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Hall of Famer Els still hungry for major success

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Ernie Els honored by Golf Hall of Fame
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ernie Els elected into World Golf's Hall of Fame at first attempt
  • 40-year-old South African "very honored" to be picked
  • Els still hungry to add to his major tally and has targeted a win at the U.S. Masters

(CNN) -- South African star Erne Els is in no mood to rest on his laurels after his "big surprise" at being inducted into World Golf's Hall of Fame.

"The Big Easy" told CNN he was "very honored" to be picked at the relatively tender age of 40.

He will be officially inducted next May in a ceremony at the Players Championship in Florida.

But despite landing the ultimate lifetime achievement award, Els is still keen to add to his 62 global victories and wants to round off his season by coming out on top at this week's PGA Tour Championship at East Lake.

Els earned his place in the top 30 qualifiers after successive victories at the WGC-Doral and Arnold Palmer Invitational tournaments, both held near to his Florida home.

"It's a huge week, player of the year honors are up for stakes and I maybe have an outside chance if I win here," he said.

It's a huge week, player of the year honors are up for stakes and I maybe have an outside chance if I win here
--Ernie Els
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Els has claimed three major crowns, two at the U.S. Open and a British Open triumph, but he has not added to his tally in eight years, often running into the Tiger Woods juggernaut.

He puts it down to a "confidence thing" but has a burning desire to win the U.S. Masters at Augusta, where he has twice been runner-up in 2000 and 2004.

"You can only speak to people around me. I really work hard at it and feel I can still do it," he told CNN.

"Sometimes I have tried a bit too hard, in the past I was more carefree and I'm trying to get back to that mode."

An Els victory at Augusta would certainly be massively popular with golf galleries, who have taken the smooth-swinging South African to their hearts over the years.

His election at the first opportunity also underlined the affection with which he is held.

Els received 66 per cent of the vote from a panel of journalists, golf dignitaries and Hall of Fame members, easily topping the poll.