Adam Scott volunteered to give him just that.
Scott sat at the top of the leaderboard for the vast majority of The Open Championship. The 32-year-old Australian’s first major victory was virtually set in stone. He walked to the 15th hole on Sunday with a comfortable cushion provided by a score of 10 under par.
However, Scott did the one thing you aren’t supposed to do when you’re up that high.
That is, look down.
He choked his lead away with four straight bogeys to conclude the tournament. Els only birded one hole during Scott’s four-hole collapse, but that’s all he needed to do to take a one-stroke lead for the win.
While Els was ecstatic about winning his fourth career major, he felt Scott’s pain. According to James Corrigan of The Telegraph, he said after his triumph:
“First of all, I feel for my buddy Adam. You’re a great friend of mind and you’re going to win many of these. You have too much talent.”
Scott should keep his chin up. After all, there were plenty of golfers that failed to take advantage of his choke job by choking themselves.
Tiger Woods was one stroke ahead of Els to start the fourth round. With an opportunity to win his first major in four years, Woods went three over par on the day.
Brandt Snedeker and Graeme McDowell were both two strokes up on Els going into Sunday. They shrunk under pressure too, though, as Snedeker shot four over par while McDowell shot five over.
Nearly everyone in position to make a run at the crown collapsed. The one man who refused to bogey, Els, took home the title.
Here is how the Top-10 leaderboard looked by Sunday’s end.
|1. Ernie Els||-7|
|2. Adam Scott||-6|
|T3. Tiger Woods||-3|
|T3. Brandt Snedeker||-3|
|T5. Luke Donald||-2|
|T5. Graeme McDowell||-2|
|T7. Nicolas Colsaerts||-1|
|T7. Thomas Aiken||-1|
|T9. Dustin Johnson||PAR|
|T9. Zach Johnson||PAR|
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.