|Ernie Els was not happy on Saturday about the conditions of the greens at Wentworth. (Getty Images)|
Let's be fair; the Wentworth Club in Surrey, England is one of those courses you either love or hate. Luke Donald, who is leading the BMW PGA Championship after three rounds and won here a year ago, is definitely in the former group while Rory McIlroy, who badly missed the cut this week at the premier European Tour event, would be in the latter.
But one of the most vocal this week about the conditions of the golf course is the guy brought in two years ago to help redesign the course altogether. Yes, Ernie Els blew up on Saturday about the conditions at Wentworth, blaming anyone in sight about how tough the course is playing.
"I'm fed up with it ... It's not my bloody job doing it. It's their job. They have been around a long time, I'm really disappointed with it," Els said after a third round 70 that was one of the lowest scores of the day.
And the pot was just starting to boil in Els, who had a 4-iron land on the 18th green only to bounce over the back into a bunker, forcing Els to make his third par of the week on the par-5 finishing hole.
"Really, I am [ticked] off," Els said. "I've asked them to put water on the bloody greens and then I spoke to J.P. (chief European Tour referee John Paramor) coming up the 15th, and he said, 'We did water it last night.' I said, 'You have to triple that. You have a damn 30 mph easterly breeze blowing so put [expletive] water on the greens.'
"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. So now we have another situation and the guys aren't going to be very happy. It is difficult enough as it is with conditions the way they are but the tour has really got to play the ball now, and the greens staff. I have been asking both to play ball with me for a while now and I can't keep taking this, and at some point they have to start listening."
To continue with Els' point, you really don't have to be a rocket scientist to see just how tough Wentworth played in the third round. Winds forced nine golfers, including 36-hole leader James Morrison, to post rounds of 80 or worse, while only three golfers managed to break 70.
If the winds are howling at that level, the people at Wentworth have to be smarter about how to handle the golf course, and watering the greens only seems logical as wind is going to continue to make them smoother and faster.
That said, this is one of the biggest golf events of the entire year in Europe, and if the course wants to be set up tough, let it be set up tough. Everyone has to play the same track, and if they want the greens like rocks and the wind whipping to make this feel like the U.S. Open, by all means, do it.