British Open Scores 2012: Breaking Down Sunday's Top Performances

Brian Leigh@@BLeighDATFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2012

Photo Credit: David Cannon / All Over Press / Getty Images
Photo Credit: David Cannon / All Over Press / Getty Images

It was a strange final round at the 2012 Open Championship, highlighted by one of the biggest chokes/comebacks of all time; one of the strangest positions you'll ever see an A-list celebrity contort themselves into; and one shockingly-bizarre instance of human osmosis.

When it was all said and done, Ernie Els ERNED his first major championship since the 2002 British Open, capitalizing on Adam Scott's historic meltdown.

But even on a day where everybody seemed to struggle, it's more fun to focus on the good than the bad. Here's a breakdown of Sunday's best (alright, not-as-horrible) performances from Lancashire, England.

Ernie Els (-2)

The media is going to rip Adam Scott a new one for his performance on the back four––and rightfully so––but they would be remiss if they didn't mention Els' dominance on the back nine.

Els went birdie/par/birdie/par/birdie on holes 10-14, lowering his score by three strokes while the rest of the field's scores were growing. But that was all just a proem to the history Els would write on 18, sinking a clutch birdie putt with the aplomb of a true champion.

Pardon the Interruption will lead off with a hyperbolic question like "Is this the biggest choke EVER?" tomorrow afternoon, but Els deserves credit for the magnificent round he played.


Tiger Woods (+3)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. He epically bungled the sixth hole, and shot a three-over on the day; I'm not saying this was Tiger's best round of golf ever. But he did shoot the lowest score of anybody in the final two pairings, which had to be one of his goals coming into the day.

If you take away the massive blunder on No. 6, Tiger shot even par on the other 17 holes, a figure that is impressive when compared to the ships that were sinking around him.

He's got a ways to go before he's the Tiger of old (who never would have folded and bogeyed three straight holes in the final round of a major), but Tiger did have four birdies on Sunday––making him one of the few players in the field who made big shots.

His chip-in birdie on the seventh, right after his triple bogey, was a glimpse of classic Tiger.


Luke Donald (-1)

Donald is still the No. 1 ranked player in the world, a fact that comes as a shock to golf fans who only watch the Majors. Why? Because before Sunday, he had only one top-five finish in his past 11 major events.

Seeing Donald's consistent game this week was an encouraging sign for fans of his; the British expat shot a 68, 69, 70 and 71 over the four rounds.

Shooting under-par in the final round, when most of the leaders couldn't even come close to following suit, should give Donald some momentum as he heads into the year's final major.


Nicholas Colsaerts (-5)

Almost all of the day's lowest scores came in the morning, when the wind played as an advantage, and nobody better utilized the elements than Colsaerts.

The mercurial Belgian finished off a strange week with a Sunday-best 65––his second 65 of the tournament. Had it not been for a disastrous second round 77––a round where he made six bogeys, including a triple on the par 5 seventh––Colsaerts could have gone home a champion.

Alas, the relative-youngster will happily settle with a fifth-place tie, a finish that surpasses his career-best 27th place result at this year's U.S. Open.