Ernie Els claimed his second victory on the PGA Tour Champions by winning the SAS Championship by one stroke on Sunday.
Els produced a grandstand finish by birdieing the final two holes, including a monster 40-foot putt on the 18th to move into the lead.
His six-under-par 66 for the final round was enough for him to edge in front of Scotland’s Colin Montgomery, who almost looked set to walk away with the victory.
The four-time Major champion, who won with a winning score of 12 under par for the event, credited an improvement in his putting, which was apparently inspired by Mark O’Meara.
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) October 11, 2020
‘Just by chance I saw him on the putting green the other day and we just started chatting a little bit,’ Els said.
‘He uses the same putter that I use, so we started talking a little bit and I said, “Hey, have a look here.” I didn’t have a great experience at Pebble obviously a couple weeks ago. He looked at me, and he’s a great putter and knowing a man that long, he gave me a nice assist. He told me what he felt I should do and here I am. So, I owe Mark O’Meara.’
Els’ incredible clutch putt on the final hole gave him a clubhouse lead, while waiting for Montgomerie to come home.
‘I had 64 in mind,’ Els said. ‘Especially on the final round, the guys, there were so many guys bunched. I was coming from six under, I reckoned 14 under was maybe a good score, but then the conditions helped out and it became really tough. So, 66 just squeaked in there.’