Els could skip Scottish Open

World number three Ernie Els is considering giving the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond a miss this year so he can be in the best possible frame of mind for the Open at St Andrews the following week.

World number three Ernie Els is considering giving the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond a miss this year so he can be in the best possible frame of mind for the Open at St Andrews the following week.

Els fell out of contention for the US Open with a third-round 72 at Pinehurst today – it dropped him to nine-over on the par-70 course – and then said he was thinking of extending his break prior to the Open.

“I’ve not decided yet, but I need a good break,” said the world number three, describing his double bogeys at the 10th and 13th as “brain dead stuff”.

“I love the Scottish, but we will see how it goes.”

He could decide instead to warm up for the Old Course by playing some links golf, possible at Royal Dornoch, north of Inverness.

Els, second to Tiger Woods in the 2000 Open at St Andrews, won at Loch Lomond the previous week that year and was champion there again in 2003.

Colin Montgomerie commented: “It would be a great loss to any tournament if Ernie did not play. But I’d be quite glad – I’d have a better opportunity!”

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