All the latest news and stories from the world of golf, Ernie Els Design, Ernie Els Wines, and across Ernie’s philanthropic interests, plus a dip into the archives for one of the standout moments in Ernie’s career.
1. Ernie looks back – and to the future – as he plays his 27th consecutive US Open
It was wonderful being back at Pebble Beach for a third time in the US Open, my 27th consecutive appearance in this great championship. I would never in my wildest dreams have thought that I’d still be playing all these years after my debut at Baltusrol in 1993. Time really flies. But also to be there with my nephew (Jovan Rebula, pictured below right) in the field with me. That was just unbelievably special. We enjoyed the build-up together, played some practice rounds, and I was glad to be keeping him company. As time goes on, we’ll look back on the week with some nice memories.
Anyway, if you’re ever going to have a blueprint on a US Open, this is the one, and for me it’s been fantastic to have played at Pebble Beach all these years. I was grateful that the USGA gave me the opportunity to play…and believe me, I was determined to make the most of it and enjoy the week. First and foremost, was finding a way to compete. The hope was there, so it was disappointing to miss the cut. My game definitely felt good enough to be there at the weekend.
In some ways, all the talk last week kind of put me in somewhat of a reflective mood. I’m coming to the end of my US Open reign as a player. It’s been 27 great years. I’ve had a great time, had some great performances and obviously feel blessed to have won it a couple of times. When your time is up, your time is up.
But that’s not to say I won’t keep competing out here. I’m looking forward to playing some of the PGA TOUR events where I’m the past champion, but the time is coming when I think I’m going to transition quite nicely on to the ‘other side’ and play some golf on the Champions Tour. Go see some of my old buddies!
2. Ernie signs with Clif Bar in long-term agreement as brand ambassador
Clif Bar, one of the foremost producers of wholly organic energy food, snacks and drinks, today announced a new partnership with World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els. The four-time Major Winner is now sporting the Clif Bar logo on the left-side collar of his shirts and sweaters.
“It’s great to be on board with Clif Bar and I’m proud to be able to represent the company on my competitive travels around the world,” says Els. “I love the products and the way the company does business, focusing on organic ingredients and an ethos of sustainability. I also applaud the work they are doing at the Clif Bar Family Foundation, supporting grassroots initiatives led by inspiring people who care passionately about the environment.”
Els goes on to say, “I’ve enjoyed meeting with Gary Erickson [co-founder of Clif Bar]. The enthusiasm and passion that he has for Clif Bar is truly infectious and I’m looking forward to us working together to raise awareness for the brand and introduce golfers all around the world to their superb range of products.”
Husband and wife team Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford officially launched Clif Bar in 1992. Its flagship eponymous product is a nutritious, wholesome bar named in honour of Gary’s father Clifford, the man who introduced him to wilderness adventures and encouraged him to follow his passions in life. The subsequent growth of the company has been extraordinary, a fact evident in the diverse and hugely popular range of products now available. Clif Bar’s vision always has been to do business in a better way and the company continues to place organic ingredients and organic farming at the forefront of its activities.
Ernie Els has 70 professional worldwide career victories to his name, including four Major Championships, two World Golf Championships and a record seven World Match Play titles. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. As a former World No.1, Ernie is one of the most prolific winners of his generation and the global reach of his victories is almost without parallel.
Away from the golf course, Els is admired for his business portfolio and philanthropic endeavors. In addition to his work as a golf course architect (Ernie Els Design), he has an acclaimed wine-making business (Ernie Els Wine) and a charitable foundation supporting youth golf in South Africa (The Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation). Most personal, however, is The Els for Autism Foundation, which was established in 2009 by Ernie and his wife Liezl. The Foundation has since opened a state-of-the-art campus, The Els Center of Excellence, in Florida, with a local, national and global reach helping individuals and their families on the spectrum.
“It’s wonderful to partner with a golfer of Ernie’s stature and reputation,” says Clif Bar co-founder Gary Erickson. “At Clif, we’re passionate about food that both feeds and inspires the adventure in all of us. Whether you’re going on a hike, hitting the slopes, or competing in a triathlon, our recipes are crafted to help provide the energy you need. With Ernie on board, we look forward to being able to satisfy the hunger for our products in the global golf market.”
About Clif Bar
Clif Bar is a privately-owned company of 1,200 people based mostly in Emeryville, California. Visit the website: https://www.clifbar.com.
3. From the Archive
June 25: It was this very month, 25 years ago, that Ernie won his first US Open at Oakmont after a marathon 92 holes in sweltering, sticky summer heat. Ernie tied with Loren Roberts and Colin Montgomerie after 72 holes of regulation play. Another 18 holes on Monday couldn’t separate Ernie and Roberts, with Montgomerie falling by the wayside, so the pair embarked on a sudden-death playoff. Ernie would win that with a par on the second extra hole. Three years later, at historic Congressional CC, Ernie added a second US Open to his collection. This time, 72 holes was sufficient as Ernie once again denied Montgomerie by virtue of one of the finest shots of his career setting up a decisive par on the treacherous par-4 17th.