Els leaking oil on back nine at stormy Bay Hill

Sunday, March 28, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. – Maybe Mother Nature called a timely timeout for Ernie Els.

Els’ lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational final round shrunk from five strokes after 12 holes to only two shots over Kevin Na after No. 14, when the weather delay began at about 2:30 p.m. EST.

The question is: Which Els will show up after the delay? The one who took a quick five-shot lead or the one who gave three shots of that cushion back?

The roller coaster went fast both ways at Bay Hill. It appeared Els’ lead would shrink to one over Chris Couch at the ninth, but Els matched Couch’s birdie there by holing a 52-yard wedge shot. Els then sandwiched birdies at Nos. 10 and 12 around a Couch three-putt bogey and suddenly was five ahead.

But he double bogeyed 13 after driving into a fairway bunker and hitting an approach from 98 yards out short and into water. Then he plugged his tee shot into the face of a bunker on the par-3 14th and bogeyed before the storm.

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