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'97 U.S. Open Winner And Congressional Country Club Member Welcomes Heat

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Ernie Els speaks to the media at the Congressional Country Club Tuesday.
Matt Bush
Ernie Els speaks to the media at the Congressional Country Club Tuesday.

Els, the last man to win a U.S. Open at the Congressional Country Club, has a secret on how to bypass the multi-year waiting list: "Just win a U.S. Open, you'll become a member. So, keep practicing."

Despite having that membership, he doesn't come here often. But last week the South African native did venture to Congressional for an early look at the course before play starts Thursday.

Temperatures were over 100 last week when Els played, similar to what they were in 1997. So, while fans may like the cooler weather predicted for the weekend, Els wouldn't mind it being hotter.

"Where I'm from in Johannesburg in South Africa, the weather is very similar to what it is today. Low 80s. For some reason, those two U.S. Opens came in warm weather. And I don't mind it. Because it really frees your body up and you have no kinks in your back or whatever," he says.

Els also won the U.S. Open in 1994 and was inducted into Golf's Hall of Fame in May.

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