Lawrie wins Dunhill championships

updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
  • Total Shares

St Andrews:

The inaugural Dunhill golf championships have been in the news for all the high profile amateurs who were playing, but on Monday, it was down to serious business, with pros like Ernie Els and Paul Lawrie battling it out for the richest golf prize in Britain. Scotland’s Lawrie is quite at home at St Andrews and he had the outright lead after a long birdie putt on the fifth hole. Ernie Els, a former US Open champion who has developed a reputation for runner-up finishes, wasn't going to let go so easy. He had a birdie putt on the 9th. But the famous road hole bunker on the 17th hole, once the nemesis of David Duval in the British Open would also be the undoing of Els, who made a bogey. Els responded brilliantly though to make a birdie on the 18th hole and that meant that Lawrie stayed one shot ahead with just the 18th to play. The British Open champion would have thought that it was all over when he landed on the 18th hole, only to see the ball roll back into what’s appropriately called the valley of sin. Els watched on from the scorer's hut as a playoff looked inevitable. Then came the putt of the day and the tournament as Lawrie surprised everyone by holing out a 40-footer for a birdie. He would finish at 18 under par, one shot ahead of Els. The South African though graciously stepped out to make sure he was the first to congratulate Lawrie. It’s the 32-year-old's first major win since the 1999 British Open when he won in a four-hole playoff. And this one was worth more money at over $400,000.