-bogey on the 11th halted his progress.

Players and caddies wore black ribbons as a mark of respect to the victims of the terrorist attack in Manchester on Monday, with a minute's silence held at 11am.

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