Archive for Monday, January 19, 2004

Els holds on for repeat at Sony

Golfer beats Frazar for title on third playoff hole

January 19, 2004


— Ernie Els had every reason to believe destiny was on his side.

He was in a playoff in the Sony Open for the second straight time. Just like last year, it looked as if it would end on the second extra hole. But when a simple birdie putt slid by the cup, he realized he needed something more.

"I told myself on the next tee to win the tournament, instead of waiting for someone to give it to you," he said.

Els holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole to hold off an impressive bid by Harrison Frazar and become the first back-to-back winner in the Sony Open in 17 years.

"A playoff in the Sony -- it's working out fine for me," said Els, the first player since Nick Faldo in the Masters (1989-90) to win the same event two straight years in playoffs.

Frazar is 0-for-161 on the PGA Tour, but left Waialae with no regrets.

"I had a one-shot lead and shot 4 under on a pretty tough golf course," Frazar said. "Most of the time, that's going to be good enough. I just got beat."

Frazar closed with two straight birdies for a 66. Both players finished at 18-under 262.

Els, who has shot every round in the 60s at Waialae since he started playing the Sony Open four years ago, holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 65 that forced the playoff.

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