Last Updated on Sunday, 27 May 2012 16:59
Sunday, 27 May 2012 16:48
"You have a damn 30 mph easterly breeze blowing so put (expletive) water on the greens." - Ernie Els after his third round at the BMW PGA Championship
VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) - Ernie Els launched an expletive-laced attack on European Tour officials and green keepers at the BMW PGA Championship for failing to water the putting surfaces heavily enough for the third round at Wentworth.
Els was criticized for tough changes he made to the West Course when he helped redesign it in 2010, but dished out the abuse himself after a flurry of high scores on Saturday.
''I'm fed up with it ... It's not my bloody job doing it. It's their job. They have been around a long time, I'm really disappointed with it,'' the two-time U.S. Open champion said after his 2-under 70, which put him in contention for the title.
Els unleashed the criticism soon after seeing his 4-iron approach to the 18th skip through the green and into a bunker at the back.
He said some of the greens - especially the 12th - were ''dead,'' making it nearly impossible to hold approach shots.
With eight of the 36 two-balls left out on the course, eight players had already carded scores in the 80s in the third round.
''Really, I am (ticked) off,'' Els said. ''I've asked them to put water on the bloody greens and then I spoke to J.P. (chief European Tour referee John Paramor) coming up the 15th and he said, `We did water it last night.' I said you have to triple that. You have a damn 30 mph easterly breeze blowing so put (expletive) water on the greens.
''You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. So now we have another situation and the guys aren't going to be very happy.
It is difficult enough as it is with conditions the way they are but the tour has really got to play the ball now, and the greens staff. I have been asking both to play ball with me for a while now and I can't keep taking this, and at some point they have to start listening.''
Els added that talking to some tour officials was, ''Like talking to this wall behind me.''
Els' tirade came despite an impressive round, with the South African using all his experience to plot his way around the course and pick his moments to attack the pins.
Els expected younger players to struggle in such conditions, predicting that the likes of himself and Luke Donald would be better able to cope.
''I can see guys aren't used to these conditions and they are going to have a really tough time,'' he said.
Speaking after his third-round 70, third-ranked Lee Westwood diplomatically described the greens as ''unique,'' while Martin Kaymer said it was a shame for the tournament.
''It's a little disappointing that you play such a good golf course, such an important event, and you have greens like this,'' the 11th-ranked German said. ''It's a little sad but it's how it is this year.''
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