Updated: 24/07/2012 12:20 | By pa.press.net

Els shocked by Open triumph



South Africa's Ernie Els won the 141st Open Championship by one shot from Adam Scott

South Africa's Ernie Els won the 141st Open Championship by one shot from Adam Scott

Ten years on from his last major victory Ernie Els has become Open champion again - and he could hardly believe it.

The 42-year-old South African, same age as last year's winner Darren Clarke, triumphed after Adam Scott suffered a nightmare collapse over Royal Lytham's closing stretch.

Scott, chasing his first major, looked all set to become the first Australian to hold the Claret Jug aloft since Greg Norman in 1993 when he led by four shots with only four holes to play. But he bogeyed them all and Els, having made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final green, found himself with a fourth major title without even having to go into a play-off.

Nick Faldo said: "Well done Ernie Els, but Adam Scott is going to be scarred for life."

Els said: "I'm just all numb at the moment. He's a great friend of mine. Obviously we both wanted to win very badly for different reasons and I really feel for him. It's the nature of the beast. That's why we are out here. You win, you lose and it was my time. I was hoping at best play-off."

Scott had allowed the gap to come down to two by failing to get up and down from a bunker on the 15th. He then three-putted the next and while playing the 17th would certainly have heard the roar - the loudest of the week - for Els's last green putt for a 68 and seven-under-par aggregate of 273.

The "Big Easy", second at Lytham in 1996 and third in 2001, almost resigned himself to another near-miss. But Scott pulled his approach into the rough, and when he drove into more sand down the last, Els had one hand on the trophy. His Presidents Cup team-mate played a superb third to eight feet, but the par putt to force extra holes was pulled wide.

Having stood 11 under earlier in the day, he signed for a 75 and six under.

Woods, who also finished poorly in addition to taking a triple bogey, tied for third with fellow American Brandt Snedeker three shots further back, while Scott's playing partner Graeme McDowell ended up fifth with world number one Luke Donald.

Scott retained his composure admirably, but must have been devastated inside. He said: "I'm pretty disappointed. I had it in my hands and managed to hit a poor shot at each of the closing four holes. I'm very, very disappointed, but I played so beautifully for most of the week I certainly should not let this get me down.

20Comments
22/07/2012 20:03
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I'm not a golfer but saw his post match speech , what a lovely , humble man , I can't help thinking that footballers could learn a lesson here . Well done Ernie , well done golf !

22/07/2012 18:44
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WELL PLAYED ERNIE, A TRUE GENTLEMAN
22/07/2012 19:49
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Nice to see nice guys play a sport with no yawping and slagging other players or the referee.

Well done Ernie, one of the worlds nice guys.

 

22/07/2012 18:59
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What an exciting day for Sport. Delighted and proud that both Wiggo and Cav did it for Britain and up north at the Royal Lytham & St Annes golf course it was popular Big Ernie taking the jug home and proving that you are never over the hill when you hit magic 40.
22/07/2012 20:34
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A dramatic ending to a wonderful open championship a great round by Ernie Els true professional  but my sorrow for Scott who played a great game of golf . 

22/07/2012 20:12
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Well played, Ernie. Ya done good, kid.
22/07/2012 21:27
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A great ambassador for South Africa
22/07/2012 22:22
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well done ernie

 

gentleman and true sportsman

22/07/2012 20:31
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Els you beautyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!:D:D:D:D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
23/07/2012 08:57
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Well done ernie els. The nicest golfer on the planet. both to watch and listen to.

He is so humble both in winning and losing, What a true gentleman. If only tiger woods was half as endearing. Here's to more majors mr els.

22/07/2012 19:39
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What !!!!! How !!!??? Wonderful guy but how did Scott lose it ?? Maybe seen too many Greg Norman movies !!! (Joke).
22/07/2012 23:35
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I always had admiration for Ernie Els. A great ambassador for his country and a gentleman too. Today he drove the fastest golf cart in the west. Well done. I feel sorry for Scott as he looked a true champ up until the back nine. I was hoping for a play off but not to be. A good day all round for South Africa after a fantastic day for their cricketers too. Well done Amla on a truly magnificent innings.
23/07/2012 00:01
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This is what makes this the greatest on the calender....There is always a chance and the pressure was all on Scott.  Harsh for him but great to see Els show his class when it really  mattered.
22/07/2012 22:16
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OMG I missed it. Scott was 4 up it was all over. (so I thought) so I switched over to watch the formula 1. later when I saw my old favourite had won I could'nt believe it. what a final last 4 holes that must have been. I'm gutted that I missed it..but there you go. only myself to blame.
22/07/2012 23:07
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To be honest, found this a little flat like the weather no wind!!! Where was the english golfers again. a lot of talk and no action.

Well done to Ernie, great last 9 holes.

23/07/2012 07:58
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you must be focussed till the final putt,he threw it away,nerves???? earnie played like a true pro deserved this chance.adam scott will be back.
23/07/2012 01:49
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'Strangely', whilst I am a compatriot of McDowell (showing his true talent after being overshadowed in the past two years in the press by Rory and Darren), McIlroy (seems to have his head parked elsewhere at the moment), Clarke (he's done it, so why get too serious?) and Harrington (Padraig has done it before and can do it again), Ernie Els seemed to me to be a hungry prospect for the Open. Sad for Adam Scott, but 'blowing up' on the Sunday has been done before. Adam's day will come.
22/07/2012 23:37
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Very good television coverage - have had hellish insomnia for weeks but have slept like a baby over the last four days.
23/07/2012 09:05
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get over it , after all its only golf.
22/07/2012 22:49
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Unless you are interested in carrying 50lb of sticks for 4 hours, who gives a Donald Duck?
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