Australian talent Adam Scott held a four-stroke lead heading into the final round. Yet four consecutive bogeys in the final four holes gave Ernie Els a second British Open title.
Els played an especially composed round on Sunday en route to a 2012 Open championship. He shot two under par each of the last two rounds and had four birdies in the last nine holes of the tournament.
The defining moment for Els, however, was the birdie attempt on the 18th and final hole. A remarkable putt when the pressure was on lifted Els to seven under par. But it also put the pressure on Scott to close him out. Had Els missed that put, the two would have had to duke it out in extra holes.
Scott will undoubtedly have the critics lining up after the late collapse at Royal Lytham. His late lead slipped right out of his grasp after a five-stroke turnaround in the last four holes.
Tiger Woods also had a major collapse of his own which took place early on in the final round.
On the sixth hole, a hole that Woods had posted a birdie in each of the first three rounds, Woods fell way short. He posted a triple bogey on this hole he had conquered through three rounds, and it ultimately cost him a shot at a 2012 Open title.
Another notable fall from the top was that of Graeme McDowell. After entering the final day at seven under par and second place, McDowell finished with a score of two under par and tied for fifth place.
While Woods, McDowell and Scott fell from the top, Els' consistency and experience winning majors was what prevailed in the end.
His second British Open victory was an impressive feat for this top-notch golfer and he will surely carry this momentum with him for the final stretch of the season.
2012 British Open Top-10 Leaderboard After Three Rounds (Courtesy of TheOpen.com):
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