Els back in the title hunt

2006-07-23 21:46
Hoylake - Bogeys on the eighth and 11th killed off any chance Ernie Els had of claiming his second British Open title, but the South African did enough for third place to continue his fine form in the tournament.

The South African carded a one-under-par 71 to finish five strokes behind winner Tiger Woods on 13-under-par 275 and three adrift of Chris DiMarco after Sunday's final round.

Although disappointed to fall away after beginning the day only a stroke behind Woods, his performance this week was an impressive return to form after a lengthy injury-layoff and adds to his Open pedigree.

To go with his sudden-death success over Frenchman Thomas Levet in 2002 at Muirfield, where Australians Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington went out at the playoff stage, Els has recorded three second places, in 1996, 2000 and 2004, when he lost a playoff to Todd Hamilton.

He also finished tied third in 2001 and ran fifth in 1992 and tied sixth the following year.

Last year his tied 34th place at St Andrews was his worst finish since missing the cut on his debut in 1989.

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