Els leads rain-soaked Bay Hill

Ernie Els held a two-shot lead over Kevin Na when the final

round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational was suspended by

thunderstorms at Bay Hill on Sunday.

Els had a five-shot lead with six holes to play and looked to be

cruising toward his second straight victory until hitting into the

water for a double bogey on the 13th and into the sand for a bogey

on the next hole.

He was at 11-under par and on the 15th hole. Na was at 9 under

and on the front of the 15th green in two, 80 feet from the hole.

The group another shot back included Ben Curtis and Chris Couch,

who were playing with Els; and Retief Goosen, who was on the 18th


The round is to resume Monday morning after thunderstorms soaked

the golf course for three hours.

Els went two years without winning, and was poised to only wait

two weeks this time. He ended the longest drought of his career at

Doral with a four-shot victory, and is trying to become the first

player since Tiger Woods in 2001 to win twice on the Florida


He started the final round with a one-shot lead and quickly

seized control with a 12-foot birdie putt on the fifth, then

reached the fringe in two on the par-5 sixth for a simple


The 40-year-old South African appeared to be bothered on the

previous hole when he was about to hit a difficult shot into the

wind and over the water, only to back off when he heard Couch hit

out of turn. Els then went into a bunker and made bogey, and he

drove into the right rough on No. 9 and had to play short of the


Couch hit his approach into 4 feet, and it looked as though they

would make the turn in a tie for the lead. Els, however, pitched in

from 53 yards short of the green for an unlikely birdie that put

him at 12 under and allowed him to keep his two-shot lead.

From the fairway bunker at No. 10, Els hit to 15 feet and made

another birdie, and he was on his way. Then came his mistakes – the

water short of the 13th green, a bunker left of the 14th green, and

it was a game again.

Couch, whose only victory came in New Orleans in 2006, needs a

victory get into the Masters for the first time. The other top five

players on the leaderboard already are set for Augusta


Only one player had managed to break 70 in the final round –

D.A. Points, who had a 69 and was tied for 17th.