July 22, 2012
Els won't 'blow off' Canadian Open
By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency
Ernie Els' gain is apparently going to be the RBC Canadian Open's loss.
After a stunning collapse by Australian Adam Scott and some brillant play by Els on the back nine at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Sunday earned Els his fourth major and second British Open title, Els said he won't be at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club this week for Canada's national championship.
"I was supposed to go to Canada, but I think I'm going to blow that thing off," said Els in his acceptance speech on the 18th green after his victory, drawing a laugh from the thousands of spectators.
But Els clarified his comments in his post-victory press conference, saying he was only looking to arrive a little late for tournament week and maybe get out of attending the annual charity event put on by 2003 Masters champ Mike Weir.
"There's a golf day for Mike Weir (Monday) in Toronto. But I'll speak to (RBC executives), maybe they'll let me off on that one and I'll be there Monday evening. I'd love to see the family this evening and maybe try and fly out (Monday) morning. If they want there, I'll go (Sunday night) still. But I'd love to maybe just be there Monday night."
Cue the sigh of relief at tournament headquarters.
"We understand the considerable post-event demands on a champion following a victory and we appreciate that Ernie did not want to hold up the entire flight while he manages his commitments at the Open," RBC Canadian Open tournament director Bill Paul said. "Ernie has informed us through his representatives that he will make alternate arrangements to get back to Canada for next week's RBC Canadian Open and I'm sure Canadian golf fans at Hamilton will be very excited to welcome the 2012 Open champion to our event."