Not So Easy

Think Ernie Els is content with being the second-best golfer in the world? Think again.

Updated: April 2, 2003, 3:21 PM ET
By By Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN The Magazine
On Tuesday your knuckles disappear inside Ernie Els' handshake, and you float away in blissful disbelief when he says, "You'll need time. Will an hour do?"

On Wednesday you walk, he rides, during a mind-numbing pro-am in which his foursome includes a middle-aged, sunlamp-tanned, bagel-selling hacker nicknamed Big Dog, who must be high on Coppertone fumes. The earring-wearing Big Dog stops 235 yards down the fairway, paws at a Titleist with a logo, and asks the second best golfer on the planet: "Hey, Ernie, you hitting a bagel ball?" Uh, no -- Ernie's is the Pro VIx about 100 yards past Earring Boy. Afterward, you get a polite nod of recognition from Els and the vague promise of an interview the next day.