"I think he'll win another major and, if he does, he'll go on and win three, or more."

Reader Patrick noted this David Davies story on Ernie Els after reading the Morfit piece on Tiger perhaps being overstretched. It's fascinating to hear a player agent go into such detail and so clearly see that his man is taking on too much.

Els, amiable though he is, is hardly the man to ask such a question of, but his manager, Andrew 'Chubby' Chandler, is fair-minded almost to a fault about such matters. And so the question was put and one of the more significant points about his answer was the length of time he took - a good 30 seconds - before starting his reply. If there was no rush to judgment, equally he was not going to deny the validity of the question itself.

'I don't know,' he said eventually. 'His injury [to a knee late in 2005] got him out of the habit of winning tournaments and there's no doubt it's hard to get back. One thing he has got to do is decide how he sees his future and I'll be sitting down with him, probably tonight, to talk about that.

'Part of the problem is that he changes his mind, he's not got a definite policy or plan. He feels that in order to win majors you've got to play at least some of the time in America, but Ernie is a global player and he tries to play in Europe and Asia and America and that's tough. Particularly when he is more and more attached to Wentworth - he's a great family man and he loves it there.'

Els has two children, Samantha, eight, and Ben, four, and it does get harder and harder to leave them. At the start of this week the South African said that he was looking forward to it for several reasons, including a birthday party for Samantha on Friday.

'My wife is hosting the wives and all kinds of stuff, so it's a nice week for us.' Wholly commendable, but is the focus on winning quite as sharp as once it was?

'Ernie is probably the most popular golfer on the planet,' continued Chandler. 'He's in massive demand, so much so that not even I realised when he signed on with us quite how big he was globally. Seven-figure offers come in from all over the place and in some ways he's a victim of his own success.

'Something has got to go and only he can decide what it is. But I don't think he has to play on the US Tour in order to win majors. I think he has already proved that and so have others in the past.

'He's seen as second only to Tiger as the man sponsors want to play in their event. It's flattering and hard to turn down, but he's got to decide where he goes from here.

'Anyway, to come back to your question, I don't think we've seen the last of Ernie. I think he'll win another major and, if he does, he'll go on and win three, or more.'