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Els wins by 2 at Bay Hill

TBO.com The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 07:00 PM

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Ernie Els went two years without a PGA Tour victory. Now he has won two in a row.

Els survived a few nervous moments by making two clutch par putts to close with a 1-under 71 and win the rain-delayed Arnold Palmer Invitational in a Monday finish at Bay Hill.

Coming off a four-shot victory in the World Golf Championship at Doral two weeks ago, Els won for the 18th time in his PGA Tour career and made it consecutive wins for the first time since 2003.

He was relieved upon holing an 8-foot par putt on the final hole, giving him a two-shot victory over Kevin Na and Edoardo Molinari of Italy.

This was Els' second victory at Bay Hill, the other coming 11 years ago in a 36-hole Sunday because of rain.

Els, who finished at 11-under 277, became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2001 to win twice on the Florida Swing. The 40-year-old South African is to play this week's Houston Open before going to the Masters, where he will be among the favorites.

The victory was worth $1.08 million and put Els atop the PGA Tour money list with more than $3 million. He moved to No. 7 in the world rankings.

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