No temper tantrums this time, says Els

New York: After getting hot under the collar at last month`s US Open, Ernie Els knows he needs to revert to being as cool as a cucumber to have any hope of winning his second British Open this week.

"If I can get into position like I was at the US Open I`d like to finish it off," the world number six told reporters on Tuesday.

"That Sunday I was pretty hot under the collar. I know some of you guys wanted to talk to me but I got out of there. I was annoyed with myself."

Els, known as the `Big Easy` for his smooth swing and languid style, was in contention to land his third US Open title before a series of back-nine errors ended his challenge at Pebble Beach in California.

"I didn`t feel too good that last day," said the 40-year-old South African. "I had played such controlled golf and you never want to make silly mistakes.”

"I have so much experience that I know what not to do and to hit the shot I did on 10 near the ocean and make a double-bogey, I just couldn`t forgive myself for that one.”

"I had the perfect start and I just had to stay alive and I probably would have been at worst in a playoff (with eventual champion Graeme McDowell) but I just self-destructed."

Els, who won the British Open at Muirfield in 2002, said he would need to stay calm on the Old Course this week.

"I`m going to have to be more in control of my emotions than I was at Pebble ... and hit the right shots at the right time," he said.

"I think somebody will win it but I also think somebody might lose it (if their approach is wrong)."

Els, who surged back up the rankings after his two US PGA Tour wins in March, said a British Open victory was a career-defining moment for any golfer.

"If you want to be a world-class player I think you`ve got to do something on a links course," he said. "This is where the game started, the original way the game was played.”

"Whether you like it or not you need to be able to somehow master links golf somewhere in your career. I don`t know why but I took to it very naturally somehow.”

"I grew up in Johannesburg where the closest thing to a links course is the M3 highway," Els joked.

Bureau Report