Ernie Els wins the British Open for the second time
Ernie Els and Adam Scott went on different directions at the 141st British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annnes, turning the foregone conclusion from the beginning into something more complex.
Leader until the final round, Adam Scott fell behind Els, who won his second British Open and fourth major title after he came back from six strokes behind. The 42-years-old South African made clutch birdies on the par-4 14th and 18th holes for a final-round 68.
Els managed to edge Scott by one when he came back with a four-under-par back-nine 32 to finish seven under par for the tournament. Early on the front nine, the 2002 British Open and 1994 and 1997 U.S. Open winner was trailing by seven strokes.
The third place was occupied by Brandt Snedeker (74), while Tiger Woods (73) finished fourth.
After leading the tournament right from the beginning, Adam Scott had to settle with only the second position, as he declared: “I can’t justify anything that I’ve done out there.”
Els declared that he was just hoping for a playoff.
Scott stayed mostly steady on the windy day at Lytham, managing a four-shot lead with four holes to play. However, his long and short game did not give the expected results and he couldn’t make a par the rest of the way, as he was 10 under par, just one over his round, through 14 holes.
“Well, I’ve got to figure it out still. Obviously I’m so happy that I’ve won. But I’ve been on the other end more times than I’ve actually been on the winning end, so to speak. And it’s not a good feeling,” said Else, who was a little bit shocked by the turn of events.
With this win, Els receives a five-year exemption into the majors, even though he failed to qualify for the Masters this year.