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)

British Open 2012: Ernie Els Defeats Adam Scott In Dramatic Final Round

Ernie Els won his fourth major championship and second Open Championship.

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2012 British Open: Ernie Els Catches, Then Defeats Adam Scott In Dramatic Final Round

For the fourth time in golf history, South African Erie Els is a major champion. Carding a final round of 68, 2-under par, which featured the "Big Easy" playing the final nine holes at 4-under, Els caught Australia's Adam Scott to win at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's.

Els' four-day total of 7-under par came on the heels of a meltdown by Scott, who controlled the whole tournament until he made a bogey on each of the final four holes. With things falling apart, Scott had a chance to force a three-hole playoff but his tournament-tying putt -- which was setup by a bad tee shot that landed into a fairway bunker -- just slid off to the left.

Overall, Els finish was the only player in the top five to finish the final round at 3-over par or better. Scott (-6) finish in second place, three strokes better than third-place Tiger Woods (-3) and Brandt Snedeker (-3). Luke Donald (-2) and Graeme McDowell (-2) rounded out the top five. (Full leader board here.)

For more on the 2012 British Open, please be sure to check out our Golf Hub and SB Nation Philly for all the latest news and updates.

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British Open Odds 2012: Tiger Woods Enters As The Open Championship Favorite

The 2012 British Open begins early Thursday morning, and as expected 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, who has earned three victories on the PGA tour this season, is the odds-on favorite to win at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club. According to the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino (via RJ Bell), Woods will enter The Open Champion as a 8-to-1 favorite to win, which slightly edges Rory McIlroy who has 10-1 odds.

Lee Westwood, one of England's most decorated players who's still looking for his first major championship, is at 12-1, while Luke Donald is a 15-1 favorite. Two-time British Open champ Padraig Harrington is a 20-1 favorite, while Phil Mickelson, who's look for his first major championship overseas, is a 30-1 favorite.

The British Open begins early Thursday morning, 4:30 a.m. ET, on ESPN.

For more on the 2012 British Open, please be sure to check out SB Nation's golf hub and SB Nation Boston for all the latest news and updates.

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