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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2007 > European Tour > Alfred Dunhill Championship > Round 4


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Ernie Els meltdown hands title to John Bickerton

Ernie Els suffered a final hole collapse to hand England's John Bickerton a third European Tour title in the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Sunday.

The world number five came to the par-five 18th hole at Leopard Creek Country Club with a two-shot lead over Bickerton, who had earlier fired a classy four-under-par 68 to finish on 13-under.

But the triple major champion twice found the water surrounding the green to leave with a triple-bogey eight, finishing one stroke behind Bickerton on 12-under-par.

England's Lee Slattery was tied with Els in second place after a solid one-under-par 71.

The 37-year-old Bickerton did not watch the closing hole of the tournament and was in disbelief when he was told he had won.

"I'm in shock. I was just around the corner talking to a cameraman and I thought I might have a chance of finishing second," he said.

"I had no idea what was happening behind me and it's all a bit sudden."

Bickerton, who began the day four strokes behind Els, made a fast start courtesy of an eagle three at the second hole.

He picked up another birdie at the par-four sixth hole, but his putter let him down on nine and 10 as he missed two short par putts.

The Dubai-resident was solid thereafter and collected another three birdies, including a 20-foot putt for a three at 17, while not dropping another shot through to the close.

Slattery may have had a chance of winning but missed a four-foot birdie putt at 13 to draw level with Els, pushed his second shot into the water on the 15th and then left a 10-foot birdie putt on 18 that would have forced a playoff with Bickerton on the edge of the hole.

"Ernie will be gutted, I shook his hand but what can you say? I feel bad for him, but he's won a lot and he'll win a lot more," Bickerton said.

"I said I was coming here to just enjoy the week, but I felt comfortable throughout and I putted solidly, that's how you make a score," said Bickerton, who was the only golfer to be under par for all four rounds.



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