Jul
22
2012
Ernie Something Els!
By Stephanie Wei under The Open Championship

Ernie: class act

I have to get back to the TV compound, but I just wanted to throw up a quick post to congratulate Mr. Theodore Ernest Els and provide a thread for your comments on Adam Scott bogeying the last four holes to lose and Ernie coming from six shots back to capture his second Claret Jug — that clutch putt for birdie on the 72nd hole was pretty bleeping sweet. Who else held their breath as he set up to what turned out to be the difference between an outright victory and playoff?

My heart goes out to Adam, who handled defeat like a true champ and class act, but I’m truly happy for Ernie. It was painful to watch him let two tourneys — the Transitions Championship (where his manager coined my nickname “Jinx” because I showed up on the 16th when Ernie started missing putts) and the Zurich Classic (where Jason Dufner beat him in a playoff) — get away from him earlier this year. Don’t quote me on this, but I bet becoming the 2012 Open Champion Golfer of the Year makes up for those heartbreaks.

A win at Royal Lytham was due for Ernie — as I’ve mentioned, he came close the last two times the Open was held here. In ’96 he tied for second and in ’01 he tied for third. A first place fittingly completed the trifecta.

Congrats, Ernie (and Team Els– his caddie Ricci Roberts and manager Andy Dawson, among others)! As Luke Donald tweeted, the Heinekens will be flowing tonight. No doubt! #insidejokes

(Getty Images/Andrew Redington)