When big things happen in golf, people have questions. We here at GNN hope to answer those. Today, we answer questions about Ernie Els winning The Open Championship.
How many majors is this for Ernie?
Ernie now has four major titles - two U.S. Opens (1994, '97) and two Open Championships (2002, '12). He has won majors in three different decades.
What kind of history did Els make with his win?
- Els is the first member of the World Golf Hall of Fame inducted under the current balloting system to win a major after being inducted.
- The streak of first-time major winners ends at 9, however, Els is the 16th different guy to win the last 16 majors.
- Els joins the likes of Tiger Woods, Lee Trevino, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagan to have won multiple U.S. Open and Open Championship titles.
Where does Els' comeback rank in terms of Open Championship history?
The greatest deficit overcome in the final round of a major championship is the 10-shot gap Paul Lawrie closed to win the 1999 Open (the Van de Velde Incident) at Carnoustie. Els' comeback was six shots, which ties how far back Padraig Harrington was before he won his first Open in 2007 - also at Carnoustie.
How many majors is it now for the belly putter?
This is the third time in the last for majors a champion has emerged using the belly putter. Keegan Bradley was the first at the PGA Championship last year, with Webb Simpson becoming the second in the U.S. Open. Adam Scott would have been the first to win with the traditional, broomstick-style long putter.