Ernie Els of South Africa poses with the Claret Jug after winning the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham

In an unbelievable turn of events, Ernie Els has won The Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

The inclement weather that was forecast for the final day never materialised and we were treated to fantastic golfing conditions for nearly the entire event – surely a first for an Open Championship? While everyone basked in the summer sunshine, there were mutterings of a fierce wind that was expected to influence proceedings and that too, never really happened.

Despite Snedeker’s appalling crash and burn during the penultimate round, he made an admirable comeback and was in contention for most of the last day’s play. Graeme McDowell was also in contention but both dropped too many shots and fell away. The Northern Irishman landed up in fifth with compatriot Luke Donald, while Snedeker landed up finishing tied with fellow American Tiger Woods.

Lytham’s Revenge

Woods looked rather comfortable as he attempted to mount a challenge on Scott’s overnight lead but his hard work was undone by a particularly mean bunker on the sixth hole. He had to resort to some desperate measures just to get out the bunker and he ended the hole with a horrific triple bogey. It wasn’t a bad performance by the 14-time Major champion, as he ended four shots off the pace in a tie for third.

With Els finishing in style with a birdie and 68, Scott just needed to birdie the final hole to grab the win. His drive went straight into one of the many bunkers and he unfortunately had to play out sideways. His third shot got to within ten feet of the hole and he was faced with a daunting putt to force a playoff. One can only imagine what Scott was thinking as he lined it up. Sink it and you’re in the playoff but miss, and you’ve lost The Open…

Heartbreak for Scott

Scott sent his putt fractionally wide and as it skimmed millimetres past the hole, he fell to his knees in anguish. It must be terribly hard for Scott to fathom how he didn’t win this year’s Open, especially after his performance throughout the competition. At one stage he was four shots clear, and many people, myself included, were uttering that this was Scott’s Open to lose. Ernie was sympathetic to a visibly heartbroken Scott and he started his speech with a message of condolence.

Still, there’s no denying that Ernie played well despite some hair-raising moments on the putting green. He’s still being let down by his putting and he could have had The Open in the bag earlier had it not been for some careless strokes. Despite having a dig at Els not so long ago, I’m very pleased that he’s back to winning ways after a ten year drought.

1 Ernie Els (SA)  273 67 70 68 68
2 Adam Scott  274 64 67 68 75
T3 Tiger Woods  277 67 67 70 73
T3 Brandt Snedeker  277 66 64 73 74
T5 Graeme McDowell  278 67 69 67 75
T5 Luke Donald  278 70 68 71 69
T7 Nicolas Colsaerts  279 65 77 72 65
T7 Thomas Aiken (SA)  279 68 68 71 72


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  • Robert Bailey

    Graham McDowell is not a Scotsman!

    • Compleat Golfer

      Fixed, and apologies!

  • Bruce

    A really great win for Ernie and yes his putting makes one very nervous! Colsaerts last day score, points to a very capable ability and he certainly is one to watch. Another great Open is over and what a pleasure to have another South African win! We so often want Ernie there cause he was swinging very nicely but that putter is a nightmare to watch!    

    • Compleat Golfer

      Colsaerts is a player to watch. He’s consistently good and has always featured right up near the top. 

      I’m still seriously stoked that Ernie won – the drought is over.

  • Dave

    Well done Ernie you’ve put our golf in SA back on the map. Your Hall of Fame appointment, this win and probably some more to come also helps shore up the flagging fortunes of the younger SA players who have been abyssmally inconsistent. You deserved the win even though it came at the expense of Scott’s failure to take the title with a four shot advantage.

    • Compleat Golfer

      The rest of SA’s golfers didn’t do too badly. Thomas Aiken finished tied for 7th and I know Louis Oosthuizen was right up there too.

  • Visdorp

    So happy for Ernie – and ‘suffer some of that’ to all those who wrote him off! Here’s a sobering thought though regarding the Woods fellow: so he played as bpoorly as we’ve ever seen him play on a Sunday, sticks to a game plan that is about as effective as a Zuma-shower for AIDS, doesn’t make a putt – and finishes tied 3rd, just four off the pace. As we’ve said so often in his crazy career, may the good golfing gods help the rest if this guy ever gets his sh*t together again…

    • Compleat Golfer

      Spot on the money. He has a triple-bogey and STILL finishes third. Scary.

  • Sharon

    Well done Robert Bailey, I was going to send them the exaqct same message.  So often the media get things wrong.  Sharon

    • Compleat Golfer


  • Colin

    Hopefully we will be seeing less and less of that Woods clown in future that is forced upon us by broadcasters. Amazing how his arrogant body language changed to pathetic as the day continued.  

    • Ddk

      You couldnt have said it better. The European tour commentators are not that bad, but my word those USPGA commentators.

    • Compleat Golfer

      Yeah you could see he was a broken man, but as one of the comments further down pointed out, when he gets his ducks in a row he is going to be incredible to watch.

  • Ryan Alley

    Well Done Ernie! Some say that Scott gave him the tournament…I dont entirely agree with this. Ernie didnt play par or over-par golf and win; He played the back 9 in 4 under so I think he won it as much as Adam lost it.
    What better way to show the Augusta top brass the middle finger for not giving him an exemption to play the Masters.  

    • Compleat Golfer

      Well, this win has propelled Els up to 15th in the world so I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t make the Masters next year.

      • Stoepsitter

        Good grief, I’m starting to agree with Ian about ‘drivel’.
        I personally would be completely flabbergasted if he did not qualify for the next Masters!
        Masters Qualifications: (among others) Winners of the last five British Opens. So Ernie qualifies for the next 5 Masters. Eish.
        Maybe the mole should get out of his hole and get some fresh air! 

        • Compleat Golfer

          Hang on, he didn’t crack an invite to this year’s event due to poor form and alarm bells were ringing! He’s definitely in now though.

  • Phil Lang

    I fully agree with all comments, and only want to add that Ernie is’nt exempt from loosing tournements in the last couple of holes himself. Therefore he must bask in the glory and not ponder on the colapse of Adam Scot.He played brilliant golf..End of story.

    • Compleat Golfer

      Yeah exactly. He kept the pressure on when it mattered. It must have been a horrible feeling for Scott as he got onto the 18th tee box and he heard the crowd roar as Ernie nailed the birdie. 

  • Kushie

    Graeme McDowell is not English he is a Northern Irishman.

    • Compleat Golfer

      Fixed! Apologies for the mistake.

  • Peter Southey

    Well done Ernie! Made me sit up from my sick bed. Tell us about this eye hand co-ordinator he is using. His putting was really hot on that back nine particularly.

  • Ian

    Apart from the fact that McDowell is not an Englishman the whole article is littered with drivel. Surely Compleat Golfer can do better.

  • Compleat Golfer

    Made the correction. Why is it drivel? The key story is there – Adam Scott threw away a four-shot lead and conceded to Ernie Els. 

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  • Ian

    It is NOT drivel. The key story is there. I was being picky – “he (Scott) had to play out sideways”, he did not; “he was faced with a daunting putt…”, it was a relatively simple putt; ….. My apologies. I overreacted.. 

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  • Stoepsitter

    This site won’t let me reply, so I have to add a new comment, but this is in reply to the Mole saying:
    “Hang on, he didn’t crack an invite to this year’s event [the Masters] due to poor form and alarm bells were ringing! He’s definitely in now though.”
    Glory be. Mr Mole, PLEASE go read the qualification rules for the Masters.
    Ernie did not qualify for any of them. His last chance to qualify was
    The Top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking published in the week prior to this year’s Masters
    which he did not make.
    In addition to qualifying, the committee at Augusta may of course invite anyone they want, but they do so very sparingly.
    Here is an interesting exercise for the Mole. Find out who and when were the last 10 players that were invited without qualifying.

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