Els on the Masters: 'This tournament was just not for me'

But typical of the man, he fronted up and spoke about his feelings on what looks like being his final participation in the Masters.

Els, who was making his 23rd Masters appearance last week, handled the tough conditions over the first two days in Georgia to make the cut for the 17th time in his career.

Augusta National is close to his heart as well, even if he never slipped on a green jacket.

The 83 was Els' worst score in the 80 rounds he played in the Masters, leaving him with nothing but pride to play for yesterday.

This all materialised after a television viewer called in to alert Tour officials of the misdemeanour and she was penalised the following day - with six holes of the tournament to go and with a three-stroke lead.

"It was just nice to play". "But it's nice to go around again".

"I don't think it was lack of competitive rounds". But I gave a decent account for myself and will come back next year and try again. "Having a chance to win it a couple of times was special, and this tournament was just not for me", he said.

"I've won a lot of events around the world but this one just eluded me and that's fine", Els added.

With his five-year exemption for winning the 2012 Open Championship now over, Els will only play in the Masters again if he qualifies through his world ranking or a tournament victory. I felt like I had an opportunity yesterday to shoot something in the mid-to-high 60s, which would have got me closer to the lead, and I didn't quite do that. It's not totally out of the picture, but if it is, it is.

Reflecting on his memories, Els said his debut year in 1994 was "very, very special".

The 22-year-old LPGA star was adjudged to have played the ball from a wrong spot and signed an incorrect third round scorecard, in the women's first Major of the season, ANA Inspiration, and which drew a two-shot penalty on both counts.

Phil Mickelson never truly had a chance to contend Sunday at the Masters, but after an eagle on the second hole, the three-time Masters champ had a little pep in his step.

"That first year, I had a couple of great groupings. My speed's come back, I started to hit some good drives, I hit some good shots, but I didn't play the way I wanted to", he said.

"If I played better, I think it would have been a different feeling".

"The members I've met through the years are similar people, and they run an unbelievable event".

"To have been able to come here for 23 years, to somewhere you dreamed of playing at has been an incredible experience".

The dramatic last-round duel with Mickelson will go down in Masters history.

Els had two bogeys and two birdies on his outward run, turning in level par 36.

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