Professional golfer Ernie Els is nicknamed “The Big Easy.”
Winning PGA Tour Champions titles, though, has been anything but easy for the rangy South African.
He came into this weekend’s Hoag Classic with 33 top-10 finishes on the tour, yet just two trophies.
Els continues to find Newport Beach very much to his liking.
He fired a final-round 65 to win the Hoag Classic for the second time, in wet conditions at Newport Beach Country Club.
The last day of winter brought a misty light rain for much of the round. But it didn’t seem to trouble Els, a World Golf Hall of Fame member.
He shot 13-under-par for the tournament, a stroke better than Steve Stricker and Doug Barron at -12. Two of his three Champions Tour wins have come in Newport Beach. He also won the Hoag Classic in 2020, and led heading into the final round last year.