NEWPORT BEACH — With arguably the best final group in the Hoag Classic’s 26-year history, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Lee Janzen—each a winner of two U.S. Opens—went to the first tee Sunday at Newport Beach Country Club with one stroke separating them in the final round of the Hoag Classic.

“We talked about that in the locker room: three guys playing together with six U.S Open (titles),” Goosen said.

It did not take long for the fireworks to go off.

Playing aggressively, Goosen and Els both hit driver on the 325-yard par-4, while Janzen laid up with a mid-iron. Goosen hit the best tee shot, his ball finding the left greenside bunker, about 20 yards from the hole.