An almost faultless final round of 65 gave Ernie Els the South African Airways Open by three shots from overnight leader Trevor Immelman. After a frustrating year, plagued by injury, the victory on home soil was particularly sweet for the South African. Els? win maintained his incredible record of winning at least one tournament every year since 1991.
Els started the day three behind Immelman but came flying out of the blocks with three birdies in the first six holes. This seemed to affect fellow South African Immelman who went out in two over. Humewood Golf Club provided a classic test of links golf, and on a blustery day Els showed why he has such a great record playing these courses. Els played beautifully all day, and after taking the lead never looked like relinquishing it.
Four birdies in the last five holes secured third place and a great week for Swede Patrik Sjoland. Retief Goosen finished tied for fifth, despite a nightmare 11 at the 17th on day one. Els’ 24-under-par final score was a record winning total for the event.