2012 British Open: Ernie Els Earns Fourth Major Championship In Thrilling Fashion

In golf, the unexpected is almost always expected -- especially in the final round of a major -- and that's just what happened Sunday at the 2012 British Open, as South Africa's Ernie Els caught Australia's Adam Scott in the final four holes to claim his fourth major championship. Els carded a final round of 68, 2-under par, which featured the "Big Easy" playing the final nine holes at 4-under and included a dramatic birdie on the final hole to finish with a 72-hole score of 7-under par.

Els' birdie at the last hole forced Scott to make a tournament-tying putt -- setup by a bad tee shot that landed in fairway bunker on No. 18 -- which missed. Scott held a commanding lead into the final four holes, which he played at 4-over.

Overall, Els was the only player in the top five to shoot 3-over par or better. Els finished a stroke better than second-place finisher Scott (-6), who was ahead of Tiger Woods (-3), Brandt Snedeker (-3), Luke Donald (-2) and Graeme McDowell (-2).

Stick with this StoryStream for leaderboard updates, news and more from the 2012 British Open. For all things golf, head over to SB Nation's golf hub.

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