Els wins Hoag for first Champions title

(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) Ernie Els won the Hoag Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour Champions title, birdieing the par-5 15th and 18th holes for a two-stroke victory at Newport Beach Country Club.

Making his third senior start, the 50-year-old Hall of Famer from South Africa closed with a 4-under 67 to finish at 16-under 197. He opened with a 66 and shot 64 on Saturday.

"It was pretty tight," Els said. "I felt a little uncomfortable on the greens. I didn't have that free-flowing feeling, I had to work hard for it and that's a good thing to do, to work hard for something. You don't want something falling in your lap. I'm glad the first one's over with and we can move on now and it gets more comfortable after this."

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Money Leaders: Champions
Rank Player Earnings
1 Bernhard Langer $528,137
2 Brett Quigley $481,687
3 Ernie Els $450,030
4 Miguel Angel Jimenez $443,732
5 Scott Parel $435,737
6 Fred Couples $423,467
7 Woody Austin $336,740
8 Kevin Sutherland $294,931
9 Doug Barron $247,094
10 Stephen Ames $222,632
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