Ernie Els wins 2nd straight PGA Tour Champions title, beating Steve Stricker in playoff in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Ernie Els won for the second straight week on the PGA Tour Champions, winning the American Family Insurance Championship on Sunday when tournament host Steve Stricker missed a 2 1/2-foot putt on the first hole of a playoff.

“He feels bad winning like that and I feel bad giving it to him like that,” said Stricker, the winner last year in his hometown event. “But he played well.”

Els and Stricker shared the second-round lead and each shot 3-under 69 in windy conditions to finish at 12-under 204 at University Ridge. They both birdied the par-5 16th and parred the final two holes.

“You’ve got to just play proper golf and you’ve got to make some putts at the end of the day,” said Els, the 54-year-old Hall of Famer from South Africa. “I feel a lot better with my putting. Playing with Steve Stricker, you feel like you don’t putt very well.”

The Principal Charity Classic winner last week in Iowa, Els became the first player to win two straight events on the 50-and-over tour since Stricker last year in the Regions Tradition and Senior PGA Championship. Els won for the fifth time on the senior tour.

″I know I’m putting well, I’m striking it good,” Els said. “I’m just hanging in there and trying to get my chances where they come.”

Stricker has 18 Champions victories. He’s winless this year and has gone nine starts without a victory, the longest drought of his senior career.

Cameron Percy of Australia was third third at 9 under after a 67. Doug Barron (66), Stephen Ames (67) and Thomas Bjorn (69) were 8 under.