Last Updated: 22/07/12 8:45pm
Ernie Els: Stunned to be Open champion once again
Ernie Els could hardly believe it after he became Open champion again following Adam Scott's collapse at Lytham.
The 42-year-old South African triumphed after Scott suffered a nightmare collapse over Royal Lytham's closing stretch.
Scott, chasing his first major, looked all set to become the first Australian to hold the Claret Jug aloft since Greg Norman in 1993 when he led by four shots with only four holes to play.
But he bogeyed them all and Els, having made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final green 20 minutes earlier, suddenly found himself with a fourth major title without even having to go into a play-off.
As Nick Faldo said: "Well done Ernie Els, but Adam Scott is going to be scarred for life."
Els commented: "I'm just all numb at the moment. He's a great friend of mine. Obviously we both wanted to win very badly for different reasons and I really feel for him.
"I'm just all numb at the moment. He's a great friend of mine. Obviously we both wanted to win very badly for different reasons and I really feel for him."
Ernie Els on Adam Scott Quotes of the week
"It's the nature of the beast. That's why we are out here. You win, you lose and it was my time.
"I was hoping at best play-off. When I was on the 17th green he was on the 16th tee and, as we all know, it's not the hardest hole."
Having stood 11 under earlier in the day, the Australian signed for a 75 and six under.
Tiger Woods, who also finished poorly in addition to taking a triple bogey, tied for third with fellow American Brandt Snedeker three shots further back, while Scott's playing partner Graeme McDowell ended up fifth with world number one Luke Donald.
In his winner's speech Els told the crowd: "I had a lot of support this week. But you guys have got to ask yourselves the question were you just being nice to me or did you actually believe I could win?".Scott retained his composure admirably, but must have been devastated inside. "I'm pretty disappointed," he said. "I had it in my hands and managed to hit a poor shot at each of the closing four holes.
"I'm very, very disappointed, but I played so beautifully for most of the week I certainly should not let this get me down.
"Surprisingly I was incredibly calm and I still am. I thought I could roll that last putt in, but I didn't and that's golf."
Rob Lee says Adam Scott will win a major one day, but is less sure on the future of long putters.
A look back at the 141st Open through the eyes of Dave Tindall, who spent the week reporting from the course.
Ernie Els had a 'visualisation coach' to thank for helping him turn his game around and become a major championship winner again.