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Ernie Els Wins Nedbank Challenge

December 1, 2002

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SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) _ Ernie Els shot a course-record 9-under 63 Sunday for an eight-stroke victory over Colin Montgomerie in the $4.06 million Nedbank Challenge.

Els, playing in his home country, had nine birdies and finished at 21-under 267 total on the 7,743-yard Gary Player Country Club to claim the $2 million first prize, the richest in golf.

``That was possibly one of the great rounds of my career,″ said Els, who won Nedbank for the third time in four years. ``I wasn’t going after 63 when I started. I just needed to get a decent start but when Colin and I got onto the homeward nine, we really just lit it up.

``Today was quite nice. I started out a little worried about Monty, because he was playing quite well.″

Montgomerie, who moved into contention with a third-round 65, had three birdies and an eagle on the back nine, but could not stop Els.

``He said he tried really hard to chase me down, but there was nothing he could do about it,″ Els said.

American Chris DiMarco shot a 2-under 70 and finished third at 10 under. Jim Furyk closed with a 69 and tied Retief Goosen for fourth at 7 under.

Defending champion Sergio Garcia had five bogeys in a round of 2-under 70 and was sixth at 5-under 283.

Michael Campbell hit only one fairway _ the last _ in a disastrous final round and finished last at 289 after a 78.

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