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Ernie Els happy with turnaround in form

Confidence restored after winning his third title of the year, Ernie Els is still coming to terms with how quickly he has transformed his game following the disappointment of last month's U.S. Masters.

The world number three romped to victory by 13 shots at the Asian Open in China on Monday just three weeks after finishing a career-worst 47th in the opening major of the year.

"I'm a little surprised it happened as soon as it did," the 35-year-old South African said on his official website.

"Mentally and physically, I've made a total about turn in the space of a week.

"I've been working hard on putting right a few technical faults in my game, and I could see things turning around in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Beijing.

"But to be honest with you, my confidence wasn't there yet and I was basically still searching for my golf swing."

Els tied for sixth at the European Tour sanctioned Johnnie Walker, which was played the week before the Asian Open.

Once he arrived in Shanghai for last week's event, however, everything appeared to be falling into place for him.

"Right from the start of the tournament, I felt like my game was in nice shape," he said. "It just goes to show, if you maintain a good attitude and keep working hard, you can always turn things around.

"One thing which really helped was when (swing coach) David Leadbetter sent me some pictures from when I was swinging really well," added the twice U.S. Open champion, who is popularly known as the 'Big Easy'.

"I was able to study those images and pick out the things I wasn't doing quite so well -- basic stuff like posture and ball position."

Swinging effortlessly and producing pin-point distance control, Els returned scores of 67, 62, 68 and 65 on his way to a tournament-record 26-under-par 262 at Shanghai's Tomson Golf Club.

Although preferred lies were in operation at the thunderstorm-hit event, his margin of victory will stand as an Asian Tour record.

It will also count as the second largest in a tournament sanctioned by the European Tour, behind the 15-shot win achieved by Tiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open.

"My confidence is back, so I'm looking forward to carrying the momentum from this week into the next few months," added Els. "I can't wait to tee it up again!"

The three-times major winner is spending this week with his family at his Wentworth, England home before returning to action on the U.S. PGA Tour at next week's Byron Nelson Championship.

 

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