Ernie Els' British Open Win Should Get More Attention Than Adam Scott's Collapse

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2012

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 22:  Ernie Els of South Africa poses with the Claret Jug after winning the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club on July 22, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Ernie Els probably wasn't surprised to see other contenders hogging the spotlight at the Open Championship. He likely didn't expect it to continue after he won his second Claret Jug, though.

Two days after Els won his fourth major championship, the story has been pretty much anything but his triumph. The most notable story being Adam Scott's collapse that allowed Els to claim victory without even needing a playoff.

While that's clearly a key part of the storyline, it shouldn't overshadow Els' accomplishment. To go a decade without winning a major title and then outlasting an extremely talented field on a tough course is an impressive feat.

The most unfortunate thing about the entire ordeal was that it all happened so fast that nobody had enough time to digest it all.

Even during the round, Els wasn't getting much attention. Between Scott threatening to run away from the field, Graeme McDowell trying to win his second major title and the usual Tiger Woods watch, there wasn't much time for the 42-year-old South African.

But while McDowell and Woods started fading, Els started charging. He had four birdies on the back nine to give him the clubhouse lead at seven-under par and then he waited like everybody else. Scott fell apart, Els earned a shocking win and the rest is history.

The key word there is "earned." Although it wouldn't have been possible for him to win without Scott's help, he could have easily started mailing it in when he posted a bogey on the ninth. Many of other players would have started getting frustrated and let the round get away.

Not the "Big Easy." He has been around the game long enough to know anything can happen, especially on Sunday at a major with a player looking to win his first marquee title in the lead.

He proceeded to pull off several clutch shots down the stretch, including a huge putt on the final hole, which turned out to be the winning stroke.

After he won, Els seemed more concerned about Scott than himself. It was a perfect example of why he's become so popular on tour. It might also be why his victory barely caused a ripple while Scott's downfall generated a tidal wave.

If it would have been Woods—who continues to show signs that his major drought will come to an end sooner rather than later—who won on Sunday, he would have been widely praised and Scott probably would have gotten off much easier.

Instead, Scott has dominated the headlines and by the time the PGA Championship rolls around in August, the casual sports fan will likely forget who actually won the British Open.

Hopefully that's not the case and Els eventually gets his due. Given the response since Scott's par putt slipped wide of the hole, however, it's not likely.