Posted by: John K. Abendroth, PGA
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 11:08 AM
The 2012 version of The Open Championship again provided the drama and surprise that makes it such a special championship as Ernie Els birdies the last hole and 4 total on the back nine to defy the 4-stroke lead held by Adam Scott with just a few holes to play, in-fact Els was 7-strokes back with just nine holes to play.
Scott would bogey the last 4-holes finding a fairway bunker on the 18th hole and then missing a putt of about 10-feet that would have forced a playoff.
Ernie Els is a great story of patience to become The Champion Golfer of the year for the 2nd time winning his 4th major over 3-decades. In his humble acceptance speach he acknowledged Scott as a great player and a great friend of Els. Ernie also gave thanks to President Nelson Mandella of South Africa for his great work and helping their country head in the correct direction.
Earlier this year Els was not eligible or invited to the Masters and that may have been a motivation as Ernie had several good finishes in the spring that did qualify him for the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club as he edged his way back into the top 50 in the world ranking.
Els had strong fan support during the week even though he started the week at 45-1 odds. He would say to the fans, "were you trying to be nice to me or did you really believe?'
In the case of Adam Scott and his collapse, what will destiny hold for him? Starting the round with a 4-shot lead, 6 over Els and it appeared Scott was fortunate early in the final round that nobody put pressure on him but combined with his 4-bogey finish and 4-birdies by Els on the back nine including a clutch putt on 18, history will simply show Scott as the runner-up. This win felt much like the great win by Darren Clarke at The Open Championship.
Until this week, Scott had never led a round in a major in his career and with the classic swing, Steve Williams on the bag you know Scott had a load of pressure on him. His mentor and great friend Greg Norman has had many disappointments in his career and you would suspect Normal would be one of the first calls Adam Scott would take.