Ernie Els believes defending champion Darren Clarke can surprise everyone at next week’s Open Championship.
Clarke, who is 150/1 with bookmaker to successfully defend his title, has not been in good form this season, making just one halfway cut. However, Els insists he shouldn’t be taken lightly at Lytham St Annes.
The South African said: “I know he’s struggling with his game, (but) I know he’s not that far off.
“He’s got that great ball flight and, if he gets that same talk he had last year (from American sports psychologist Bob Rotella), who knows? That could just swing things.”
Els hopes his early impressive showing at the US Open last month bodes well for his chances at Royal Lytham, where he finished joint second in 1996 and joint third in 2001, having not won a Major in 10 years.