Ernie Els won the British Open on Sunday thanks to a poor final-round performance by tournament leader Adam Scott.
Scott was four shots ahead of the pack with four holes left to play when he bogeyed every single hole through the 18th. Scott’s meltdown came after he managed to score nothing worse than par on the prior eight holes.
Els started play on Sunday six shots back from Scott but played through the back nine with flawless accuracy including one 15-foot birdie putt that helps him secure a 2-under 68 during the final day of tournament play.
The victory marks the second British Open victory for Els, coming 10 years after he won at Muirfield. The victory is also the fourth major title for Els.
Unlike his triumphant walks to the 18th green in past tournaments Ernie Els was on the practice green behind the clubhouse when he found out about his victory. Afterwards Els proclaimed:
“I’m a little numb at the moment. First of all, I feel for Adam Scott. He’s a great friend of mine. Obviously, we both wanted to win very badly. But you know, that’s the nature of the beast. That’s why we’re out here. You win, you lose.
“It was my time for some reason.”
As winds picked up off the Irish Sea Adam Scott wasn’t the only player to blunder, Tiger Woods shot a triple bogey on the sixth hole and Brandt Snedeker lost a ball. U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell even managed to look like an amateur on the course by topping a shot he would normally make.
Adam Scott however took the grand prize for self-destruction, failing to hit out of a bunker on the 15th, going thirty feet long on the 16th with a wedge in his hand and then missing a 3-foot par putt.
After the tournament Scott said of his failed attempt at British Open victory:
“I had it in my hands with four to go. I managed to hit a poor shot on each of the closing four holes. Look, I played so beautifully for most of the week. I shouldn’t let this bring me down.”
Are you surprised by Adam Scott’s quick fall from British Open grace?