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Els wins fourth SAA Open title
Latest Updated by 2006-12-21 16:58:39
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South African golf star Ernie Els won his fourth South African Airways (SAA) Open title at Humewood Golf Club in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

Els overturned a three-shot deficit on his countryman Trevor Immelman and closed with a 65 to win on 24 under par, three strokes ahead of Immelman, who signed for a 71, the SAPA news agency reported.

The victory, his first win in a year, saw Els maintain his record of winning at least once a year since 1992. His total of 264 was also a championship record, surpassing the 267 of Tony Johnstone at Durban Country Club in 1993.

Swede Patrik Sjoland finished third on 20 under, while defending champion Retief Goosen was tied fifth on 15 under.

Els was given the wind he wanted for the final round and started well with a birdie at the second. Back-to-back birdies at holes five and six and Immelman's drop on six saw him take the lead, and another drop by Immelman on eight gave Els a two-stroke lead going into the back nine.

With five birdies in six holes from the 12th, Els made the championship his despite a bogey at the last.

Els, who has fought back from knee surgery last year, said the win on Sunday was huge for him at this stage of his career.

"I feel I've still got a lot to offer the game and a lot of goals to achieve," he said.

South African Airways announced on Sunday to extend its sponsorship of the South African Airways Open until 2010, a move regarded as a significant boost for the world's second oldest national Open.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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