Ernie Els is one of the headline acts in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, and the Open champion is hoping some of the energy he saw in the European Ryder Cup team on Sunday will rub off on him this week.

“I have not played great golf since winning the Open,” started Els, 42, who won his second Claret Jug and fourth major title at Royal Lytham in July. “I’m trying hard but after a win like that, maybe you switch off a little bit subconsciously. But it’s nice to come back to links golf, and back to Scotland, and who knows, maybe it will click this week. I’ve had a nice week off and I watched a lot of the Ryder Cup, and hopefully I can get some energy from that.”

South Africa’s Els is a stalwart of the International team that plays the United States in the Presidents Cup once every two years, alternating with the Ryder Cup, and he received an inside take on Europe’s win in Medinah by travelling up to St Andrews with Paul McGinley, one of Jose Maria Olazabal’s vice captains last week.

“It was unbelievable golf,” said Els. “I watched the whole of Sunday’s play and it was quite incredible how the European team turned it around. Whatever flows through their veins – it is special stuff. The shots that were hit, the pressure putts – it was just amazing how they played.”

Els teed off at 9:22 in the first round at Carnoustie today, before subsequently playing the Old Course and Kingsbarns in this tri-course tournament.

Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, the official car of the 2012 Ryder Cup and the 2012 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.