Ernie Els clinched his second Open title today at Royal Lyhtam & St Annes, mainly down to Adam Scott’s meltdown which saw him bogey the final four holes. It was a cruel end to the day with understandably muted celebrations from Els, who was quick to sympathise with Scott who seemingly had one hand on the Claret Jug as he headed down the back nine.
Els proved to be the only challenger to Scott all day as many of the players came up short with their push for the major. Tiger Woods, who has only won his fourteen majors when leading into the final day, never truly recovered from a triple bogey at the sixth hole, whilst Graeme McDowell carded a two under for the tournament after a disappointing day despite playing alongside Scott in the final pairing.
As he was six shots off the lead, no one would have predicted an Els victory, but his finish on the 18th was typical of a champion, whilst Scott played the final hole much as he did the last few holes, filled with nerves and inexperience which resulted in his drive finding the bunker. Needing a par to take Els to a playoff, he missed a ten footer which handed Els to outright victory.
So after a fascinating weekend, the Open has proudeced an already established major winner, putting a stop to the list of first time major winners that had preceded the last ten tournaments. Though it will inevitably go down as a catastrohpic crumble from Scott, credit must go to Els who hung on in there whilst others slipped away, with his reward being one of the greatest prizes that golf can offer.