Els' new posture thrives in the heat - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Els' new posture thrives in the heat

Ernie Els was moderately satisfied after hitting a five-under-par 67 to claim a share of the lead in the Asian Open here yesterday.

Ernie Els was moderately satisfied after hitting a five-under-par 67 to claim a share of the lead in the Asian Open here yesterday.

The South African hit six birdies and one bogey in sweltering conditions to join six other players at the top of the leaderboard. The Frenchmen Jean Van de Velde and Raphael Jacquelin, Ireland's Peter Lawrie, England's Simon Wakefield, New Zealand's Eddie Lee and the Australian Larry Austin also recorded rounds of 67.

Colin Montgomerie needed to birdie two of his last three holes to post a one-over-par 73, while Nick Faldo had 16 pars, one birdie and one bogey in a 72. Luke Donald, third on his Masters debut at Augusta earlier this month, returned a 70 while Paul Casey recorded a roller-coaster 73 with four birdies and five bogeys.

Els has been working on changes to his posture since a disappointing Masters, and said it is still a work in progress despite finishing sixth in Beijing last week.

"I still look at the pictures David Leadbetter sent me and I spoke to him on the phone so we are on the same page," Els said. "I know when I'm doing it right, the ball just feels right off the club face and goes in the right direction. You can't start pushing it too much in the first round but I'm looking forward to the rest of the week now. It's very close to getting an eight out of 10."

Van de Velde has been plagued by a knee injury for more than two years and has undergone two bouts of surgery. He made several attempts to return to the tour on a medical exemption but missed the cut in eight out of 14 tournaments and was in too much pain to attempt to earn his card at qualifying school. As a result the popular Frenchman has to rely on invites.

"I don't feel comfortable asking for favours but that's where I am right now,"he said. "I haven't only made enemies, it seems, and I truly appreciate the people helping me. I was going to enter the tour school but I could hardly walk, so sadly I have to beg.

"I am not putting pressure on myself, I am just concentrating on trying to play. Mind you, I say that and tomorrow I might be choking like a dog!"

Asian Open (Shanghai) Leading first-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 67 J Van de Velde (Fr), L Austin (Aus), R Jacquelin (Fr), P Lawrie, E Lee (NZ), S Wakefield, E Els (SA). 69 C Rodiles (Sp), R Sterne (SA), J Milkha Singh (Ind), S Hansen (Den). 70 J Kingston (SA), C Hanell (Swe), A Hansen (Den), D Park, Sung-Man Lee (Kor), Lian-Wei Zhang (China), M A Jimenez (Sp), J Randhawa (Ind), S Dyson, P Sjoland (Swe), J-F Lucquin (Fr), P O'Malley (Aus), K Felton (Aus), C Cevaer (Fr), M Foster, M Both (Aus), Wen-Chong Liang (Chn), L Donald.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent