The Straits Times
Published on Jan 11, 2013

I'm playing against animals, jokes Els after Colsaerts rocket


DURBAN (REUTERS) - Four-times major winner Ernie Els got his first close-up view of the world's longest professional hitter Nicolas Colsaerts at the Volvo Golf Champions on Thursday and the 43-year-old was stunned by his Belgian playing partner's power.

"They should put a plaque down. I was coming from a different zip code and I've got to compete against these animals," joked Els after the first round in Durban.

Colsaerts led the driving distances on the European and Professional Golfers Association (PGA) tours in 2012 with a staggering average of 318.6 yards, ranking over three yards ahead of United States (US) Masters champion Bubba Watson.

"I've been coming here since 1986 I think and I've never seen a ball there - nobody has," said Els of the European Ryder Cup player's booming 419-yard drive at the downwind par-five third.