LEMONT, Ill. – Tiger Woods won’t be the only big name at the Frys.com event next month.
Ernie Els has decided to make the trip, as well.
Els, a surprise participant in the BMW Championship this week, plans to play in the Dunhill Links in two weeks at St. Andrews, then fly back across the pond to California.
Unlike Woods, who needs competitive reps, Els is playing partly for business reasons. The owner of the CordeValle Resort in San Martin, Calif., Hasso Plattner, also is the founder of SAP, the German software company that sponsors Els. Plattner will play with Els in an outing on Monday of tournament week.
After the PGA Championship, Els was down on his game, needing a good showing at the Wyndham Championship just to make the FedEx Cup playoffs.
He tied for 30th in Greensboro, then posted solid finishes at The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship to propel the South African into this week’s third playoff event, near Chicago.
“I decided to change caddies and really dedicate myself for a playoff run, and that’s kind of what we did,” Els said. “It was, in a sadistic way, fun to be under the gun every week, to really see where your bloody game is. Now you’ve got to make a 3‑footer to survive. It’s kind of like Tour school: survival. So it was good, brought a lot of weaknesses out to the front. Either embarrass yourself or get better kind of thing, and I feel like I got better.”
Els’ plan is to play in the HSBC in China and then the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in Australia, a course where he has had tremendous success, winning three Heineken Classics and owning the course record (60).