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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > European Tour > The Open 2006 > Round 4


Ernie Els continues impressive Open run

Bogeys on the eighth and 11th killed off any chance Ernie Els had of claiming his second British Open title as he closed with a one-under-par 71 to finish five strokes behind winner Tiger Woods on 13-under-par 275 and three strokes behind second-placed Chris DiMarco.

Although disappointed to fall away after beginning the final round only a stroke behind winner Tiger Woods, he continued an impressive record in the British Open and gave himself optimism for the rest of the season.

A long injury layoff last summer, when he needed knee surgery, hindered Els's career prospects but his Hoylake form shows he is fully recovered and, with getting 'good vibes' in the third major of the year, ready to make progress again.

"I let it slip in the middle - eight, nine, 10 and 11 - where I needed to make birdies but only made a couple of bogeys," said Els.

"I really had a lot of fun this week, it was good to start feeling the vibes again, so to speak, and I'm looking forward to the future."

He admitted, because of his knee problem, he had been worried he could ever do well in a major again. "I did have my doubts," he said. "I haven't had a great time on the golf course the last year or so.

"It's been a long struggle for almost a year now and to play some decent golf, especially in majors, is really a thrill. I've done a lot of work and I'm happy about today."

To go with his sudden-death success over Frenchman Thomas Levet in 2002 at Muirfield, where Australians Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington went out at the playoff stage, Els has recorded three second places, in 1996, 2000 and 2004, when he lost a playoff to Todd Hamilton.

Els finished tied third in 2001 and ran fifth in 1992 on only his second appearance, tied sixth the following year.

Last year his tied 34th place at St Andrews was his worst finish since missing the cut on his debut in 1989.

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