Bickerton wins the Dunhill event

Dec. 9, 2007 at 4:32 PM

MPUMALANGA, South Africa, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- England's John Bickerton Sunday won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa when Ernie Els made a triple bogey on the final hole.

A dumbfounded Els, playing before his native fans in Mpumalanga, had protected his overnight lead before he twice hit his ball into the water at the 18th hole when even a bogey would have given him his fourth career title at this tournament.

"I really didn't know what was happening at the end," said the 37-year-old Bickerton, who was in the clubhouse and did not see Els' astonishing collapse. "I was packing up my things. To be honest, I was in shock."

Els was trying to become the fourth player, with Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros, to win the same European Tour event -- excluding the majors and World Golf Championships -- at least four times.

Bickerton (68) finished with a total of 13-under 275, one-stroke better than Els and fellow Englishman Lee Slattery (71).

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