Woods weighs in on Els’ progress

A longtime take on Tiger Woods from the media center is that he doesn’t say much. But beware of absolutes. That is not always the case. Thursday was an exception.

Woods was asked about Ernie Els’ three-year plan in late 2006 to become No. 1 in the world. Els at the time was still trying to regain top form after suffering torn knee ligaments in a water accident.

“After he came off that knee surgery, it takes time,” Woods said at the Deutsche Bank Championship. “Ernie is not a big worker physically, and that’s one of the things that you have to do with an ACL repair is you’ve got to really do a lot of work. I feel pretty good with what I’ve done, and I think Ernie, he could have worked a little bit harder.”

Woods softened the take a bit with this: “But Ernie travels all around the world, more than any other golfer. He plays all over the place, and it’s harder for him. Ernie is starting to put it together a little bit.”

Els, who shared second place with Woods on Sunday at The Barclays, said Thursday he came back a couple of months too soon from the surgery. What’s more, he said a move from England to Florida and work on a center for autistic children in south Florida diverted his focus. Els’ son, Ben, has autism.

“I don’t want to make too many excuses, but (those things) took a bit of energy,” Els said before quickly moving to the present. “Hey, if I can keep playing the way I did last week, maybe the three-year plan can be revived. I feel good now. I feel positive, and I feel my game is coming around, so I just want to try and win.”

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