Ernie Els buried a bad memory and the hopes of two other major championship winners at the Bay Hill Invitational.
What was supposed to be a glamour group - a trio of U.S. Open champion Els, Masters winner Tiger Woods and PGA champion Davis Love III in the final pairing - turned out to be a runaway by a man on a mission.Els, who blew an eight-stroke lead to Woods in Thailand two months ago, made sure it didn't happen again.
He put six strokes between him and Woods after a 7-under-par 65 in the morning round of a 36-hole marathon Sunday, then set it on cruise control to win Bay Hill by four strokes.
Els closed with a conservative, harmless 73 for 14-under 274, leading by as many as eight strokes in the final 18 holes and never fewer than four.
Jeff Maggert had rounds of 69-68 and tied for second with Bob Estes at 278. Mark Calcavecchia, who won last week at the Honda Classic, and Bernhard Langer were third at 279.
Woods wound up 10 strokes behind, while Love finished at 285 after rounds of 75-76.
"I was keen to go, ready to roll and had my putter going," Els said. "This was my day in the sun."
That much was evident when the 28-year-old South African began a 91/2-hour day under cold, cloudy skies at the Bay Hill Club by jamming a 7-iron within 18 inches for birdie on the first hole.
With every approach shot that zeroed in on the flagstick, every birdie putt that rolled into the heart of the hole, every hour that passed on a grueling day, Els made it abundantly clear how badly he wanted to win this tournament.
For one thing, it's Arnold Palmer's tournament. As a 22-year-old, Els played with Palmer in the first two rounds of the 1992 PGA Championship. Palmer was so impressed with his game that he offered the South African an invitation to his tournament on the spot.
More importantly on this day, however, Woods was in the lead, he and Love at 10-under and two strokes ahead of Els.
And Els had a score to settle.
He was cruising to victory in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand - Woods was 11 strokes back through 36 holes, and eight back on Sunday. But Woods went out early for a 65 to catch a faltering Els, then beat him on the second hole of a playoff.
"I should have probably won that tournament," Els said. "I don't think you ever forget things like that."
That was on Els' mind when he finished the first 18 holes by taking only 11 putts on the second nine in his round of 65, tying the 54-hole tournament record at 15-under 201.
"You still have thoughts going through your mind a little bit," he said. "I think we're all human. But it is a lot better playing with Tiger. You can see what is going on and what you have to do."
LPGA: Sweden's Liselotte Neumann birdied the third hole of a playoff with Rosie Jones on Sunday to win the Standard Register Ping at Phoenix.
Neumann, who earned $127,500 for her 11th LPGA title, shot a 1-over 74 to match Jones (70) at 13-under 279. England's Laura Davies, trying to become the first player to win the same U.S. tournament five consecutive times, shot a 69 to finish six shots back.
SENIORS: Dale Douglass and Charles Coody won the Legends of Golf at Amelia, Island, Fla., on Sunday, with Douglass holing a 25-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with Hugh Baiocchi and David Graham.
Coody and Douglass, who also won the Legendary Division for players 60-69, matched Baiocchi and Graham at 24-under 194 in the best-ball event.