- Full name Thoedore Els
- Birth date October 17, 1969
- Birth place Johannesburg
- Current age 45 years 3 days
Ernie Els is one of the most successful players in the history of the game, with only Gary Player above him in the pecking order of South African golfers.
Els has over 60 Tour wins to his name and has been towards the top of the tree for the best part of 20 years.
Known as the Big Easy, Els' languid swing is the envy of many of his peers and has been one of the reasons for his consistent form. His first professional win came in his native South Africa, with his inaugural win away from home coming in Japan in 1993 and 12 months later he secured his first major with victory at the US Open. His win at Oakmont was expected to open the floodgates for major success, but initially only two more followed. He won the US Open for a second time in 1997, but had to wait five years before bagging a third major - the 2002 Open Championship at Muirfield.
Els was crowned European Order of Merit winner in 2003 and 2004, but then suffered a dip in form which was not helped by a knee injury he picked up on holiday in 2005.
He dropped out of the world top 10 for the first time in 18 years in 2009, with the likeable South African struggling on the greens, but he showed signs of a recovery towards the end of the year.
After struggling for confidence during 2011, he bounced back in still in 2012 and grabbed a fourth major title - his first for ten years - by overhauling Adam Scott on the final day to take the Open Championship at Royal Lytham.
Winning the first of his Major titles in 1994 with victory at Oakmont where he held his nerve to beat Loren Roberts and Colin Montgomerie in a play-off.
Slipping out of the world's top ten in 2009 for the first time since 1991.
"I never throw the towel in, but f*** me, I get so cross, so angry with myself. I'm going to have a chance to win again, to win the big tournaments again, and that's what I've got to keep focusing on. I can't keep going backward and saying, 'I should have done this and that.' Nobody said it was going to be easy." Els said when asked about his disappointing run of form in 2009.
Ernie's first name is not Ernie, or Ernest for that matter, but Theodore.
- Easy does it as Els wraps up wire-to-wire victory (Jun 23, 2013)
- Els joined by Noren and Levy (Jun 22, 2013)
- Fast-starting Els threatens course record in Munich (Jun 20, 2013)
- R&A and USGA ban anchored putting (May 21, 2013)
Scott stands up for anchored putters (Apr 15, 2013)