Els claims yet another title


Ernie Els stretched his record number of wins in the World Match Play Championship to a magnificent seven at Wentworth today.

Els collected the €1.4 million first prize by beating Argentina's Angel Cabrera six and four — and hoped it was an omen for the Rugby World Cup semi-final he was planning to fly to in Paris once the presentation ceremony was over.

Cabrera trailed from the moment he bogeyed the first hole. Three down at lunch that quickly became four, but he did then birdie the 24th and 27th to cut the gap to two.

Els' response was not a surprise, though. He sank a 15-footer on the short next, two-putted the 30th for another winning birdie and a par on the next made it five up with five to play.

The South African, relieved to win at last this year, goes top of the European Order of Merit and has a €200,000 lead, but Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose, now second and third, still have tournaments to come whereas Els does not.