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Ernie Els enjoys playing at home

Globe-trotting Ernie Els, the most travelled player in the modern game, is looking forward to home comforts during this week's BMW Championship at Wentworth Club in Surrey, England.

The world number three has a house that backs on to the 16th hole on the par-72 West Course and he recently accepted a role as Wentworth Club's touring professional.

"It does make a huge difference (being at home)," South African Els told a news conference on Tuesday as he prepared for his eighth European Tour event of the year.

"Probably 99 percent of my tournaments I play away from home. I've now got (youngest child) Samantha going to school so she can't travel as much as she used to do.

"As a result, I'm on the road on my own a lot now.

"Believe me, it's not a pleasure," added the three-times major winner. "Anyone that says that it's all glamorous and everything, well it's not a bad life but it's very difficult being away from home.

"Being able to sleep in your bed at a tournament like this with your family is just a blessing. It's great."

Els, who will be chasing his fourth European victory of the season when he tees off in Thursday's opening round, said he would maintain his usual tournament routine despite being at home.

"I'm not a great handyman around the home so, if there are any problems, I generally have to call someone out or get (wife) Liezl to do it," said the 35-year-old. "I'll do the school-run if I can, if my tee time allows it. That's kind of fun.

"I'll stick to my normal routine where I warm up in the gym and warm up on the range. But I'll probably eat at home more than I do at the golf course, so I'll spoil myself in that regard."

Although Els enjoys an impressive track record at Wentworth, where he has twice won an unprecedented hat-trick of World Match Play titles, he is yet to win the BMW (formerly PGA) Championship -- the flagship event on the European Tour.

"I've been close here and had some good tournaments here but the PGA, so far, has eluded me," he said.

"I'd just love to win this tournament. This has always been a great championship, a great venue and a great course. Next to the British Open, it's the best tournament we have on the European Tour."

Els, who will play the first two rounds alongside Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Briton Paul Casey, was impressed by the condition of the West Course.

"I think the golf course is in the best shape I've ever seen it for the PGA," he said. "The rough is up but I've got a certain method of playing this course which has given me a little bit of success through the years.

"You've got to be careful this week in many regards. The course is a fair set-up, but you have to be accurate. You take four 68s and you're going to be right there."


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