Ernie Els praises tough Royal Troon back nine

Ernie Els: praise: Picture: Jane Barlow
Ernie Els: praise: Picture: Jane Barlow
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Royal Troon’s back nine has been hailed as one of the most difficult stretches in golf ahead of The Open returning to the Ayrshire course this July.

The verdict was delivered by Ernie Els, who lost to Todd Hamilton in a play-off the last time the game’s oldest major was held at the west coast venue in 2004.

“Obviously, I didn’t get the result I wanted there just from a pure performance standpoint,” recalled the South African of that effort. “But that second nine at Troon is probably some of the most difficult links golf you’ll ever play.

“Starting on 10, with the blind tee shot, and 11, the one with the bush and the railway, it’s just great, great golf coming. Even downwind, if it ever blows downwind, the back nine is some of the best holes you’ll ever see. You try and get your score going on the front and hang on on the back. It’s a great venue.”