Toronto, Canada – By Richard Asher
LEOPARD CREEK, South Africa (Reuters) - Triple major winner Ernie Els has piled the pressure on himself to win this week's Alfred Dunhill Championship to avoid ending a year without a win for the first time in 19 years.
The South African has failed this year to add to his 60 victories as a professional and the 2010 European Tour opener at Leopard Creek will be his last event of the calendar year.
"I haven't yet won in 2009, so winning this weekend is my priority," Els, whose last year without a win was 1990 which was his first full year as a professional, said on Wednesday.
World number 17 Els is the top-ranked player in the Alfred Dunhill Championship which starts on Thursday.
Although the 40-year-old won the 2005 edition, he also has a score to settle with Leopard Creek. The crowd favorite threw away victory with an eight at the 72nd hole in 2007, and he is keen to put that behind him.
"I hit quite a few shots at 18 just now. If you've made an eight on a hole it will always get your attention," he said.
"I was meant to win here two years ago until I lost my mind at this hole, so I want to put that right this week."
(Editing by Sonia Oxley)