LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 22: Ernie Els of South Africa reacts to a birdie putt on the 12th hole during the final round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club on July 22, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

2012 British Open: Ernie Els Adds 4th Career Major After Thrilling Final Round

Ernie Els now has his name on the Claret Jug for a second time.

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2012 British Open Results: Ernie Els Bests A Tumbling Adam Scott For 4th Major Championship

After a complete collapse down the stretch by 54-hole leader Adam Scott, tour veteran Ernie Els picked up his fourth career major title on Sunday with a 7-under score at the 2012 British Open Championship.

Els carded a 2-under par 68 to enter the clubhouse at 7-under, and watched as Scott, who appeared to have the tournament wrapped up, procede to bogey each of his final four holes to cough the lead away. After being forced to waste a shot out of the bunker due to an errant drive, Scott, needing a par to force a playoff on the 18th hole, missed what amounted to a 10-foot putt that would've kept his title hopes alive.

A winner at the British Open in 2002 at Muirfield Golf Links, Els has now won a major title in three separate decades, which is an impressive achievement to say the least. The 42-year-old South Africa native birdied four of his final nine holes in Sunday's round to outlast his competitors, and will enter next year's British Open, held coincidentally at Muirfield, as the unquestioned reigning champion in every sense of the phrase.

For more British Open coverage, stay with this StoryStream. For more golf news and analysis, head over to SB Nation's golf hub.

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