Keeping Score

Birdie-birdie finish propels Ernie Els to victory

South African holes a 40-foot putt on the last hole for a 1-stroke triumph at the SAS Championship, his 2nd Champions Tour title

2: Number of birdies that Ernie Els made to finish his round Sunday to win the Champions Tour’s SAS Championship in Cary, N.C. Els birdied the par-5 17th and then sank a decisive 40-foot putt at the par-4 18th at Prestonwood Country Club to complete a 6-under 66 for a 12-under 204 total and one-stroke victory. He had started the final round three strokes behind. It was the second victory on the Champions Tour in 10 career starts for Els, who turned 50 last October. He won the Hoag Classic in March in his third start on the senior tour, before the golf world shut down days later because of the coronavirus pandemic. The South African, a former No. 1-ranked player in the world, won 19 times on the PGA Tour, including four major championships, en route to enshrinement in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, who held a share of the 36-hole lead entering the final round, shot 70 to finish solo second at 11-under 205. American Jim Furyk, who was attempting to become the first player in the senior tour’s history to win his first three starts, tied for ninth (scores).

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