Right Place, Right Time, Right Guy
by Brian Hewitt
Tiger Woods chose to navigate Royal Lytham. It was a strategy too conservative. It eventually capsized him.
Adam Scott’s plan was to attack. And it worked. Until he stopped doing so. That’s when his nerves attacked back.
Ernie Els, impossible to dislike, waited all week for the right spot to hit the right shot. And late on a balmy English Sunday that moment arrived in the form of a glorious birdie putt on the 72nd hole that would turn out to win him a second Open Championship.
With apologies to Wilde there was, after all, something to be said at the end of the week for the importance of being Ernie. With apologies to McCartney, it had been a long and winding road for the man who answers to “The Big Easy” to whom nothing had come easily on the course for the better or worse part of a decade.
Ernie’s Journey, indeed.
Even better, he saved the event from itself. Meaning by that, the properly miserable weather we have come to know and love from the British Open never arrived. Soft greens, windless mornings and precious little rain kept us from enjoying watching the best players in the world suffer. One wag tweeted that “Lytham without wind is more like Lithium.”
Scott bogeyed the last four holes Sunday to lose by a shot. Woods needed seven blows on the par-4 sixth and never threatened thereafter.
So Ernie Els is now “The Champion Golfer of the Year.”
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