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Els route to Open win has been anything but 'Easy'

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Rob Hodgetts | 06:59 UK time, Monday, 23 July 2012

They call him the "Big Easy" but the journey for Ernie Els has been anything but simple.

The imposing South African with the silky-smooth swing clinched a dramatic second Open title 10 years after his first after Adam Scott's spectacular late collapse at Royal Lytham on Sunday.

The former world number joined an elite group of players with four major titles and has reaped untold riches from the game as one of the icons of his generation. But professionally there have been disappointments, while, personally, life is not straightforward either.

Els's son Ben was diagnosed with autism five years ago and the 42-year-old admitted he was thinking of him as he came from six shots back to beat Scott by one after the Australian bogeyed the last four holes on a dizzying day on the Fylde coast.

"I made a lot of putts with Ben in mind, because I know he's watching," said Els, who moved his family from Wentworth to Florida for better care for Ben, setting up the Els for Autism Foundation."He loves when I hit golf balls. He loves the flight of the ball and the sound. He gets really excited. I wanted to keep him excited so I made a lot of putts for him."

Ernie Els said on Saturday that he had a special feeling this week. Photo: Getty

Understandably, Els's focus was elsewhere for a time and his game suffered. It looked like his Muirfield victory in 2002 was the end of his major road. Being admitted to the Hall of Fame - usually reserved for those at the end of their careers - last year must have felt bitter-sweet.

He says he is only just coming to terms with balancing family life, charity life and his golf life.

"I think emotionally or mentally I'm in a better place than I have been in the last couple of years with the whole situation," he said, staring at the Claret Jug in his victory press conference.

Wins still trickled in, but even he admits a year ago he lost the belief he would win another major. That looked a decent prognosis after he missed his first Masters since 1993 having slipped out of the top 50 in the world rankings.

But his form did start to creep back with a more relaxed, positive frame of mind and the help of coach Claude Harmon, long-time caddie Ricci Roberts and a new outlook on putting under Dr Sherylle Calder. He lost a play-off in New Orleans earlier this year and briefly threatened before finishing ninth in last month's US Open.

Els said on Saturday he had a special feeling this week and mentioned it again with the Claret Jug sitting in front of him. The feeling extended to daydreaming while watching cricket on TV on Sunday morning that if he won he would thank Nelson Mandela. Now he has vowed to share a drink from the Jug with the former South African president.

"It's hard to explain," said Els, who, neatly, will defend his title at Muirfield next year. "For some reason I felt something good was going to come out of this.

"I think I've been in such a negative mode for a while, and now that I'm starting to feel more positive, obviously things happen."

Els won the US Open in 1994 and 1997 and topped the world golf rankings briefly in 1997 and 1998. He was lauded as the one to challenge Tiger Woods, but it didn't quite work out that way. He finished runner-up in the first three majors of 2000, two of them to Woods, and seemed to develop Tiger-itis. He has finished runner-up to Woods in more tournaments than to anyone else.

Els also lost the 2004 Open in a play-off to unheralded American Todd Hamilton, months after Phil Mickelson denied him a first Masters title with a birdie on the last.

For someone of his prodigious talent, he was seen as slightly underachieving. Until now, that is, proving careers should only be judged when they are over.

In all, Els has come second in six majors, among 29 top-10 finishes, which is why he can relate to Scott's capitulation at Lytham.

The 32-year-old, who up to then had never quite fulfilled his potential, led by four overnight and had not been challenged all day as nearest rivals Graeme McDowell, Woods and Brandt Snedeker faltered. A first major title was within his grasp and by the 15th tee most observers had awarded him the Jug. Instead, a drip, drip, drip of shots left him needing to hole from eight feet on the last to force a play-off with the waiting Els. He missed, and will forever be lumped with the likes of countryman Greg Norman, Jean van de Velde and Rory McIlroy as men who have blown majors in spectacular fashion.

"Greg was my hero when I was a kid and I thought he was a great role model in victory and defeat," said Scott. "I can't justify anything I've done. I didn't finish the tournament well and I'm obviously very disappointed. Next time - I'm sure there will be a next time - I'll do a better job."

For third-placed Woods, it should go down as a decent Open. Despite a triple-bogey on the sixth, he started the back nine with the flicker of a charge, the trademark from the old days. Eschewing the cautious approach he had adopted all week, he unleashed his driver down the 10th, igniting the huge crowd around the green with a stunning birdie. A long deliberation followed on the adjacent 11th tee, before he unsheathed the driver again. The gallery fizzed in anticipation. But he carved it into the right rough and the electricity spluttered out.

So Woods didn't win a 15th major or first since 2008 but he was back in the hunt. Jack Nicklaus, whose record of 18 majors he is chasing, didn't win every time either as 19 seconds proves.

McDowell has played in the final group in the last two majors and is increasing his chances of adding to his 2010 US Open title. And one half of the much-vaunted English challenge - Luke Donald - gave himself another look at what it takes when he edged into a fifth top five in majors.

But when we look back at the 141st Open Championship, we'll think of just two things: the resurgence of Els and sympathy for Scott.

"Just about everything that can happen in the game of golf, I've gone through," said Els. "I've done what Adam has done. So to sit here with the Claret Jug is crazy. And it comes from a good attitude, being a bit more relaxed and believing in yourself."


  • Comment number 1.

    Very enjoyable Open and good to see Els lift the jug (he's a great player whose career merits a 4th Major) but I can't help feeling the tournament got the wrong outcome: Scott led all the way, played the best, and should have won. Still, these things happen, it's part of what makes golf the compelling sport it is, and his late collapse turned a final day which had lacked drama into a memorable one.

    As a big fan of his, I was more pleased than disappointed in Woods. He's well and truly back as a force in the game, ok not dominating (the 'Tiger era' is over in this sense) but right there at the top again - after the off-course turmoil and the injuries of recent years that's really something. A testament to his talent and dedication.

    The big let-down for me was the home challenge. There wasn't one. Only McDowell contended and he was poor on Sunday. And McIlroy seems to have lost his mojo (at least for now).

  • Comment number 2.

    Great to see Ernie back winning, but gutted for Scott - especially as I had picked him to win. Nice e/w collect on him and Snedeker though so not all bad.

    Not sure how Scott will deal with this, unless and until he wins a major there will be no redemption. Shame too that McDowell and Tiger couldn't make better challenges, it almost feels like Ernie won by default, but credit to him for a fantastic back nine.

    Roll on the PGA...

  • Comment number 3.

    Firstly congratulations to The Big Easy. I followed Els through Wednesday practice and again on Saturday in the Championship proper. He was striking the ball so well, it was no surprise to see him competitive again. I spoke to a few of the many Sourh Africans following him and the consensus was "If he can hole a few putts he has a chance to win this."

    Four Majors does sound so much better than three, doesn't it? He's now tied with Phil Mickelson, and with invites to the otehr majors sorted for a the next few years, let's see if he can achieve his dream of a triumph at Augusta.

    I really do feel sorry for Adam Scott- when he hole that putt on the 14th, I really thought it was over. He'd been striking the ball so well up to that point that it seemed unlikely that he would falter. To lose a four-shot lead over four holes must be heart-breaking. For somebody who's always being considered an under-achiever, one must wonder how he will recat to this setback. The inevitible comparisons to Rory McIlroy at the 2011 Masters have been made, but it's worth remembering that Rory was a young kid at the start of his career who was caught in the headlights a little. He was also young enough to put the whole thing to experience and bounce back without too much mental scarring (It helps that he was pretty much gifted the opportunity of an instant riposte at Congressional).

    Scott, on the other hand, was an experinced campaigner who had been known as a decent front-runner. His record in Majors had also been pretty underwhelming for someone who was once World #3, so I don't thinks it's a given he'll bounce back stronger. I hope he does, s he seems a nice bloke and it's never nice to lose a Major in that fashion.

    Well done Ernie, hard luck Adam, and a big thanks to the R&A for another stonking tournament- a video of this should be sent to the USGA to show you don't need to set up a course to deliberately trip golfers up to have a compelling tournament.

  • Comment number 4.

    Well done to Ernie for capturing his 4th Major. It was great to see him playing so confidently again. Feel for Adam Scott for coming so close again but he'll be back for another bite of the Major apple.

  • Comment number 5.

    It's a cruel game but 5 over in the final round is asking for trouble.
    Adam Scott, like Garcia, is one of those sublimely gifted Golfers who you imagine will win a host of Majors but for some reason they struggle.
    Scott's three rounds were majestic but as they say Majors are often won or lost on the back 9 on the final day - ask Rhory.
    I really hope that Adam bounces back. He seems a pretty relaxed individual and believe he will.
    But congratulations to Els.
    Another great player with a good attitude and he managed his game extremely well.
    Shame that GMac couldn't close the gap but he's shown real class in the last two Majors.
    The Woods camp is divided.
    Over 4 years since a win. He doesn't make those "must" puts like he used to and seems reluctant to use his Driver.
    But he finished near the top of the Leader Board so if he can address these issues he'll be a real threat.
    Shame that Rhory's form has dipped, let's hope that he can find it again and perform better in the US PGA (it's hard to believe it's the last Major of the year already).

  • Comment number 6.

    Well done Big Easy. This Open was simmering and finally exploded into life.
    Quite pleased that the Uber Broom Handle didn't sweep in a putt to keep Scott in the Championship. I shall never be convinced that Long Handled 'extended drop' putters are conforming clubs and wait with bated breath for an Authority to rule to this effect.
    Probably never happen but you can dream.

  • Comment number 7.

    Straight off the bat, well done to Ernie, he was written off earlier in the year without great thought in my opinion, Scott will bounce back but he needs to learn how to get rid of the bad round from his game if he is to win a major, G-Mac needs to look at his Sunday play when in contention which has been poor since his US Open win, with the exception of his win at the Chevron in 2010, Even his vaunted 2nd at Olympic belied the fact he played like a fool on his front nine.

  • Comment number 8.

    Well done to Ernie. It was a pity that Scott folded up the way he did. It was a dramatic collapse. And Steve Williams? He must be sad that his charge lot in that way but happy that it was someone either than TW who stole the victory. Imagine where he (SW) would have wanted to shove the trophy had they won!!!

  • Comment number 9.

    @ 6

    I agree: Scott, for me, would have been the 'correct' winner (loved the way he played the par 5s, for example), however I hate that broom-handle putting thing. Don't mind the belly putter so much, but the BH it verges on cheating. And it's so ineffably ugly.

    @ 8

    Yes, Steve Williams, no help at all when it mattered, was he? Couple of very poor shot selections from his man over the closing holes and also a loss of nerve on the greens. Lesson here is that the importance of the caddie (rather like that of the Ryder Cup captain) is much overstated.

  • Comment number 10.

    @6 It was a no-win with broom-handle versus belly putter. I believe the R&A are less enamoured with the latter in fact. It's the putting that wins it, and these types of clubs give advantage to those struggling with standard putters (although you can argue that all players have the opportunity to use them).

    Aside from that fact, pleased that Ernie won, but you've got to feel for Scott. Not sure he can come back from that. The only saving grace was Steve Williams not winning, I went right off him after his comments on Tiger after they 'divorced'.

  • Comment number 11.

    I am thrilled to bits that Ernie won after so many disapointments for him at the Open in recent years. A fantastic display of holding your nerve and game together and best of all enjoying what he was doing. I fell sorry for Adam Scott but he will get another chance I'm sure.

  • Comment number 12.

    Anyone else noticed that if the golf rankings took your points total and divided by the actual number of events (as in Tennis), rather than a minimum of 40, Tiger Woods would have gone back to World Number One this morning!

  • Comment number 13.

    Perhaps Stevie was already thinking of ways of how he could goad Tiger in his post-round interviews and took his eye of the ball, I'm joking of course, but it did seem to be an attitude of keep calm and do nothing from him yesterday, personally I think Scott should have taken the tournament by scruff of the neck well before his final four hole collapse

  • Comment number 14.

    Lee Westwood should get a belly putter - or try it at least. He might just find a little bit of spark with it!!

    Lets be honest, Adam Scott lost this championship, but fair play to Els. It must be terribly difficult when you are 6 back at the start of play to mentally make yourself believe you have a chance of winning, and to play as if you are in contention. But whilst all around him were playing like plonkers, Els managed a wonderful round, which in truth could and should have been better if he didn't leave as many putts short!

    Feel bad for Scott, he has played well so week and to lose like that must be hear breaking. But he did silly things, the putt on 16 was poor, but even after an amazing 3rd shot into 18 the putt for the play-off was poor, it was a right edge put and he started it left edge, never going in. He said it was not nerves but it absolutely was.

    Well done Ernie, can now be lauded as even more of a great.

  • Comment number 15.

    Given William's record when leading majors going into the final round (near 100% with Tiger, zero with Scott), it now seems clear - the caddie is useful, but the player is key.

    That tells me many things, one being that Scott may never win a major, another being that Woods can get back to the top again without Williams.

    On Ernie - if he could hole a putt he would have won by several. He could have shot 64 and was the best player on the day.

  • Comment number 16.

    great to see woods fail. As ive previously mentioned not only is he no where near the best ever due to the fact that hes 4 behind the best ever jack nickaluas. But he plays the game so negatively.

    Wheras roger federer and ronnie olsullivan paly their respective sports like its poetry, woods makes golf look as ugly as his receeding hairline...

    A woods failure is another victory to everything that moral and right...and if it makes people like yorkshire blogger, and matteff seeth then alls well that ends well.4

  • Comment number 17.

    I agree with all your above points yorkshire, though think Westwood would be wise to hold back on using a belly putter until after the PGA Championship as it would be ironic if he lost that tournament due to him still getting to grips with the putter

  • Comment number 18.

    # 16

    It must be pretty frustrating for you to know that TW played like a plonker, admittedly because he can't hit a straight shot with a driver so is at a disadvantage to the field (by his own doing), and still finishes T3....imagine if he could play golf well!

    I don't think he was being negative and any real golfer with knowledge will know that - he can't use his driver it seems, when he did he hit an 80yd slice! so why would he go into a major with the game plan of I'll take driver and hope it works! I do think however he should have been more aggressive on the last day and perhaps got the 3 wood out of the bag.

    # 17

    belly putter for LW was a bit tongue in cheek - but he must look at the way it has brought Els back into contention, improved Adam Scott's game, other's who were struggling have adopted it and have done well with it - Kuchar for one.

    PGA will be a much more open major and I think it has to be one of the Brits best chance of winning, but I think TW might just come back to form properly for that one

  • Comment number 19.

    I can't help but feel that bbc blogs for semi-fringe sports like golf and cycling are built with much help from mr wikipedia

  • Comment number 20.

    im sorry yorkshire, but admit hes play the game of golf very negatively and dull. When he did hit his driver(which hes never truely be able to hit) he went into the deep stuff.

    Lets fact it most of his majors he ever won were due to his aura, he is no where near as naturally talented than els, but had better mental fortitude.

    But if you asked me who plays the game more beautifully els or woods, its els everytime.N he has a nicer swing, better tempo, better co-ordoination and in all hes a niver guy....

    This is a body blow to roger hodgetts and the media agenda to get their "anoited" one a major....

  • Comment number 21.

    The PGA for me will be an interesting one, if you look at players with Georgia/South & North Carlolina positive form, one player jumps out in particular, that's Jim Furyk, though he is very short of the tee and traditionally the PGA has been won by a player who can drive 285 plus

  • Comment number 22.

    Froch Carl

    I agree that Els has a more fluid and rhythmic swing, and it might be more enjoyable to watch when he plays well, but at the end of the day TW has 14 majors so far and Els only has 4, I know whose swing I'd rather have!!

    I cannot agree he was being negative, even if it was dull to watch. He was not the only player taking irons from a lot of the tees, and surely his game plan worked better than those who took driver from the tee most of the time because he was T3.

    You cannot seem to understand that if his driving is so poor he was going to limit its use. Why use a driver if you can't control it?? It would have been madness!! You say it yourself that when he did take driver he was in the jungle so why are you quacking at him to use it more often????

  • Comment number 23.

    Froch, just to echo Yorkshire's comments, a more sense based approach to criticise Tiger is to simply say he won't score well enough to win a major unless he gets to grips with his errant driver

  • Comment number 24.

    No ones denying woods results in the past, but alot of its down to mental fortitude and aura(both which is slowly declining.)

    Last time i was ribnsing woods, my point stands tha\t he plays awful golf, its irrelevant to me about results, hes just not good to watch.

    It makes a mockery of the game to compare him to the great jack nickalaus, as the golden pair could actually hit a driver without acting like its kryptonite...

    Perhaps you should ditch woods your immoral idol(obviously cheasting on set up wives attracts you to woods) and look up to someone like els, whos a nivcer guy and player to watch...

    just a thought...

  • Comment number 25.

    Congrats to Ernie, a true gentleman of the game. I felt very sorry for Adam Scott yesterday, he looked shell shocked after holing out at the 18th. Have to say though that I've always felt that the belly/chest putter thing is on the verge of cheating. As Faldo said in commentary putting must surely be a swing action and not be hinged to any part of the body. If Scott ditches this action as well as his obnoxious caddie then he will be a very popular winner when he does eventually win a major.
    By the way what happened to Wayne Grady yesterday? His Australian bias was embarrasing and non-stop throughout the last couple of rounds. It grew to it's height during the last nine holes and on more than one occasion was making reference to how all those back in Australia had been out buying the champagne and tins of beer to celebrate an Australian victory to go alongside the previous exploits of Thomson, Norman etc. Then after the short putt was missed on 16 he went AWOL. How stupid must he be feeling today?

  • Comment number 26.

    # 24

    rumours were that Els has been a playboy in the past, so don't be too quick to judge!

    Everyone will have their own opinion about what is good to watch. when TW beat the field with a broken leg that is simply an amazing feat.

    and you seem to have such low regard for mental fortitude, perhaps if nicklaus had more of this he would have had more wins in majors than runner ups!

  • Comment number 27.

    and to make the point for the millionth time mr froch - I do not idolise him, you are the one who always brings him up - if you look at my first comment on the blog i never mentioned TW!

    his personal life is his own and I certainly won't judge him, even if I do not agree with some of the things he has done

    we are here to discuss golf not the contents of Hello magazine!

  • Comment number 28.

    Does anyone else think Adam Scott should maybe have gone with the driver off the on the 18th to carry that bunker? He may have been in the jungle but at least he'd have had a chance of making the green in 2.

  • Comment number 29.

    A very poor open/major. The major nobody wanted to win and one which Els fluked.
    Truth be told is Adam Scott is like some many golfers at moment a 1 in 4. Els great player and his victory has saved the Open to a certain degree. The course was a good challenge and many golfers not up to the standard. Finally, Tiger will never or it unlikely he will another major.

  • Comment number 30.

    Good coverage by the Beeb, sunshine, benign weather conditions except on the last day when it counted, and a dramatic cliff-hanger result on the last putt. What's not to like?

    I'll tell you.

    Long putters. They have a place in the amateur game (because they allow poor putters, those with disabilities or failing eyesight to continue playing) but they have no place in a Major. The fact that the main contenders used them spoiled it for me.

  • Comment number 31.

    Can someone remind me of 'fat boy' Montomerie's Open predictions.

    i.e. there are only 4 golfers who have the game to win...

  • Comment number 32.

    The number of bunkers (206) and the severity of them were an overwhelming feature of the course, that was detrimental to this years Open. It was inevitable that a fairway bunker on the 18th decided the outcome. Johnny Miller called it 'a freak side show' when referring to this. Have to agree, very disappointing.

  • Comment number 33.


    quite easy don't go in them - scott should have taken a driver and taken them out of the way, he took 3 wood and put them in range - his fault not the courses.

    off the 206 bunkers only half of them were in play - a lot were at the start of the fairway which is more in range for the club members

  • Comment number 34.

    Who was that woman employed by the BBC who interviewed the players after they had finished their round? Alex Jones from the One Show?? Very poor!!

  • Comment number 35.

    Further to my comments above about the PGA, I think Brandt Snedeker has to have a great chance, clearly he went close this weekend without success, but look at his form, he has won at the Wyndham (North Carolina) & Heritage (South Carolina) placed at Augusta, loves bermuda grass courses, and sits in the top 10 in birdie average, and top ten in both par 3 and par 5 birdie average

  • Comment number 36.

    You and Seve, Ernie, now linked through Lytham - Brilliant! True champions and giants of the game. Now go on and win your 3rd Open again at Muirfield next year and share 5 majors and 3 Opens with Seve. As a dad myself with an autistic son real chuffed for you Ernie - well done!

  • Comment number 37.

    Els played sublimely, on another day he could have had a 62. Scott didn't really collapse, each of his closing bogies was really 50/50, so half over pars all turning into bogies, unlucky. But it's not how but how many and Els is a worthy champion. I take issue with the suggestion that the bunkers turned it into a lottery. Players had a choice of where to hit and sometimes they gambled and lost. Bad shots and wrong shots were rightly punished. The course was tough but fair. A very good Open I thought.

  • Comment number 38.

    Agree with yorkshire re: the bunkers- Ive got strokesaver book for Lytham and half the bunkers on any given hole can be taken out of play given the length touring pros hit the ball.

    Sounds like sour grapes from Miller- probabaly devo'd that one his boys (esp Mr Woods) didn't come up trumps. Don't see anything wrong with having bunkers that test a plaers ability to get avoid them, and get out of them- nothing worse than watching a PGA Tour event, seeing a player carve it into a fairway trap the size of Lancashire but still being able to hit a mid-iron into the green.

    I actually dont think Tigers plan overall was a bad one for this particular event at this particular course- as people have pointed out, it worked at Hoylake in 2006. When assessing Tigers performance, two aspects concern me, 1) the whole point of 'Iron for safety' is that you're safe! Late on, I felt he started missing faiways even hitting iron off the tee. Pressure of the occasion getting to him perhaps? 2) I'm all for coming up with plans but Tiger must have known going into the back 9 (which was playing quite tough over the first three days) that he needed to force this issue a bit. An eagle would have been useful and the back 9 has two opportunities for such. The par-5 11th is nearly 600 yards from the back tee, and needs 2 really good blows to make the green in two (including a driver from the tee). The 14th is only 350 yards and can be driven, leaving an eagle putt/chip. Did woods think he didn't need an eagle, or did he just not think he was capable of pulling it off? If it's the latter, then we will have to get used to seeing a very different Tiger to the one that won 14 majors. In his past life, he would never have thought twice about going for it when needed.

  • Comment number 39.

    @31 golfer54

    montys tips were Woods, Westwood Lawrie and Rose

  • Comment number 40.

    @ 24

    Well, we clearly agree on one thing - the greatness of Woods. Since for who else could a 3rd place contending finish in the Open be classed non-risibly as a 'failure'.

    Re his morals: I also see your point about TW being a touch sub-optimal.

    Perhaps one day we'll get a golfer come along who blows all previous records away, who dominates a game that can't be dominated for over a decade, who wins US Opens by 15 shots and Opens by 8, who wins all 4 Majors on the spin, who single-handedly more than doubles the box office and the prize money in the sport, who becomes one of the very few athletes in any era to merit the description 'global icon' ... and who at the same time doesn't have sexual relations with anyone other than his wife.

  • Comment number 41.


    Good points all well put, I will throw another point out there regarding Rory, his defenders seem to like pointing to Tiger's gap of 9 major's between his first and second, this is all fair and well but how many mc's did he have in those 9 majors, none, did he finish outside the top 30 in any of those 9? No, so Rory is already behind Woods in that respect,

  • Comment number 42.

    Putter debate: Belly putters are for wimps. Cricket batsmen don't get to use wider bats if they're going through a lean spell. Snooker players have to conform to a minimum and maximum cue size & tip, yips or no yips.
    Takes some of the skill out of the game.
    If anything belly putters should only be for those with bellies. A minimum girth measurement required.

  • Comment number 43.

    @at yorkshire blogger, im sure he didnt play with a broken leg, again the media overhyping woods...

    In fact if you are getting technical, harrington won a Major with "1 arm"...but that doesnt fit roger hodgetts and co agenda to push woods...

    Facts are woods won due to just being diven to win golf comps from age 1, compare that to els, whos a decent family man, has alot of friends on the tour, likes his wine, raises money for his autistic son etc...basically he has a life outside of golf..

    Woods life outside of golf was mocking his family and "wife" by hanging around pornstars and strippers...hmmmmm great bloke...

    Throw in the fact that the receeding hairlined morouse playboy swears, throws clubs spits and plays golf more negative than 10000000 electrons huddled in siberia and you have very little else.

  • Comment number 44.

    His auras gone, woods has got no better or worse, its just the rest of the field do not fear him.

    Even my fave ernie elses had eldrickitis, and now look, he played through him like nobodies business.

    As mentioned golf wins everytime woods doesnt suceed...

  • Comment number 45.


    I can imagine your little face getting redder and redder....funny

    regarding his aura - how well did his playing partners fare during the tournament when they played with him? Meda circus and hustle and bustle does not help but even stil....

    how did GMac and Zach Johnson fare against him in the final group in tournaments TW won this year.....?

    He has not been good enough on a Saturday in major's this year.

  • Comment number 46.

    Im getting happier and happier at you seething that a naturaly more talented pleasing to watch golfer in ernie els whom is a morla and decent person beat you and mattefc golfs immoral prodical son.

    But keep rooting for him mate, it only makes his losses all the more satisfying for me...

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.


    Pro golf is not a popularity contest. TW still has the capability to amaze and impress, and to win majors.
    To the best of my knowledge he hasn't robbed anyone of their pension or sold anyone a ponzi scheme... Might not be the most endearing player on the tour, but what a player.

  • Comment number 49.

    Douby any sane women would find a receeding moroused faced non smiling serial womanising attractive tbh yorkshire...

    Plis i noticed you said federers not the greatest tennis player ever even though hes won the most majors, been number 1 for more than anyone else, ore finals, semi than anyone else...same with wladimir klitscko whos breaking all heavyweight records..

    Yet woods who not even near to equaling jack nickaluas major haul is the best ever??plus jac nickaluas had tom watson, gary player, arnold palmer, seve, et c to compete with, all whom have had 8 majors and better..

    Your logic and morals are bizzare...

  • Comment number 50.

    blame the game, woods is so amazing at being no where near the longest hitter, averaging 275 yards, and having panic attacks everytime he holds a driver...yea, he plays the gam so much nicer than ernest els doesnt he (rolleyes)

  • Comment number 51.

    im afraid you are wrong mr frochy my boy, but I will entertain you one last time before I depart for the day

    TW won his first major aged 21 4 months, JN won his aged 22 4 months

    TW's 14th major (latest) won aged 32 years and 6 months vs JN 35 years 6 months

    TW has been younger winning every major apart from no's 2&3

    so as a comparison we have to go by age, because TW has not finished yet, so at this point in time TW is the greatest ever - by the time he is 46 we can see if he still retains that title


    PGA tour wins: TW has 74 JN had 73

    TW is still going!! at the moment, today, at this point in history as a comparison, TW is the greatest golfer ever. Face it and stop getting upset.

    The federer comment was a worm I dangled which you happily nibbled at and kept in memory - how sweet. I know little about tennis but I would say if Federer was the best then how have nadal and djokovich managed to thrash him so many times?

    as for the klitch-klompers - not even in the top 50 greatest boxers of all time

  • Comment number 52.

    One thing I think people forget about Tiger- he's still only 36, which is 3 years younger than Lee Westwood and only 4 years older than Luke Donald. If these 2 are consistantly touted as winning majors, then why is Tiger written off, just because he's had a tempestuous few years (albeit of his own making )?

  • Comment number 53.

    blame 42

    Yes, good point. Quite apart from the ugliness (which isn't a crime, I suppose) they favour guys with a big belly. That's wrong when it comes to sport - or indeed anything else.

    Furthermore, they remove the penalty for being someone who looks the part (great tee to green bla bla bla) but who can't convert when it really matters (e.g. on the short stuff with the flat stick).

    It's a fact of life that if you can't convert when it really matters (having looked good the whole way up to that point) then you suffer - you cry - and there's no reason why golf should be any different. Fact, quite the opposite, golf IS life after all.

    Food for thought, anyway.

  • Comment number 54.

    but yorkshire blogger, wladimir is about to break joe louis world title defences, and hes allready overtaken joe louis in having more knockouts, throw in the fsct that wlad and vitali have th highest jko percentage of most heavyweight champions and by your logic they have to be the greatest ever, especially as wladimir has at least 4/5 more yearxs in him....

    So your logic is on people during their careers???thats horrendous, thats like saying rory mccilroy is better than ernie els as his first major is when he was 22 and els was when he was 24, therefore rory is better than els???

    What awful logic...

  • Comment number 55.

    # 54

    silly boy - do try and stay on one task at a time!!

    i was talking about woods vs nicklaus in case you had forgotton when I was applying the age related comparison

    boxing v v v v different to golf, you pick your opponents and locations and arenas and dates and purses - very hard to compare the two really

    do you have to apply the same method to everything? do you pick your nose the same way you wipe your bottom?

  • Comment number 56.

    Shamelessly delighted for Ernie! What a wonderful surprise. It made it all worth waiting for, right through to the very end. Amazing. And there seems to be some kind of poetic justice, in that we had to wait ten years - 2002 to 2012! Add to this the first test at The Oval! Yay :D

  • Comment number 57.

    so what aboutt he tennis then yorkshire, does federer get to pick opponents and venues, as hes broken every record, far more than woods, yet you said hes not the best ever...please elaborate...

    Again your logic is shocking...

  • Comment number 58.

    #53. s
    'Fact, quite the opposite, golf IS life after all.'

    Exactly, s. No-one said life was going to be easy. Golf shouldn't be easy either. Ban the broom handle & belly putter.

    #50 fc
    Like watching both EE and TW. One sleepwalks his way thru the course, the other scowls. Wouldn't mind being half as talented as either.

  • Comment number 59.

    Well done to Ernie; he fully deserves a fourth major. Scott will be kicking himself but will have more chances and is an excellent player. I think Els can win more majors over the next few years and he has reacted really well to not qualifying for the Masters. Often players who start to lose form at his age never make it back (Montgomerie, Olazabal etc.) but he has come roaring back and looks in great shape.

  • Comment number 60.

    @34 - shawso wrote:
    "Who was that woman employed by the BBC who interviewed the players after they had finished their round?"

    How do we still not know who that was?!?!!?

    I know it's only one day ago but I'm surprised there isn't more out on the internet about the crassest 'question' ever asked to a golfer who's just lost a major championship.

    There are a few sports sites all linking to the same brief video clip of her "that run of three bogeys, that didn't help you at all, did it?" inanity but I would have thought it would have been more prevalent by now.

    I'm an ex-pat in Vancouver, Canada so I was watching the US Coverage so they cut straight into the interview without any lead in. When they cut back they said "Adam Scott there, talking to the BBC" and I was stopped in my tracks and had to go back to listen to the voice again as I couldn't believe it was actually a BBC reporter who had asked him that! Embarrassing!

    Start the witch-hunt!!!! WHO IS SHE?!?!

  • Comment number 61.

    i find all this woods hatred a little strange and unnecessary. he isnt my no.1 favourite player (that goes to garcia) but hes certainly one i admire greatly. alot of comments about him being negative hitting irons off tee etc, i saw alot of players employ the same tactics (respecting the tough nature of the course 1 would suspect... also i still scratch my head as to how people say hes passed it and will never win another major. hes won 3 times this year alone and correct me if im wong but thats more times than any other player this year??? Im sure he was one of the 1st players to congratulate ernie on his victory too who i was delighted to see win the famous claret jug. a class act both on and off the course. feel for scott but as many say while hes putting well he will win a major. role on the pga championship and lets hope for another worthy winner like ernie!!and as for you tiger haters get off yur high horse and appreciate one of the greatest sportsman of our generation!

  • Comment number 62.

    I wonder where the so called "Front Runner" Steve Williams was when Adam Scott was crumpling like a cookie last Sunday? I am not trying to rub it in on Scott but I want question Steve Williams' skills as an experienced caddie. One of the attributes of a good caddie is to calm down a player and slow down the damage by talking about other things other than golf to control the players' nerves. If we all remember how Steve postured himself as a front runner after Adam Scott's win in Ohio two years ago. It is a fact that golf is played by a player not a caddie. If that was not true Adam could have done otherwise with Steve on the bag. So please Steve learn to keep your mouth shut and carry that bag quietly.


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