Els wins British Open after stunning Scott collapse
By Tony Jimenez
LYTHAM ST ANNES, England (Reuters) - South African Ernie Els won the British Open by one stroke from Adam Scott on Sunday after the Australian suffered an extraordinary late collapse on an incident-packed final day.
World number 13 Scott, chasing his first major championship, started the last round with a four-shot lead and seemed to be cruising to victory as he maintained that cushion with six holes to play.
But a late attack of the jitters caused him to drop strokes at each of the last four holes, allowing Els to slip in through the back door and lift the Claret Jug with a two-under-par 68 and a seven-under total of 273.
"It is amazing. I'm still numb. It still hasn't sunk in yet," Els told reporters after adding to his previous major victories in the 1994 and 1997 U.S. Opens and 2002 British Open.
"I feel for Adam, he's a good friend of mine. I was just hoping at best to get into a playoff when I was on 17, then I birdied the 18th and heard what happened to Adam," added Els whose victory extended to 16 the streak of different major winners.
Scott's sad 75 meant he had to settle for second place on 274, three shots ahead of former world number one Tiger Woods (73), whose hopes were dashed by an ugly triple-bogey at the sixth, and his fellow American Brandt Snedeker (74).
"I am pretty disappointed," Scott said. "I managed to hit a poor shot on each of the closing four holes and they cost me. As I played so beautifully all week I shouldn't let this get me too down.
"It's funny, I definitely worked myself up a little bit at times, but once I was out there I felt completely in control and even the last few holes I didn't really feel like it was a case of nerves or anything like that," added Scott. Continued...