Follow Us on

Ernie Els: Declines Presidents Cup Captaincy

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Golf History
  4. /
  5. Ernie Els: Declines Presidents...
Ernie Els

Who is Ernie Els

Ernie Els, a legendary South African golfer, has left an indelible mark on the world of professional golf with his incredible skill, sportsmanship, and remarkable accomplishments. With a career spanning over three decades, Els has amassed an impressive record that includes four major championships, more than 70 international tournament victories, and a place in the prestigious

World Golf Hall of Fame. Known for his smooth, effortless swing and calm demeanor on the course, Ernie Els has become a role model for aspiring golfers and a respected figure in the global golf community.

How He Started

In his formative years, Ernie Els was introduced to golf by his father, Neels, an avid golfer himself. Equipped with beginner gear, Els’ passion for the sport grew rapidly, and he soon started competing in amateur tournaments. During the final round of one such event, his performance caught the eye of international team selectors, ultimately paving the way for him to join the European Tour.

As he honed his skills and achieved success on the Tour, Els’s dedication to the sport remained unwavering. Throughout his journey, his wife Liezl has been a constant source of support and inspiration, helping him navigate the challenges and triumphs of his illustrious career.

Els not planning to return as Presidents Cup captain

Ernie Els’ tenure as captain of the International team in the President’s Cup was a one-time experience. His team fell short with a 16-14 loss to the Tiger Woods-led United States at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in December, and the South African has expressed that he is not interested in resuming the role. “That’s as good as I can do,” Els told Morning Read on Thursday.

“I gave it all. I get one opportunity, win or lose. You don’t get a second chance.” The U.S. staged a comeback during the final day of singles play, winning six of the first nine matches and halving two others before Matt Kuchar secured the Cup with a decisive putt. Els has contemplated his decision “numerous times” since the defeat and even met with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in West Palm Beach, Florida, in January.

Enrie Els

Despite being asked to reconsider, Els ultimately made what he believed to be the right choice after discussing the matter with his wife Liezl following a PGA Tour Champions event at a country club in Hawaii last month. “There is so much of me that wants to do it, but I know the hardest thing is to step away,” Els said. “I can understand why people become dictators. You can get hooked on that power.” The U.S. maintains an 11-1-1 record, including a current streak of eight consecutive victories, in the Presidents Cup since its inception in 1994.

New captains for both teams are anticipated to be selected for the 2021 Presidents Cup, with the announcement expected in March at either the Arnold Palmer Invitational or The Players Championship in Florida. However, Els left the door open for one potential opportunity to be the International captain again. “If [the Cup] ever goes to South Africa and I’m not too old,” Els said, “I’d like to be considered for that one.”

Els names 3 assistant captains for the Presidents Cup

International team captain Ernie Els has announced his final three assistant captains for the 2019 Presidents Cup, featuring two former Masters champions and veterans from both the PGA Championship and European Tour.

Former Augusta winners Mike Weir of Canada and Trevor Immelman of South Africa will join K.J. Choi of South Korea and the previously named Geoff Ogilvy of Australia, a key figure in the Els Center, on Els’ staff for the Dec. 9-15 event in Melbourne, Australia. Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champ with an impressive playoff record, was appointed back in November.

“I gave it quite a bit of thought,” Els said during a press conference Tuesday in Australia. “I really wanted to try and start a new thinking process about the pairing system. I’m using a lot of data, a lot of science … and I wanted to get guys who have played a lot of Presidents Cups like myself.” Weir competed in the Presidents Cup five times, while Choi played on three teams and Immelman on two, with the latter also having experience in the Open Championship’s final round.

The United States has dominated the biennial competition, which pits the U.S. against the rest of the world minus Europe. The U.S. has won the last seven Cups and owns a 10-1-1 record overall since the Presidents Cup debuted in 1994. Last month, U.S. captain Tiger Woods named Fred Couples, Zach Johnson, and Steve Stricker as three of his four assistants

The Els for Autism Foundation

The Els for Autism Foundation, established by legendary golfer Ernie Els, is a remarkable organization dedicated to supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Inspired by his son’s autism diagnosis, Els, also known as the “Big Easy,” has committed to making a difference in the lives of those affected by ASD through the foundation.

In partnership with the Fancourt Foundation, Els for Autism organizes various sports events, tours, and fundraisers that bring together people from all walks of life. These events aim to raise awareness and generate funds for research, education, and support services, ensuring that everybody has an opportunity to thrive and succeed in life, regardless of their unique challenges.

One of the notable events organized by the foundation is the annual golf tournament, where participants can make the halfway cut and contribute to a great cause while enjoying a day on the greens. The foundation’s efforts have made a significant impact on countless lives, and with the continued support of the community, the Els for Autism Foundation will keep working towards a brighter future for individuals with ASD and their loved ones.


Ernie Els

Ernie Els has had an impressive career, with 73 professional worldwide career victories and a four-time major champion. Some of the tournaments where he was the champion.

1991 Amatola Sun Classic

The 1991 Amatola Sun Classic marked the beginning of Ernie Els’ illustrious golf career, as it was his first professional win. Held in South Africa, the young golfer showcased his immense talent and potential. This victory served as a stepping stone for Els, who would go on to become one of the most successful golfers in history. The Amatola Sun Classic set the stage for a remarkable journey that would see Ernie Els achieve numerous accolades and triumphs in the world of golf.

1992 Protea Assurance South African Open

The 1992 Protea Assurance South African Open further cemented Ernie Els’ status as a rising star in the golf world. Held at the Houghton Golf Club in Johannesburg, this prestigious tournament saw Els secure his first South African Open title. This victory not only boosted his confidence but also propelled him to the international stage. Ernie Els’ triumph at the 1992 South African Open was a testament to his skill and determination, qualities that would define his successful career.

1994 US Open

The 1994 US Open, where Ernie Els clinched his first major championship title, was a pivotal moment in his illustrious golf career. Prior to the tournament, Els honed his skills during practice rounds, preparing for the challenging Oakmont Country Club course in Pennsylvania. His exceptional performance at the US Open would later pave the way for future successes, such as his strong showing at the Sony Open. Ernie Els’ triumph at the 1994 US Open showcased his determination and talent, propelling him to the forefront of professional golf.

2002 Open Championship

The 2002 Open Championship saw Ernie Els secure his third major title in a thrilling finish at the Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland. During the practice rounds, Els and his caddie, Ben, meticulously studied the course, strategizing their approach to the challenging links layout. Their hard work paid off, as Els emerged victorious after a four-man playoff against Thomas Levet, Stuart Appleby, and Steve Elkington. This win solidified Ernie Els’ status as one of the greatest golfers of his generation, thanks in part to his diligent preparation with Ben during a practice round.

Ernie Els

Famous Golf Equipments Ernie Used

TaylorMade M1 Driver

Ernie Els used this driver at the 2016 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in Surrey, England. During the practice rounds, he fine-tuned his game with this reliable and high-performing driver, which helped him achieve impressive drives throughout the tournament.

Callaway Golf 2018 Rogue Driver

Els utilized this fairway wood during the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida. He took advantage of the practice rounds to familiarize himself with the club’s performance, ultimately improving his shots from the fairway.

Odyssey White Hot Pro #1 Putter

At the 2013 BMW International Open in Munich, Germany, Ernie Els wielded the Odyssey White Hot Pro #1 Putter. The practice rounds allowed him to perfect his putting stroke with this exceptional putter, contributing to his strong performance during the competition.

Subscribe to the Tribe

You Might Enjoy




Wait! Before you head to the Course

Join the Golfsquatch Tribe