Ernie gives Scott a masterclass
Ernie Els came back from six shots behind to beat Adam Scott to the Claret Jug at The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Els was never really in contention until the last day when every one else high on the leaderboard finished their rounds over par, but he picked up birdies throughout the course to make it a tense final few holes for Scott.
Scott bogeyed the last four holes to hand The Open title, along with the £900,000 prize money, to the South African, who won his second open title.
Scott needed to hole a relatively easy 10ft putt, but nerves, the crowd and the occasion got to him, as he missed by millimeters.
The course at Royal Lytham & St Annes wasn’t as tough as many people expected.
The jungle-like rough and the treacherously deep and numerous bunkers would have been made 10 times worse if the weather had been playing up as everybody expected.
But the wind was nowhere to be seen the first three days, making it more difficult to contend with on the fourth day, but not really testing the players before the weekend.
Tiger Woods disappointed his following as his final round crumbled before him with multiple tough shots from the bunkers and rough, and the home favourites didn’t build a dream comeback either.
Luke Donald finished tied in fourth place on two under par for the tournament, but poor rounds earlier in the competition made it almost impossible for him to mount a comeback.
McDowell had a great opportunity to pip Scott to the Jug, but his poor final round left him back tied with Donald behind Woods and Snedeker – who was odds on to win The Open, but seemingly the pressure got to him too and he disappeared down the leaderboard.
But the 42-year-old Els’ experience came through and managed to stay cool and calm throughout the day and pick up the vital shots when he really needed them to put pressure on Scott – pressure that the Australian couldn’t take.