Ernie Els mulling cutting schedule even further

GERALD IMRAY
Last updated 03:49 06/12/2013
Ernie Els
Getty Images
ERNIE ELS: "It's always been difficult leaving the house, but now you really see your kids growing up and it gets more difficult."

Relevant offers

Golf

Ryan Fox achieves another top 20 finish on European tour at HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi Danny Lee plunges down leaderboard, Canadian Adam Hadwin joins select group Canadian Hadwin becomes eighth man to break 60 on PGA Tour 'The awkward reporter' bamboozles golf stars with Abu Dhabi prank Ryan Fox remains in contention in Abu Dhabi as Dustin Johnson shoots 64 Danny Lee makes his move to trail Hudson Swafford by one on PGA Tour Ryan Fox survives cut in Abu Dhabi, makes solid start to life on European Tour New Zealand golfer Danny Lee on the pace at La Quinta No Kiwis left in Australian Amateur after first round of match play Top New Zealand golfers to vie for direct entry to US Masters, British Open at Royal Wellington in October

Ernie Els is considering cutting his golf schedule even more to spend time with his family, saying life on the road after 25 seasons as a pro is getting "tougher and tougher."

The four-time major winner has already slowed down over the past few years and played 19 tournaments on the PGA Tour and just seven solely European Tour events last season. The 44-year-old Els expects to trim that again, he said at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, his first tournament in a month.

The South African, who turned professional in 1989, said that with his daughter Samantha now 14 years old and son Ben 11 "there are other things that come into play."

"It's always been difficult leaving the house, but now you really see your kids growing up and it gets more difficult," Els said this week.

He almost skipped the Nedbank to stay on vacation with his family, and had to send Samantha back home to Florida on her own to write exams while he set off in search of a fourth title at Sun City.

"I feel a little bit guilty about that," he said.

Els is recognizing the trend with a couple of other players on tour.

"Family life is important and you don't want to miss out on their best years before they leave the house," he said. "A lot of us are in that boat now. Phil (Mickelson) has kids the same age as mine, so does (Steve) Stricker. Guys get to my age and your kids get to teenage years and it becomes a bit of a difficult scenario. It's getting tougher and tougher. The younger guys don't have too many hassles travelling ... but things change.

"I haven't really got a game plan for next year yet, but I definitely have to play a slightly different schedule. I've got to look at my schedule and see where I'm going to."

One thing that will remain is his commitment to trying to win another major - maybe two. His British Open title in 2012, a decade after his first Claret Jug, bolstered Els' hopes of another big win before he eases off completely.

"I'm 44 and with the equipment I can really stay with the longer hitters," Els said. "I feel I have a chance. I just need to sharpen up some things, get the right venue and get the right mojo. Then I think we can pull something off again. It's not going to be easy, but I believe there are one or two left, so I'll keep searching."

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content