Pros advice

No stone unturned for Ernie Els

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It seems the ideal way to prepare for a round these days is to pay a visit to the local hospital.

Last month Sir Nick Faldo shot a one-under 71 around the Old Course after having a cut on his hand glued on the Friday morning, now Ernie Els’ preparations for the Quicken Loans National involved a trip to check out what he thought was a kidney stone.

It turned out to be back spasms and he then pieced together a seven-under 64, his lowest round on the PGA Tour since 2011.

"Normally the pain shoots into my left side and the pain was kind of on my back and went to the right," Els said.

"I thought maybe it's a kidney stone. Pretty sure. I guess I'm just a wuss.

"It was pretty sore, and they say kidney stones are really, really painful. Luckily there was nothing wrong. It's just a muscle spasm."

Els, who has not registered a victory since the 2012 Open Championship, was pleased with his lowest round of the season.

"I didn't have the most perfect warm-up into the week. I didn't play any practice round or in the pro-am but I felt good and my putter felt good.

"I haven't played with a lot of confidence and you can't play this game without having confidence."

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