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Els claims Open after Scott meltdown

South African Ernie Els won the Open at Royal Lytham by one shot. A dramatic finish, with leader Adam Scott bogeying the last four holes, allowed Els to come through to win his first major in ten years.

Els trailed Scott by six shots at the start of the final round, but his steady accumulation of birdies, couple with Scott’s stumble towards the finish allowed the experienced player to prevail.

"I was hoping for at best a play-off," Els said, admitting he wasn’t sure what Scott was doing behind him. "I really feel for Scotty. I've been there before and blown majors and golf tournaments. I hope he doesn't take it to heart like I did. I told him you've got to bounce back quickly. Don't let it linger."

Scott’s implosion was reminiscent of another Australian, Greg Norman, who surrendered a six shot lead to allow Nick Faldo to win the 1996 Masters. "I know I've let a great chance slip through my fingers today," Scott said, "but somehow I'll look back and take the positives from it. I don't think I've ever played this well in a major championship, so that's a good thing for me. Today is one of those days and that's why they call it golf."

Els, who won the Open in 2002, and lost a play-off in 2004, says he plans to show the trophy to former President Nelson Mandela. "I would love to have a drink with him with the Claret Jug. I'll go wherever he is. I'd love to see him again."

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