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Friday, 5 February 2016

Ernie is Looking Good at the Dubai Desert Classic

Real men do wear pink.  And, in Dubai at the Omega Desert Classic, we saw Cabrera-Bello, in his white trousers and pink shirt, birdie eighteen to take a one shot lead at 10 under.  Having won the Desert Classic in 2012, and finished runner up last week, you might want to put a few dollars on Cabrera-Bello winning again this week. 

Stenson, Oosthuizen, and McIlroy, three of golf's great swingers, played together and were also resplendent in their white trousers and pink shirts in support of breast cancer research.  Rory and Louis weren't, however, all that pretty in pink today, as they struggled mightily on the front nine on a course that Rory, at least, has pretty much owned.  

I like to see the boys in pink, favouring pink shirts myself, but I wouldn't dare try to wear the white trousers which would inevitably be stained with coffee, mustard, or ketchup before I was done.  I did have a nice pair of pink Sansabelt trousers in size 32; long since retired thanks to my middle-aged prosperity.  I loved those trousers.

Golf is indeed an unpredictable game when two thoroughbreds, like Rory and Louis, essentially find themselves, for nine holes atleast, unable to hit their hat.  Stenson, normally a ballstriking machine, spent plenty of time in the rough and waste areas as well, but managed not to get too distracted by his playing partners' woes and ground out a relatively good score of 68, rolling in a lovely putt on eighteen for birdie.  He sits three back at seven under.  

Rory recovered nicely, finishing with three straight birdies to shoot level par.  He definitely remains a potential threat to win with 36 holes to play, but he'll need to go low to do it at six back.  King Louis, on the other hand, is going to be having the weekend off.  Another remarkable player to miss the cut was Martin Kaymer, normally a good desert player.

Meanwhile, Ernie Els sits one back.  You have to love seeing big Ernie in the hunt again on a course that has certainly fit his eye over the years.  Ernie is the only one to have won the tournament three times and holds the course record of 61.  If Ernie can hold it together on the greens on the weekend it could be another great desert win for the big man, who has lots of great memories of the course to bolster his confidence.

It promises to be a great weekend of golf.  While my heart is with Ernie, my picks, if I was a betting man, would be Cabrera-Bello or Oleson, who sits two back, to win based on their runner up finishes last week.  I also like Andy Sullivan, who is nicely placed at two back and looks to be in great form.  He's fast becoming a world class player and will likely be a Ryder Cup player this year.

Go get 'em, Ernie.