British Open: Immediate Impact Ernie Els' Win Could Have on the Tour

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2012

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 22:  Ernie Els of South Africa poses with the Claret Jug after winning the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club on July 22, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The finale of the 2012 Open Championship was bittersweet. Longtime tour favorite Ernie Els took home the Claret Jug amid a collapse by Adam Scott, who dropped four strokes over the final four holes to complete one of the most shocking collapses we've ever seen at the Open Championship.

Whether you believe Scott simply lost or Els earned his victory, the immediate impact that the 2012 Open Championship could have on the PGA Tour should be quite intriguing.

With the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island quickly approaching, Els' possible resurgence could be great news for golf fans.

Els was in a noticeable funk leading up to the Open, missing the cut at The Players Championship and finishing plus nine at the Memorial at Muirfield. Els picked up the pace a bit at the U.S. Open, finishing in ninth place at arguably the year's most challenging major.

So, with Els looking like he could be headed for a bit of a resurgence, where does he stand as we approach play at Kiawah Island in just over two weeks?

According to BBC Sport, Els will leapfrog to No. 15 in the world rankings, up 25 spots from No. 40:

Els, who was ninth at last month's US Open, becomes the 16th consecutive different major champion and moves up from 40th to 15th in the world rankings. He also finished tied second when Royal Lytham hosted the Open in 1996 and tied third when it was last held on the Fylde coast, in 2001.

Now firmly on the radar for the PGA Championship, Els figures to grab significant attention and contend for his fifth major championship along with a host of other favorites, such as Tiger Woods and Luke Donald.

Els' recent surge has the golf world abuzz, and it's refreshing to see an old face take center stage once again.

Imagine a Sunday pairing at the PGA Championship of Ernie Els and Tiger Woods, conjuring up images of some of golf's glory days in the late 1990's and early 2000's.

On a tour that is littered with talent, there haven't been many youngsters who have been able to consistently capitalize on chances at majors. Els can help provide some relief.

In Els, the Tour has an established star, one who is beloved by fans worldwide. While the stars of tomorrow attempt to stake their claim as the next big thing, Els already has an impressive trophy case, one that golf fans can only hope will continue to grow in the coming weeks.