Els wins seventh World Match Play

By Brian Keogh

Ernie Els grabbed a magnificent seventh HSBC World Match Play title and knocked Padraig Harrington off the top of the Order of Merit.

The South African pocketed a cheque for £ 1 million sterling (€ 1,443,830) when he beat Argentinian Angel Cabera 6&4 at Wentworth.

Just €587,147 of Els winnings counted towards the Order of Merit but it was still enough to open up a €217,295 lead over the Dubliner.

The good news for Harrington and third placed Justin Rose is that Els will not be playing any of three remaining events on the schedule.

The season-ending Volvo Masters at Valderrama clashes with the Barclays Singapore Open and Els is committed to the event in the Far East.

After grabbing his first win this year, Els said: "I am not trying to blame anybody, but somehow the clash (with Singapore) slipped through.
"There was no clash with the Tour Championship this season, but at the end of the year you get your wheelbarrow out and you want to cash in a bit."

Harrington is not playing this week's Portugal Masters, where Rose can take over as No 1.

The Englishman is €248,702 behind Els and just €30,000 adrift of Harrington with €500,000 on offer for the winner in the Algarve.

Els jetted off to Paris straight after his record seventh win to see if South Africa could beat Argentina and clinch a Rugby World Cup final clash with England.

Based at Wentworth, Els said: "I wish I could move Wentworth around the world with me. It's absolutely a dream come true. In my wildest dreams, I would not have dreamt I could win it seven times.

"A certain Mr Woods was not here this week, thank goodness, but I've had a great week. My putting saved me in the semi-final (against Henrik Stenson) and for some reason today it was all there."

Cabrera will tee it up with Open champion Harrington, Masters winner Zach Johnson and world No 2 Jim Furyk in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda tomorrow and Wednesday.