Els is top SA player at US Open

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iol spt pic ernie els AP Ernie Els hits out of the bunker on the third hole during a practice round for the US Open golf tournament in Pinehurst. Photo: Eric Gay

Pinehurst, North Carolina - Ernie Els finished as the top South African player, with a share for 35th spot in the final round of the US Open at Pinehurst number two, North Carolina, on Sunday.

The Big Easy signed for a two-over-par 72 to end eight over for the tournament, well behind German winner Martin Kaymer who was nine-under for the week.

Louis Oosthuizen followed his third round 78 with a strong three-under 67 on day four, enough to earn a share of 40th place Ä nine over for the event.

Also on nine over, was Garth Mulroy who stumbled to a 76 on the last day after he had started the day in a tie for 16th. A top-15

finish would have guaranteed Mulroy an automatic invitation to next year's event.

Retief Goosen also battled, ending with a final round 75, ending 10 over for the year's second Major. Goosen, a two-time champion in the event, was playing in his final year of his exemption period after last taking the title in 2004.

The Goose, like Mulroy, was seeking a top-15 place, having started the last 18 holes in 20th spot.

His six-over effort, though, meant Goosen fell to 45th overall.


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