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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 28, 2010

Els works for two in row after taking Palmer lead

 •  Wie six back of Seo in Kia Classic


Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Ernie Els

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ORLANDO, Fla. Winless for two years, Ernie Els put himself in position yesterday for his second straight victory.

Els made sure the last two holes did not unravel a solid day of work at Bay Hill. He made a 10-foot putt to save par on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69, giving him a one-shot lead over Ben Curtis in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The Big Easy is starting to make golf look that way.

Two weeks after his four-shot victory at Doral that ended the longest drought of his career, Els broke 70 for the third straight round at Bay Hill and was at 10-under 206.

"There's a lot of work left," said Els, who last won at Bay Hill in 1998 when he dominated Tiger Woods and Davis Love III in the final group of a 36-hole Sunday.

Curtis looked just as good. He just didn't finish.

The former British Open champion had a two-shot lead until he chopped up the par-5 16th hole from 60 yards short of the green. He bladed a wedge some 70 feet long and three-putted for bogey on the easiest hole at Bay Hill. Then, he went long on the par-3 17th and chipped off the green for another bogey.

Curtis had to make a 6-foot par putt on the 18th to keep it together with a 70, leaving him one shot behind at 207.

They will be in the final group today with Chris Couch, who was headed for a double bogey until three big bounces. His approach to the 18th ricocheted along the rocks framing the green, and the third bounce sent the ball onto the green. Two putts later, Couch had a par and a 69 and was at 7-under 209.

CHAMPIONS TOUR

Pavin leads after record 63: Corey Pavin fired a course-record 9-under 63 to take the lead after two rounds at the Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican, Republic.

Pavin had nine birdies in his bogey-free round and is at 13-under 131 at the Punta Espada Golf Club. He broke Bernhard Langer's 2009 record of 64 to take a one-shot lead over Nick Price (66) and a two-shot margin over former Masters champions Fred Couples (66) and Larry Mize (66).

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