John Hawksworth backs Ernie Els for back-to-back Open Championships
Last Updated: June 25, 2013 11:25pm
Els: won in Munich
Ernie Els has the experience and the form to go forward and win back-to-back Open Championships.
That's the view of Sky Sports expert John Hawksworth after watching the South African claim the 28th European Tour victory of his career at the BMW International Open in Munich.
The four-time major winner, who won at Royal Lytham last year, was a wire-to-wire champion in Germany after finishing fourth in the US Open last weekend and was rarely troubled after posting an opening-round 63.
And Hawksworth believes he is worth backing at Muirfield next month after such an impressive display of leading from the front.
He told Sky Sports: "For normal players I think it is probably difficult, but I don't really think Ernie is a normal player,
"He's very cool, very calm and deals with what he gets. It doesn't always go your way in a four-round tournament and things are going to happen.
"But he is used to leading and doesn't mind leading. Some people don't like leading, but when you've won the tournaments and majors that he has, he goes up another gear and gets involved.
"He putts better now. Obviously when he won The Open last year and to win this week he's got to have putted well.
"The confidence levels will be massive going into Muirfield and he loves links golf. If you like a bet, he might be worth one!"
The only blemish on Els' closing round of 69 was a bogey at the 11th hole and he might have been made to pay had Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, who finished one shot behind, not double bogeyed the 14th.
However, Hawksworth believes The Big Easy is a worthy champion and his success will have delighted both the German fans and the tournament sponsors.
"It's a trophy he's never won before and it's always going to be nice to do that," he added.
"It's fantastic for BMW with their investment and what they've done with this tournament. They brought him over as a star performer and as The Open champion it's a bit of a fairytale really.
"There was a little bit of a hiccup in the back nine and a little bit of help was given to him, but he's got so much experience to win a tournament like this.
"You would expect the cream, like an Irish coffee, to come to the top and it certainly did with Ernie and he finished in style."