Ernie Els Curses Long-Running Hip Problem

South Africa's Ernie Els led the $1.3 million Hong Kong Open at the halfway stage but his challenge faltered over the final two rounds as the injury began to take its toll.

Updated: October 19, 2014 18:39 IST
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Ernie Els Hong Kong
Ernie Els in action during Round 2 of Hong Kong Open.


Hong Kong: Four-time major winner Ernie Els said Sunday he would "try anything" to fix a long-running hip problem that led to a disappointing showing at the Hong Kong Open.

The South African led the $1.3 million event at the halfway stage but his challenge faltered over the final two rounds as the injury began to take its toll.

Els started with rounds of 66 and 65 in the southern Chinese city to lie on nine-under par, but by the end of the tournament he was stuck on the same score.

The golf hall of famer struggled to rounds of 71 and 69 on Saturday and Sunday over the par-70 6,699-yard Hong Kong Golf Club course in Fanling, finishing tied for fifth.

"Physically I've got to take care of this right hip," he told reporters after the co-sanctioned European Tour/Asian Tour event.

"There's a nerve that's catching somewhere. I'm trying to loosen it up but it's really sore so I'm going to get somebody to get an elbow in, do something," Els added.

The golfer, nicknamed "The Big Easy" because of his tall stature and smooth swing, said he would be willing to try Chinese acupuncture.

"I'll try anything as it really ended me coming in. You don't know if it's going to stay behind or come through (when I hit the ball). It's been a bit of a problem."

The winner of two British Opens and two US Opens insisted however that the injury would not keep him out of next week's Macau Open or two tournaments in China next month.

"It won't (stop me from playing) but I need to get it taken care of. It's been bothering me for a while and it really got worse on the flight over," said Els.

"But I'll keep playing. I can't come all the way out here and not play. So I'll just bite the bullet and hopefully it will get better.

"If that's the case I think my game is good enough to maybe scrape a win out before the end of the year."

Els has struggled in 2014, sliding down the rankings from 27 at the end of last year to 51 currently.

After the Macau Open, which starts on Thursday, Els will compete in the BMW Masters and WGC-HSBC Champions. Both are in Shanghai and are part of the European Tour's Race to Dubai 'Final Series'.

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