Sport

Ernie Els Wins The Open Championship After Extraordinary Adam Scott Collapse (PICTURES)

Ernie Els has won the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes for a second time after an extraordinary collapse from Australian Adam Scott.

Scott hit four bogeys on the last four holes, losing a four-shot lead after Els, playing one hole ahead of him, had finished his round, having carded 68. He had only hit seven bogeys prior to the 15th hole in his final round.

The South African birdied the final hole to move up to -7, leaving him just one shot behind Scott, who had two holes to play, in what was ultimately the winning putt.

The Open Championship

Nerves began to affect Australian Scott, aided by Tiger Woods' former caddie Steve Williams, whose broomhandle putting technique began to disintegrate as he dropped a shot, meaning Els - practising his putting off the course - held a joint lead.

At the 18th he drove into a bunker, forcing him to dink out onto the fairway with a sand wedge. Although his third approach shot gave him an eight-footer to force a play-off, his putt veered left, declaring Els as the winner.

Scott's capitulation was reminiscent of Jean van de Velde's final-hole drama at Carnoustie in 1999 and Thomas Bjorn's at Royal St Georges in 2003 at past Opens.

Els, 42, won the Open 10 years ago at Muirfield and on Sunday added a fourth major to his roll of honours after wins at the US Open in 1994 and 1997. He began the day six shots adrift, but rallied to get his hands on the Claret Jug for a second time.

THE OPEN: FINAL ROUND LEADERBOARD

-7: Els (SA)

-6: Scott (Aus)

-3: Snedeker (US)

Woods (US) -2

Donald (Eng)

McDowell (NI) -1

More to follow...