Ernie Els

South African Ernie Els has been one of the top golfers in the world for well over a decade, and has a very good record at the British Open, with 10 out of 16 finishes in the top 10 at the Open since 1992, including victory at Muirfield in 2002, second-place finishes in 1996, 2000 and 2004, and top five finishes in six of the last eight Open Championships.
Els has three major titles to his name, the other two both being victories at the US Open, in 1994 (his first major victory) and 1997. He also became the first foreign player since Scotland’s Alex Smith (1906, 1910) to win the US Open on two occasions.
In total, Els has finished runner-up six times in major championships, and boasts 26 top 10 finishes at the majors, 17 of which were in the top five.
Els, also known as “The Big Easy”, is the only player to have won three successive titles at the World Matchplay Championships, in 1994, 1995 and 1996. He won the tournament again in 2003 and 2004, before claiming the title for a record-breaking sixth time in 2007.
Although Els hasn’t won a major since his 2002 British Open triumph, he is still one of the favourites to win the 2008 tournament, thanks to his incredible consistency in major tournaments over the years.
Ernie Els represented South Africa at the Alfred Dunhill Cup for nine consecutive years between 1992 and 2000, helping his country to win the tournament in 1997 and 1998. He also represented his country at the World Cup five times, winning the individual and team events in 1996 and the team event in 2001.
Els has been a member of the International Team taking part in the Presidents Cup five times between 1996 and 2007.
Els won his first European Tour Order of Merit in 2003, despite playing fewer events than his competitors. During the year, he won four times and claimed three runner-up spots. He won the distinction again in 2004 and finished second on the tour in 2007. Els has also finished runner-up to Tiger Woods more than any other golfer.
Els has held the number one ranking in the Official World Golf Rankings before and is consistently ranked in the top five. He also holds the record for the most consecutive weeks spent in the top 10.