Ernie Els (Getty Images)
Ernie Els was left to rue some costly mistakes on the back nine in his semi-final defeat to Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, but was trying to focus on the positives of his week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Els made an excellent start to the last-four clash at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Arizona and was three up on the front nine, but he let Dubuisson back in the match around the turn and lost the 18th to finish one down.
From the middle of the fairway the South African went into the front bunker, and could not get up and down to go to extra holes. However, it still represented his best performance in the competition since 2001.
“I hit a very poor second shot on 18, so it was a tough way to finish,” said the 44 year old, who later lost the consolation match to American Rickie Fowler on the 19th hole. “But give Victor credit, he made quite a few birdies in the middle there. He was in a lot of trouble and he deserved to win.
“It's tough to take. I didn't play that nicely coming in. I missed quite a few makeable putts and had some bad irons shots.
“I'm playing with brand new equipment with Adams, and it’s only my fourth event. I had a chance to actually get to the finals. So I'm looking forward to the rest of the year and I'm really excited about things.”