Not a single member of the media, PGA tour, or crowds of fans at the Augusta National Golf Club has made mention of the fact that three-times Major winner ErnieElsarrived Sunday morning in a wheel chair, baring several scars on his face and what appears to be an artificial left hand.
Elshas not played in a tournament round since an unexplained incident last week. Though members of the media were permitted on the property, none had enough free time to show up to the press conference called byElswhere he promised to announce his decision to play through his physical handicap and to explain the origin of his ravaged condition.
"Um, hello?"Elssaid to an empty room of just chairs. "Could somebody please help me?"
Elswas left on the stage of the press conference for several hours Sunday night, only to be discovered in the dark the next morning by the building's custodial staff.
Fellow pros David Duval and Vijay Singh were scheduled to joinElsin his first public round on Monday, though both toldElsthey had gotten "swamped" in the last minute. Upon his arrival to the first hole,Elswas forced to show several forms of identification to a security guard who eventually let him play only because he saw a white SUV pulling up in the distance and wanted to "check it out."
During his practice round,Elseventually caught up with fellow player Mark O'Meara on the eighth hole. On seeing his good friend ErnieElsconfined to a wheelchair, O'Meara said: "It was good to see Tiger. I care about him and his family deeply."
Elsplayed his opening round of the tournament withAnthony Kim and Ryo Ishikawa on Thursday, though neither of the two players could confirm this or who ErnieElsis. Kim told reporters last week that he will not talk to Woods about his personal life. He did not mention anything about ErnieEls.
According to PGA officials, no montages featuringElshave been planned.