Els seeks Sun City success with new clubs

Associated Press

SUN CITY, South Africa – Ernie Els is hoping some new clubs will lead to a familiar result at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The South African, looking for a record fourth title at Sun City, changed his irons after disappointing results at the Singapore Open and HSBC Champions in China.

“I’ve just not been hitting the ball close enough to the flags,” said Els, who recently picked up his new clubs in London. “My previous set were cavity-backed and I felt I needed something that would perhaps give me more control over the ball.”

Els won the Nedbank in 1999, 2000 and ‘02, and is trying to surpass fellow three-time winners Nick Price and David Frost.

Els isn’t the only “hometown” player competing for the $1.2 million winner’s share. The 12-man field also includes former U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, 11th-ranked Rory Sabbatini, Trevor Immelman and Charl Schwartzel, the 2007 South African Order of Merit winner.

Sabbatini is one of four players making his first appearance in the field, along with Justin Rose, Geoff Ogilvy and Niclas Fasth.

Defending champion Jim Furyk withdrew with neck problems, leaving Stewart Cink as the only American in the field.

The 34-year-old Cink had a solid season in 2007, compiling six top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour, including a tie for third at the Players Championship and a tie for sixth at the British Open.

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