Fore! No five! Ernie Els’ pays tribute to daughter Samantha after Springbok Women’s debut at lock

Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Published Sep 21, 2023


South Africa’s superstar golfer Ernie Els may have moved onto the senior tour, but can be proud that his daughter Samantha is carrying the Els name forward as part of the Springbok women’s team.

The New York Rugby Club player made her debut for the Springboks on Tuesday against the San Clemente Rhinos at False Bay Rugby Club in Cape Town.

Blessed with the tall and powerful frame like her father, Samantha took up her place in the team at lock.

Four-time Major champion Els paid tribute to his daughter with a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Glowing with pride

“We’re so proud of your journey and now you’re the first in the family to wear the rugby Springboks colours. Live every day, a dream for Samantha,” said Ernie.

The 24-year-old is one of two children to parents Ernie and wife Liezl. Samantha’s is the older sister of 20-year-old Ben. Much of Ernie’s time is spent on his Els for Autism Foundation. Ben was diagnosed at a few years old, and Ernie soon began his foundation to help as many autistic people as he could.

Ernie won his fourth and final Major at The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012. He remains South Africa’s last men’s Major winner.

Ernie currently plies his trade on the PGA Champions Tour, where he lies seventh on the moneylist.

Back home, Ernie has always been known as a big rugby supporter and therefore would have been brimming with pride to see Samantha begin, what is hopefully, a long career with the Springbok women.

The Springboks men’s, led by Siya Kolisi, team are currently in action at the Rugby World Cup in France, where they will come up against Ireland on Saturday.