PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — This time, Ernie Els could enjoy someone else's final-round misfortune.
Ending nearly a four-year drought between PGA Tour victories, Els shot a 3-under 67 Sunday to win The Honda Classic. He finished at 6 under, one shot better than Luke Donald (71) and two ahead of Nathan Green (67).
Els and Mark Calcavecchia were tied for the lead as the sun began setting on PGA National. But Calcavecchia hit into a greenside bunker at the par-3 15th, and his shot from the sand looked fine when it hit the green.
Somehow, it never stopped rolling.
The ball came to rest on a rock ledge across the green. Calcavecchia walked over, tossed the ball into the water and made a double bogey to give Els the outright lead. Els parred the par-5 18th, then waited to see if anyone would match his score.
No one did, although Donald had a chance on the last. His birdie chip from just off the green stopped a couple feet shy of the cup, sealing Els' win.
And with that, Els got the huge shot of confidence that he's sought for so long, along with his first PGA Tour win since the 2004 American Express Championship in Ireland. Plus, he'll jump a spot to third in the world, passing Steve Stricker.
"To win over here, it's been really my goal," Els said. "So it's a great feeling."
Els earned $990,000 for his 16th career PGA Tour victory.
Calcavecchia (73), Robert Allenby (70) and Matt Jones (73) tied for fourth, three shots back.
LPGA TOUR: At Singapore, Lorena Ochoa completed a runaway victory in her first tournament of the year, closing with a 4-under 68 to leave Annika Sorenstam 11 strokes behind in the rain-slowed HSBC Women's Champions.
Competing for the first time since winning the ADT Championship in November for her eighth 2007 victory, Ochoa finished at 20-under 268 on Tanah Merah's Garden Course. The top-ranked Mexican star earned $300,000 for her 18th career LPGA Tour victory. Sorenstam won the B-flight, shooting a 71 in the rainy afternoon conditions for her third straight top-four finish. Slowed by neck and back injuries last year, she won the season-opening SBS Open in Hawaii for her 70th LPGA Tour title and first since September 2006, then finished fourth last week in the Fields Open. Paula Creamer, last week's Fields Open winner, shot a 73 to finish third at 7 under. Laura Diaz (71) was another stroke back in the first-year tournament, and Karrie Webb (74) and Stacy Prammanasudh (71) followed at 5 under.
JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC: At Gurgaon, India, New Zealander Mark Brown's decision to return to golf after temporary retirement paid off again with a three-stroke victory, his second straight win in India. Brown closed with a 5-under 67 to finish at 18-under 270. Last week, he won the Asian Tour's SAIL Open. Australians Scott Strange (67) and Greg Chalmers (68) and Japan's Taichiro Kiyota (71) tied for second.