Skip to main content

Scott's collapse hands British Open crown to South Africa's Els

July 23, 2012 -- Updated 0832 GMT (1632 HKT)
Ernie Els of South Africa celebrates with the Claret Jug after his victory during the final round of play at the British Open at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in England on Sunday, July 22. See all the action as it unfolds here. Ernie Els of South Africa celebrates with the Claret Jug after his victory during the final round of play at the British Open at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in England on Sunday, July 22. See all the action as it unfolds here.
HIDE CAPTION
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
british open 19
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
British Open 2012: The best photos
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ernie Els wins British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes
  • Adam Scott bogeys last four holes to hand one-shot win to Els
  • Second British Open triumph for the 'Big Easy'
  • Triple bogey derails Tiger Woods who finishes tied third

(CNN) -- Veteran golfer Ernie Els took advantage of a remarkable collapse by long-time leader Adam Scott to win the British Open for the second time at Royal Lytham and St. Annes Sunday.

The 42-year-old South African posted a two-under 68 in testing conditions on the links course in North West England to go into the clubhouse on seven-under 273, but Australia's Scott still looked set to claim his first major title.

However, a disastrous run of four straight bogeys from the 15th saw the 32-year-old finish one shot adrift of former world No. 1 Els, who won his fourth major title and his first since claiming the British Open in a playoff in 2002.

Son's autism gives veteran star Els added spur

Scott, who had led by four shots going into the final round, pulled his tee shot on the 18th into a bunker, but a fine third left him with an eight-foot putt to force a playoff.

Fourth major victory for the 'Big Easy'

It went agonizingly wide of the hole to leave him with a final-round 75 and his hopes of glory cruelly dashed.

By contrast, Els finished with a birdie on his final hole and had been on the practice putting green preparing for a possible playoff.

He had immediate words of sympathy for the beaten Scott.

"First of all I feel for Adam. He is a great friend of mine," he said. "We both wanted to win very badly but it's the nature of the beast."

A stunned Scott, who had started the day four shots ahead of American Brandt Snedeker and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, admitted he had blown it.

"I'm pretty disappointed. I had it in my hands and managed to hit a poor shot on each of the closing four holes," he said.

"But I played so beautifully for most of the week I certainly should not let this get me down."

A lot of people never thought I would win another one. I started believing this year
Ernie Els

The expected challenge from Tiger Woods petered out after he made a triple bogey on the par-four sixth.

He eventually carded a three-over 73 to end three under alongside playing partner Snedeker in a tie for third.

McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, also disappointed and fell away with a 75 to tie for fifth at two under with England's world number one Luke Donald, who raced up the leaderboard with a 69.

Els is the 16th different winner of a golf major in a row, but it looked an unlikely scenario when he was six behind Scott after dropping two shots to the turn.

But he picked up birdies at the 10th, 12th and 14th before his last-hole flourish to put the pressure on the Australian, which eventually paid dividends.

Els has slipped down the world rankings in recent years and did not qualify to play in this year's U.S. Masters at Augusta.

He had gone without a win in 36 major starts since his 2002 British Open triumph at Muirfield, but had never lost faith.

"It was my time for some reason," Els said. "A lot of people never thought I would win another one. I started believing this year."

He is the same age as last year's surprise British Open winner Darren Clarke, who missed the cut in his title defense.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT