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Els hit his 4-iron into a plugged lie in the face of the bunker short of the green, then held the club behind his head, feeling as though this tournament was about to get away from him. But he blasted out beautifully to just outside 6 feet for another clutch par. When he reached the final tee, the groan from the gallery indicated that Na had made bogey on the 18th.
Na, who slung his ball into the water after missing an 8-foot par putt on the last hole, closed with a 69. He shared second with Molinari, who made a 50-foot birdie on the 17th and saved par on the final hole for a 69.
Molinari made $528,000, enough for him to take up special temporary membership on the PGA Tour.
Els finished at 11-under 277.
"It's an amazing feeling, really," Els said of his consecutive wins. "It can be one of the toughest games, cruelest games in the world. And then you sit here, it's one of the nicest games. I could have been very despondent after this if I didn't get the ball up-and-down on 15, 17, 18. But somehow, I got the ball up-and-down, so I'm sitting here so very grateful."
So it is with Els, a massive talent who still displays some fragile moments.
He lost most of an eight-shot lead against Woods at Doral in 2002 before steadying himself to win. Later that summer, he squandered a three-shot lead on the back nine at Muirfield in the British Open, only to deliver a clutch birdie and win a four-man playoff.
Is it a weakness that he makes mistakes to give everyone else a chance? Or a strength that he is resilient enough to win?
Probably a little of both.
"I can be annoyed at that -- I am, actually, annoyed by it, especially this week. Because I let the guys in by a very silly mistake," Els said. "I'm a different player, a different person. My head is ticking a little differently than it's been."
He became the first multiple winner on the PGA Tour this year and moved to No. 7 in the world ranking.
"Obviously, I haven't won for such a long time," Els said. "And now to be able to feel like I can tee it up and play with these boys, it feels good."
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