Ernie Els wins his second Open after a drama-packed final day at Royal Lytham and St Annes which saw Adam Scott collapse when backed at odds of 1.021/50 on Betfair...
"Ernie Els produced a classic round of links golf in breezy conditions to cut through the field. Starting on -5, Els bogied the second but stood firm where others faded - Tiger Woods, Graeme McDowell and Brandt Snedeker shooting well over par on a breezy final day."
Ernie Els, Open champion 2012.
The legendary South African saw hot favourite Adam Scott bogey the last four holes of Royal Lytham and St Annes to hand Els his second Open victory and fourth major in total.
The final day exploded into true drama in the final hour as Scott suddenly fluffed his lines. The Australian was backed at a low of 1.021/50 on Betfair with the Claret Jug seemingly at his mercy as he held a four-shot lead after the 14th hole. Els was matched at an in-play high of 470.0469/1 in early trading on the tournament.
But a run of bogeys including a lipped out putt at 16, skewed approach into the rough on 17 and a drive into an 18th hole pot bunker did the damage. It will go down as a classic collapse, and debate will rage as to whether it was Scott who folded or whether the course just finally took its toll on him. Whichever it is, it was truly heartbreaking to watch as Scott's putt for par on the final hole went wide.
Take nothing away from Els though, he produced a classic round of links golf in breezy conditions to cut through the field. Starting on -5, Els bogied the second but stood firm where others faded - Tiger Woods, Graeme McDowell and Brandt Snedeker shooting well over par on a breezy final day. Els played a flawless last nine holes, going four under over the closing stretch, hitting fine shots at key times including a glorious birdie on 18 to win the tournament. His 68 took him to -7 for the tournament, one better than Scott.
Els, tipped up on this website by Mike Norman, said: "I feel for Adam Scott. He is a great friend of mine. I really feel for him but that's the nature of the beast. It was my time for some reason."
This is Els's fourth major and his second Open victory after winning at Muirfield in 2002. The golfing legend is a true master of links golf. He has finished second/third/first in the last three Opens staged at Royal Lytham, and has 13 top-ten finishes in Open performances since his debut in 1989.