Els looking good for seventh World Match Play crown

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VIRGINIA WATER, England, Oct 14 (Reuters) Record six-times champion Ernie Els had one hand on another World Match Play trophy after going three up on Argentina's Angel Cabrera midway through today's 36-hole final at Wentworth.

The South African, who turns 38 on Wednesday, was gifted an early lead when Cabrera bogeyed the par-four first after failing to reach the green in two.

Els piled on the agony for the US Open champion, hitting four birdies in seven holes to complete an outward 31, four under.

The world number five rammed in a 32-foot putt at the third before pitching to three feet at the fourth. He then converted a seven-foot chance at the seventh and rolled in a 30-footer from the fringe of the ninth green to go three up.

Els let Cabrera back into the match when he struck his recovery shot into a ditch at the 12th after hooking his tee shot into the trees.

But he responded in fine style by sinking putts of 35 and 15 feet for consecutive birdies at the 14th and 15th.

The South African hooked another drive to lose the 17th to Cabrera's par-five before restoring his three-hole advantage with a birdie four at the long 18th after the Argentine needed four to find the green.

The duo are chasing the richest first prize in golf, VIRGINIA WATER, England, Oct 14 (Reuters) Record six-times champion Ernie Els had one hand on another World Match Play trophy after going three up on Argentina's Angel Cabrera midway through today's 36-hole final at Wentworth.

The South African, who turns 38 on Wednesday, was gifted an early lead when Cabrera bogeyed the par-four first after failing to reach the green in two.

Els piled on the agony for the US Open champion, hitting four birdies in seven holes to complete an outward 31, four under.

The world number five rammed in a 32-foot putt at the third before pitching to three feet at the fourth. He then converted a seven-foot chance at the seventh and rolled in a 30-footer from the fringe of the ninth green to go three up.

Els let Cabrera back into the match when he struck his recovery shot into a ditch at the 12th after hooking his tee shot into the trees.

But he responded in fine style by sinking putts of 35 and 15 feet for consecutive birdies at the 14th and 15th.

The South African hooked another drive to lose the 17th to Cabrera's par-five before restoring his three-hole advantage with a birdie four at the long 18th after the Argentine needed four to find the green.

The duo are chasing the richest first prize in golf, $2.04 million dollars.

REUTERS BJR RN1729 .04 million dollars.

REUTERS BJR RN1729

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