ERNIE Els has won the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
The South African claimed the second Open title of his career in remarkable fashion after Adam Scott squandered a four-shot lead with four holes to play.
Scott looked set to win his first major title at Royal Lytham when he birdied the 14th hole of his final round to stand 10 under par, but the 32-year-old Australian then bogeyed the next three holes.
Els, second and third when the Open was staged at Lytham in 1996 and 2001 respectively, had finished in style with a birdie on the 18th to complete a closing 68 and set the clubhouse target on seven under par.
Scott found a fairway bunker off the 18th tee but still had the chance to force a four-hole play-off after hitting his third shot to eight feet, but missed as Els looked on from the putting green.
It means the Open has been won by a 42-year-old for the second year in succession after Darren Clarke’s victory 12 months ago, while Els’ fourth major title comes 10 years after his last, when he lifted the Claret Jug in Muirfield after a four-man play-off.