Ernie's Back and Ready to Take on Tiger

By now everyone knows the sordid colorful details of my Ernie Els obsession. I've posted on the subject several times. Ad nauseum, Nick some would say. However, even I must admit, it wasn't looking good for the Ernie-obsessed through most of 2006. Things just weren't coming together the way we expected them to, and less than two weeks ago prominent bloggers were still asking,"What's happening to Ernie Els?"

That all changed over the weekend, though. For me personally, it was just another weekend of endless, well-lubricated Christmas parties, punctuated by one more stolen round of golf in CT's endless 2006 season. But for Ernie Els, and possibly for golf-as-we-watch-it in the 2007 season, it appeared to be a turning point. Ernie's victory in the SAA Open on Sunday allowed him, at the last minute, to maintain his proud record of "having won a tournament somewhere in the world every year since 1992", and it brought him back up to 5th on the World Ranking list. (He's now replaced fellow countryman Retief Goosen { sorry Ms. Retief-obsessed Jennifer } who has moved into 6th place, bumping Vijay Singh, down to 7th with recently promoted Padraig Harrington moving back to No 8.

Most importantly though, this victory has restored confidence to a player who - lets face it - is a dream to watch. Even if you don't find him sexy. It's also reinvigorated his quest to chase down Tiger for number one. And while even Ernie admits that,"...some people may find it laughable," he quickly adds that "it's one of the goals I want to achieve". It's strange - and a bit disconcerting - that so few players will even state this as a goal. Well, Ernie has almost made a career of it, and in his matches with Tiger have produced some of the most compelling golf ever.

So, I was really happy when, after this somewhat lost weekend, I found out that Ernie had won. I had no money on this tournament... no bets with Nick where a long week of servitude hung in the balance... but I imediately realized that the 2007 golf season now had the potential to be much more exciting.

More Ernie: If you can't get enough of the Big Easy, check out this post and this one. My fellow bloggers are writing about Ernie too.