Ernie Els, feeling like old self after New Orleans

At the age of 42, you would think professional golfers would start to slow down a bit. Or begin to feel that their game is starting to perhaps trend downwards from their earlier years on Tour.

Ernie Else happens to think his game is actually starting to feel like his old self, after a playoff loss to Jason Dufner on Sunday at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

The 'Big Easy' was making a charge in the Big Easy in Sunday's final round. Forcing the event to go to extra holes.

Obviously, Dufner would capture the win, for his first on the PGA Tour.

Though Els did not take the loss as a bad thing. More of a stepping stone, in what his game is starting to feel like -- Again.

"Obviously it felt great to play four nice rounds in the 60s and hit the ball so well. Of course I’m also a little disappointed," said Els in a blog he wrote for the PGA Tour.

"Especially as I had a putt to win the tournament and winning is what it’s all about for me. Always has been, to be honest. But overall I’m very pleased with the way I played."

A fan favorite, Els was playing well in New Orleans, and at times, clearly had the galleries support.

It's been since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2010, since the 18-time PGA Tour winner has stepped foot in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

And many, perhaps thinking it would never happen again.

However; for weekend in the Big Easy. It seemed Els could capture some magic, and claim his 19th career PGA Tour title.

"I was chatting with my caddie [Ricci Roberts] on Sunday morning and we had in mind to try to get to 20 under. That was our target," continued Els on his blog.

"That’s what we thought might be the winning score. It would take some good golf to get there but I liked my chances. Making eagle on the seventh didn’t do any harm, that’s for sure.'

"By then we’d caught Jason at the top of the leader board, but there was a lot of golf still to play."

Indeed there was a lot of golf left to be played. Extra holes would be required to settle the 2012 Zurcih Classic of New Orleans.

In the end, Dufner would outlast Els, to win his first PGA Tour title in more than 160 starts.

Though he lost the event. Els did not look back on this weekend as a flash in the pan, to perhaps a better, more youthful player.

He looked upon it, as a jumping point to better things to come.

"Basically, everything about my game is starting to feel more natural, more like the old me," Els ended with.

"I’ve been around long enough to not get too cocky, but the way things have turned around – with three top-fives in my last five tournaments – I really believe I’m going to have a great rest of the season."

"I love this time of the year and I have some of my favorite tournaments coming right up, such as the HP Byron Nelson Championship and Memorial. I’m excited about my golf and really looking forward to teeing it up."

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