Els wins Heineken Classic

Ernie Els successfully defended his Heineken Classic title in Melbourne.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Melbourne:It's not often that Ernie Els has to come from behind to win a golf tournament. He did it on Sunday, and his third win of the year was all the more sweet for it. Els, 10 shots behind after two rounds, successfully defended his title at the historic Royal Melbourne course. He began the season with consecutive US PGA Tour victories in Hawaii and was second last week in the Singapore Masters. Els shot a 7-under 65 today and battled Australian Peter Lonard and England's Nick Faldo for much of the final round. Faldo had a one-stroke lead going into the final round and was three ahead of Els when play began on Sunday. Lonard's bogey on 18 after the Australian hit his tee shot into a corporate tent area gave Els the win with a 15-under total of 273. Lonard finished with a 68, tied with Faldo (69), who led by one stroke after the third round and was trying to win his first tournament since 1997. "This one is good…sweet," said Els. "I have not come from behind for quite some time. I really stuck to my guns and it worked out". Lonard's approach from the rough into 18 went into the bunker and his subsequent nine-foot putt for par slid past the hole for bogey, giving Els the win. Poor finish Jyoti Randhawa carded a two-under-70 in the final round to finish joint 33rd. Randhawa, who had scores of 71, 73 and 69 in the first three rounds, finished tied with five other golfers with a total of five-under-283. Arjun Atwal, two-over-290, ended further back in 64th place in the prestigious tournament. (AP)

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