News24

Els wins Open Championship

2012-07-22 19:24

Lytham St Annes - South Africa's Ernie Els won the British Open by one stroke from Adam Scott on Sunday after the Australian suffered an extraordinary late collapse on an incident-packed final day.

World No 13 Scott, chasing his first win in one of the big four events, started the last round with a four-shot lead and seemed to be cruising to victory as he maintained that cushion with six holes to play.

But a late attack of the jitters saw him drop strokes at each of the last four holes to allow South African Els to slip in through the back door and lift the coveted Claret Jug with a two-under-par 68 giving him a seven-under total of 273.

It was Els's fourth major championship, following his wins in the 1994 and 1997 US Open and the 2002 British Open.

Scott's sad 75 meant he had to settle for second place on 274, three shots ahead of former world No 1 Tiger Woods (73), whose hopes were dashed by a triple-bogey at the sixth, and his fellow American Brandt Snedeker (74).

"I feel a little numb at the moment," the 42-year-old Els told the BBC. "I feel for Adam, he's a good friend of mine.

"I was just hoping at best to get into a playoff when I was on 17, then I birdied the 18th and then heard what happened to Adam."

Els played the best golf of all the leading players on Sunday and missed a host of birdie chances with his putter until he suddenly made a forward move by picking up strokes at the 12th, 14th and 18th holes.

The smooth-swinging South African, who said somewhat prophetically earlier in the week that he was playing well and felt "something special" was just round the corner, rolled in a 15-foot putt at the last.

Els raised his arms high into the air, high-fived his caddie and threw his ball high into the grandstand before walking off the green sporting a wide grin.

Scott, by contrast, was a picture of abject misery 20 minutes later and appeared close to tears.

A three-foot par-saving effort by the Australian had agonisingly lipped out at the 16th before he hooked his approach into thick rough at the 17th and failed to hole out from 25 feet.

Then, at the final hole, he found a deep bunker off the tee and could only move his ball a few yards forward. Bravely, he struck a sumptuous approach to eight feet but his putt rolled past the hole and victory belonged to Els.

"I am pretty disappointed," Scott said. "I managed to hit a poor shot on each of the closing four holes and they cost me bogeys. As I played so beautifully all week I shouldn't let this get me too down.

"Surprisingly, I felt incredibly calm all the way round and I still feel calm now."

Final scores:

273 – Ernie Els (South Africa) 67 70 68 68

274 – Adam Scott (Australia) 64 67 68 75

277 – Tiger Woods (U.S.) 67 67 70 73, Brandt Snedeker (U.S.) 66 64 73 74

278 – Luke Donald (Britain) 70 68 71 69, Graeme McDowell (Britain) 67 69 67 75

279 – Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) 65 77 72 65, Thomas Aiken (South Africa) 68 68 71 72

280 – Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 72 68 73 67, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain) 71 69 73 67, Ian Poulter (Britain) 71 69 73 67, Alexander Noren (Sweden) 71 71 69 69, Vijay Singh (Fiji) 70 72 68 70, Dustin Johnson (U.S.) 73 68 68 71, Matt Kuchar (U.S.) 69 67 72 72, Mark Calcavecchia (U.S.) 71 68 69 72, Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) 69 66 71 74, Zach Johnson (U.S.) 65 74 66 75

281 – Hunter Mahan (U.S.) 70 71 70 70, Steven Alker (New Zealand) 69 69 72 71, Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 72 68 68 73, Bill Haas (U.S.) 71 68 68 74

282 – Carl Pettersson (Sweden) 71 68 73 70, Simon Dyson (Britain) 72 67 73 70, Steve Stricker (U.S.) 67 71 73 71, Peter Hanson (Sweden) 67 72 72 71, Matthew Baldwin (Britain) 69 73 69 71, James Morrison (Britain) 68 70 72 72, Nick Watney (U.S.) 71 70 69 72, Bubba Watson (U.S.) 67 73 68 74

283 – Rickie Fowler (U.S.) 71 72 70 70, Anirban Lahiri (India) 68 72 70 73, Jason Dufner (U.S.) 70 66 73 74

284 – John Senden (Australia) 70 71 75 68, Jim Furyk (U.S.) 72 70 71 71, Gary Woodland (U.S.) 73 70 70 71, Paul Lawrie (Britain) 65 71 76 72, Keegan Bradley (U.S.) 71 72 68 73

285 – Richard Sterne (South Africa) 69 73 73 70, K.J. Choi (South Korea) 70 73 71 71, Troy Matteson (U.S.) 70 72 71 72, Francesco Molinari (Italy) 69 72 71 73, Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 70 72 70 73, Kyle Stanley (U.S.) 70 69 70 76

286 – Ross Fisher (Britain) 72 71 74 69, Bob Estes (U.S.) 69 72 74 71, Pablo Larrazabal (Spain) 73 70 71 72, Lee Westwood (Britain) 73 70 71 72, Rafael Echenique (Argentina) 73 69 71 73, Joost Luiten (Netherlands) 73 70 69 74, Justin Hicks (U.S.) 68 74 69 75, Greg Chalmers (Australia) 71 68 71 76, Simon Khan (Britain) 70 69 71 76

287 – Fredrik Jacobson (Sweden) 69 73 73 72, Yoshinori Fujimoto (Japan) 71 70 73 73, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain) 71 71 72 73, Greg Owen (Britain) 71 71 71 74, Harris English (U.S.) 71 71 70 75, Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) 70 69 72 76

288 – Rory McIlroy (Britain) 67 75 73 73, Ted Potter Jr. (U.S.) 69 71 74 74, Jamie Donaldson (Britain) 68 72 72 76, Dale Whitnell (Britain) 71 69 72 76

289 – Charles Howell III (U.S.) 72 71 74 72, Lee Slattery (Britain) 69 72 75 73, Retief Goosen (South Africa) 70 70 75 74, Bae Sang-Moon (South Korea) 72 71 71 75, Garth Mulroy (South Africa) 71 69 72 77

290 – Jeev Milkha Singh (India) 70 71 76 73, Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 71 71 74 74, Adilson Da Silva (Brazil) 69 74 71 76

291 – Martin Laird (Britain) 70 69 82 70, Chad Campbell (U.S.) 73 70 74 74, Juvic Pagunsan (Philippines) 71 72 73 75, Brendan Jones (Australia) 69 74 72 76, Toshinori Muto (Japan) 67 72 74 78

292 – Tom Watson (U.S.) 71 72 76 73, Warren Bennett (Britain) 71 70 75 76, Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand) 69 71 74 78, Branden Grace (South Africa) 73 69 71 79

294 – John Daly (U.S.) 72 71 77 74, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spain) 70 71 76 77

298 – Andres Romero (Argentina) 70 69 77 82

Reuters

Comments
  • wicus.berg - 2012-07-22 19:28

    Congrats Ernie! Very well done. Awesome weekend for SA sport. Proteas giving the English carrots as well.

      christopher.columbus.3950178 - 2012-07-22 19:49

      Well done Ernie and the Cricket team..we destroying the English!!!!

      christo.t.ferreira - 2012-07-22 20:29

      Flippin awesome Flippin GREAT Flippen hell that was MAGIC - Hall of FAME for ever and ever

      kayley.segal - 2012-07-22 20:40

      Scott collapsed like a cheap lawn chair after prancing like a peacock for two days.. Ernie was incredibly steady and deserved the win.

      Carl - 2012-07-22 22:30

      SA sports the best!.....Stuff politics.....Proud of Hash and Ernie.! You guys give us hope for South Africa...

      stephen.eriksenmiller - 2012-07-22 23:21

      Kayley, thats exactly the kind of arrogent comment that gives us a bad reputation overseas. Adam Scott is a lovely man and a gracious loser. Give credit where its due and if you cant say anything nice........don't say anything at all. Congratulations Ernie, you are fantastic. Bad luck Adam, you were beaten by the better man on the day.

      clive.kihn - 2012-07-23 08:30

      Well said, Stephen. You are so right about arrogant people like Kayley, and about the gracious and sporting Adam Scott.

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-07-23 12:38

      stephen, thank you for remarking on that pathetic post by kayley, what a loser she is, I thought Adam Scott handled the situation admirably and Ernie was magnificent in his praise of the man, sometimes it's fate, Ernie played brilliantly and deserved his victory, Adam was just a fraction off and paid a heavy price.

  • harry.bob.395 - 2012-07-22 19:28

    Congratulations on winnining your 4th major! Well done!

      jabulani.hlophe.52 - 2012-07-22 19:31

      Well done to the big easy and wow south africa we seem on fire proteas doing great ernie els champion sharks great win

  • Joe - 2012-07-22 19:28

    Awesome!!!

  • press.enter.12 - 2012-07-22 19:29

    Welcome back Ernie - way to go !!!!!

  • matare.vanzyl - 2012-07-22 19:30

    ERNIE JYS N YSTER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GELUK EN WELKOM TERUG !!!!!!!!!!! THE BIG EASY

  • newbornr - 2012-07-22 19:31

    So chuffed for Ernie! Been a long time coming!

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-07-22 19:31

    Wow Ernie what a day for South Africa it has been today.Our cricketers are all over England having them 4 wickets down already.You have to feel sorry for Adam Scott it just wasn't to be for the lad.Australia did had not a very nice summer in Europe,losing 4-0 in the one-day cricket series and now Scott today losing to Ernie.

  • bashin.monyela - 2012-07-22 19:32

    Best news I've heard all day, since I didn't go to church, well done BIG EASY!!

  • louwc - 2012-07-22 19:32

    Woooohooo!

  • Brian Heunis - 2012-07-22 19:32

    Congrats to a legend of SA sport! Brilliant Ernie!

  • brian.dreyer2 - 2012-07-22 19:42

    Great to see the Big Easy back at the top! Great day for South African sport, with Amla's 311 and the Proteas in a great position to win the test!

  • angling.sa - 2012-07-22 19:47

    Well done Ernie!!!

  • richard.vanrensburg.1 - 2012-07-22 19:47

    Well done Ernie!

  • stefan.vosloo.33 - 2012-07-22 19:49

    Well done Els!!!

  • isabel.hodgson.16 - 2012-07-22 19:54

    Ernie must be so relieved ... well done. Yes, great weekend for SA sport!!!

  • KallieHungBal - 2012-07-22 19:58

    Who Els?

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-23 08:14

      Never heard that stupid one liner before, think of it all by yourself? Give that man a p0esklap

      bernard.ingram - 2012-07-24 18:39

      the .retardis has spoken again...

      bernard.ingram - 2012-07-24 18:39

      Who Els, deserve that Bells?

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 00:05

      anusrite, that was pathetic

  • bashin.monyela - 2012-07-22 20:00

    Ajax gave Manchester a run for their money\r\nProteas handing the English their behinds\r\nThe Big Easy winning The Open Championship.\r\nGreat weekend for SA sports, Ernie one Els agree?

  • bashin.monyela - 2012-07-22 20:00

    Ajax gave Manchester a run for their money\r\nProteas handing the English their behinds\r\nThe Big Easy winning The Open Championship.\r\nGreat weekend for SA sports, Ernie one Els agree?

      edmund.deane.37 - 2012-07-22 20:24

      Don't forget the sharks crushing the reds ;-)

  • kevin.broomberg - 2012-07-22 20:02

    Well done, Ernie.

  • ianthe.exall - 2012-07-22 20:04

    So happy for Ernie. Congratulations big time. I hope now that the media will drop their obsession with Tiger and turn their full attention to the many great players out there.

  • les.silverstone - 2012-07-22 20:04

    Great win for a good sportsman and human being. Well deserved.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 00:06

      he cheats on his wife how can u say he is a good human?

  • james.eayrs - 2012-07-22 20:12

    What a boykie!!!

  • philip.pretorius.10 - 2012-07-22 20:12

    Give that man a bells!!!!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-23 08:15

      Seriously? Idiot

      HD120 - 2012-07-23 08:32

      @ Tom, You are actually the knob. Why don't you enlighten us to what "with it" and trendy sayings there are these days. Instead the only contribution you have to the forum is to take issue with others messages of congratulations. You are a world class wan#er! Good on you Ernie.

      gungets.tuft - 2012-07-23 11:08

      Tom - you need to speak to that stukkie of your's, tell her to give out a bit man. Your frustration is showing.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 00:06

      give that man a p0esklap

  • lunga.biyela.5 - 2012-07-22 20:23

    Stealing the cream from Hashim's cookie. Well done Ernie.

  • grace.cele - 2012-07-22 20:29

    Ngumkhaya lo..!! congratulations mwethu....you've done SA proud.

  • freda.coetzee - 2012-07-22 20:29

    Congratulations Ernie we are proud of you!!!

  • steven.loots.33 - 2012-07-22 21:17

    Jy is n legend.

  • diran.pillay - 2012-07-22 21:18

    Great weekend for SA Sports, well done

  • grobbelaar.leon - 2012-07-22 21:31

    SO SO SO HAPPY!

  • lindile.xaba - 2012-07-22 21:52

    congrats well done...

  • lodewyk.fred - 2012-07-22 22:40

    Congratulations on a job... done

  • Kevin - 2012-07-23 01:46

    Well Done Ernie - so many had written you off - Well Done - you still have many more majors to win...!!

  • mark.j.porter.5 - 2012-07-23 04:38

    England and Australia - 0 SA - 3 ;)

  • david.w.bakker - 2012-07-23 07:10

    Well done Ernie, you picked yourself before the start. Well done!!!

  • elspeth.hassall - 2012-07-23 09:26

    ERNIE!!!

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