Els denies Langer Champions wins record

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) Ernie Els kept making birdies no matter how he gripped the putter Sunday, and it carried him to a 6-under 65 to win the Hoag Classic and deny Bernhard Langer a chance at setting the career victory mark on the PGA Tour Champions.

Els started the final round five shots behind Langer when the big South African rolled in three straight birdie putts to get in the mix, and he closed it out with a 65-yard bunker shot to 12 feet and a birdie on the 18th hole about the time Langer began to falter.

Langer has 45 career wins on the PGA Tour Champions, tied for the most with Hale Irwin. The 65-year-old German began the final round with a one-shot lead and picked up an early birdie. He was still tied for the lead when he made two bogeys on the back nine, and failed to make birdie on the par 5s.


Money Leaders: Champions
Rank Player Earnings
1 Steve Stricker $340,000
2 Steven Alker $137,000
3 Darren Clarke $137,000
4 Ken Tanigawa $137,000
5 Mike Weir $137,000
6 Alex Cejka $77,000
7 Ernie Els $77,000
8 Kevin Sutherland $77,000
9 Miguel Angel Jimenez $61,000
10 Bernhard Langer $52,500
11 Justin Leonard $52,500
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