Els wins Open after Scott implodes
Ernie Els won his second Open Championship by one shot after Adam Scott imploded on the stretch during a dramatic finale at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Scott looked set to win his first major title when he birdied the 14th hole of his final round to stand 10 under par, but the Australian bogeyed his last four holes to hand Els, who began the day six shots adrift, an unlikely victory.
Els, second and third when the Open was staged at Lytham in 1996 and 2001 respectively, had finished in style with a birdie on the 18th to complete a closing 68 and set the clubhouse target on seven under par.
Scott found a fairway bunker off the 18th tee but still had the chance to force a four-hole play-off after hitting his third shot to eight feet, only to miss as Els looked on from the putting green.
It means the Open has been won by a 42-year-old for the second year in succession after Darren Clarke's victory 12 months ago, while Els' fourth major title comes 10 years after his last, when he lifted the Claret Jug in Muirfield after a four-man play-off.
Tiger Woods' hopes of a 15th major were all but ended after a triple-bogey at the par-four sixth as the three-time Open champion finished joint third on three under with Brandt Snedeker.
Graeme McDowell, who was playing in the final group with Scott, shot a 75 to tie for fifth at two under with world number one Luke Donald.
1830: Everybody is still in shock. Els gets his hands back on the Claret Jug after first winning at Muirfeld 10 years ago. An unbelievable finish. The presentation is now taking place so we'll wrap up our coverage. Scroll down to see how the dramatic final round unfolded.
1821: ELS WINS THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP! I can't believe what I've just typed. Scott misses his par putt on the 18th which means Els wins The Open for the second time in his career. Extraordinary finish. Scott was four shots clear less than an hour ago but finishes his round with four bogeys. The Australian looks absolutely devastated as he misses out on his maiden major title. That will haunt him for the rest of his life. Els is almost motionless. He looks in shock. It's the South African's fourth major win. Wow.
1817: Excellent approach from Scott as his ball lands about 10-12ft from the flag. He must sink it to force a play-off. If he misses, then Els will be crowned champion.
1815: Scott gets it out of the bunker back to the fairway but he's still about 125 yards from the green. He must make this in two.
1811: Scott's tee shot is in the left bunker! All of a sudden, Els is favourite to win this. Woods birdies the last to card a 73. It didn't click today for Tiger who ties for third on -3 with Snedeker who bogeys the 18th. McDowell, who is playing with Scott, bogeyed 17 and so is -2. But it's all about Scott and Els now.
1808: And Scott doesn't make it! Three bogeys on the trot for the Australian who is starting to crumble at the finish. He is now tied with Els at the top of the leaderboard as he makes his way to the 18th tee. Birdie and the championship is Scott's. Par and it's a play-off. Bogey and Els will secure an extraordinary win.
1804: Scott digs his ball from the rough onto the 17th green, but he's still about 25ft from the flag. Els is getting some putting practice in. There's a real chance now that this will go to a play-off. That seemed unthinkable 20 minutes ago.
1801: Scott's pulled his second shot! This is not over, folks. The ball is some nasty rough near the bunker and he will do well to come out of this without losing a shot.
1758: Straight down the middle of the cup! Excellent putt from Els who birdies the last and is now just one shot off the lead after carding a fantastic 68. Scott will have heard those cheers from the crowd. He can't afford to bogey one of these last two holes. The Aussie, though, has found the fairway on 17.
1753: The nerves get to Scott as he misses his par putt from about five feet. The Aussie drops to -8 as his lead slips to two. And that could soon be one as Els has a makeable birdie on the last. McDowell birdies 16 to climb to -3.
1750: Not the best of approach putts from Scott on 16, but he should still make par. Perfect drive from Els on 18. He needs a birdie finish.
1745: There are only eight players under par. Colsaerts, who fired a superb 65 earlier this afternoon is tied for seventh on -1 with Aiken, who has just carded a 72. McDowell suffers another bogey on 15 and so is -2 with Woods and Donald. Then there's Snedeker on -4, Els -6 and our leader Scott on -9.
1742: The margin is back down to three as Scott fails to save par on the tricky 15th. Els, though, doesn't make birdie with that long putt on 17. Snedeker makes back-to-back birdies and leaps up to -4 ahead of McDowell.
1741: Scott misses the green on 15 as his ball rolls down to the bunker. Awkward stance but the Aussie chips it within 10ft of the flag. Els has long putt for birdie in 17. Needs to make it disappear.
1734: Els' putt on 16 doesn't have enough oomph and so the Big Easy remains four shots behind Scott. The Australian has one hand on the Claret Jug. Three straight bogeys now for Woods who drops to -2. Snedeker moves up one to tie for third with McDowell.
1729: And Scott is even closer now as he sinks that birdie to go four shots clear at the top. McDowell makes par to stay on -3. Els recovers from that poor tee shot with a lovely chip between the bunkers which sets up a birdie chance.
1726: That's not a good tee shot on the par-four 16th from Els as he slices it into the gallery. The Big Easy has a big job on his hands there. Scott has a 15ft putt for birdie on 14 after a superb approach. He's handling himself very well as he closes on his maiden major title.
1721: Els holes his par putt to keep the pressure on Scott. But Tiger's hopes are surely now over after another bogey on 14. He's six shots off the pace.
1719: Scott's approach to the green on 13 leaves him about 20 yards short of the flag. But he follows up with an excellent putt which leaves him with a tap-in par. McDowell is in the same boat. Els has a 10-footer for par on 15. He can't really afford any slip-ups so needs to sink it.
1707: Another birdie for Els! The South African strokes home a 10ft putt on 14 to move within three shots of Scott. That's his third birdie in five on the back nine. Scott has an immediate chance to restore his four-shot advantage, but he drags his birdie attempt just wide on the 12th. Woods follows up his birdie with a bogey on 13 and drops to -4. It's looking like a two-horse race. Donald cards a 69 which leaves him -2 for the tournament in a tie for fifth place.
1659: Scott's birdie putt comes up short as the Aussie settles for par on 11. He'll win his first major is he keeps doing that. McDowell drops one after that rash shot into the trees. He's now made three bogeys on the trot as he falls to -3. Surely that's his chance gone. Tiger's tee shot lands in a bunker on 13.
1653: McDowell is in the jungle searching for his lost ball but he hasn't got a chance of finding it. Snedeker and Aiken both drop to -2.
1650: Get in the hole! Tiger does indeed make that birdie and ties with Els on -5. McDowell hooks a horrible shot into the trees on 11. That's one of the worst shot he's probably ever played. Huge mistake which will cost him.
1646: Peach of a tee shot from Woods on the par-three 12th. He should make birdie from there. Snedeker drops to -3 after a bogey on 11. Another South African going well is Thomas Aiken who is -3 through 14.
1639: Here's Els making a move. A birdie at the 12th takes him to -5 and outright second place. That's because the buckling McDowell bogeys the tenth. All very tense as we progress into the back nine.
1635: More trouble for GMac who finds the dreaded bunker at ten. He and Scott have both been put on the clock now as they had been taking far to long to take their shots.
1630: A deep sigh and a shake of the head from GMac as he bogeys the ninth. Scott has yet to face a proper challenge and pars to stay at -9.
1623: McDowell doesn't miss this time. A birdie at the eighth to outdo Scott's par to move within three. Snedeker and Woods are back in with a squeak after they birdie the tenth
1616: Luke Donald has been quiet so far but a birdie at 14 puts him in tied sixth position. This Claret Jug really is up for grabs at the moment.
1607: Big chance goes begging for GMac. He misses his birdie putt to move within three of Scott who could only manage par at the seventh. Snedeker racks up another double bogey to fall right back to -3.
1600: Scott and McDowell appear to be back on track. The leader remarkably smacks past the green with 282 yards and just a four iron in hand. Still in a good position to get up and down for birdie as is GMac.
1552: Tiger growls back with a lovely chip in at seven to take him back to -4. Snedeker double bogeys though and is back with McDowell now at -5. Scott, all of a sudden, has a four shot lead again
1549: Bogeys for Scott and McDowell at six which has proved to be a nightmare hole today. Oosthuizen is creeping up the leaderboard after a birdie at seven.
1542: Tiger's finds the rough off the tee at seven. Playing partner Snedeker is in the bunker. Scott and McDowell both in the green-side bunkers at six. What is up with everyone today?!
1537: A triple bogey for Tiger. Deary me. He moves all the way back to -3 now and the Woods of old needs to suddenly turn up if he is to have any chance of troubling the leaders again.
1531: This is turning into a massive struggle for the big guns. McDowell and Scott save difficult pars and Woods is in a real mess at six. Playing his second bunker shot pretty much lying down.
1522: First par of the day for Scott at the fourth. McDowell nearly edges closer to him but his birdie putt refuses to sink. Z Johnson is going backwards with back to back bogeys now. Nobody setting off any final day fireworks just yet.
1510: Scott slips back to -10 after his second bogey of the day. An indifferent start for the Aussie. Woods continues his run of pars at the fourth. Oosthuizen birdies the seventh to move to -4 where you will also find Z Johnson after he bogeyed five.
1458: Also wilting away is Olesen. The Dane was well in contention yesterday but is now at -1 after a double bogey at four. Nobody making any real progress currently apart from Oosthuizen but he is a hefty eight shots back.
1447: Scott is back on track with a fine birdie at the second. It all came after a phenomenal long iron approach shot to five feet of the pin. McDowell escapes with a bogey. Back to -6 for GMac.
1444: Tiger Woods saves par at the second after putting a spectacular bunker shot within three feet. He remains -6 and four back. McDowell is forced to pitch out of a fairway bunker at the second. No problems for Scott after a nice tee shot.
1437: Things are hotting up very, very nicely already. Scott bogeys the first, slipping back to -10 and McDowell drains his tough par putt. The gap is now down to just three shots.
1431: The wait is over. Adam Scott and Graeme McDowell have begun their final rounds. Both are off the first greens but should get up and down in par. Oosthuizen birdies the 4th to move to -3 alongside Kooch and Olesen who bogeyed the opening hole.
1425: Pars for Woods and Snedeker to start off with. Tiger wearing his famous final day red but this one seems to have a morse code plastered all over it. Very eye catching indeed.
1416: Els and Zach Johnson, locked at -5 are away with solid pars at the first. Snedeker and Woods are lurking in the background waiting to tee off. Can Tiger bag a 15th major or has he left himself too much to do?
1408: Make that another player with an appealing round of 67 to finish. Poulter with a birdie to end level par overall.
1400: The loveable Spaniard Jimenez becomes the fifth player to card a 67 today. Quite surprising in the now blustery conditions. Olesen and Haas a.k.a Game 39 are off. The final round is very nearly in full swing.
1354: Kuchar is making one of the brighter starts as he birdies the 2nd with a 15 footer to skip to -3.
1348: Westwood cards a rather flat round of 72, leaving him +6 overall. Not the Open championship he was hoping for. 1989 champ Mark Calcavecchia and Louis Oosthuizen are off the mark with pars. Bubba Watson (in the same clothes still) and Thomas Aiken are up next.
1333: Donald couldn't make his birdie putt sink so is up and running with a par. USA duo Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar are next to tee off and both will have high hopes of a top ten finish
1324: Colsaerts pars the 18th to post another round of 65. He will be cursing his middle two rounds even more now. Luke Donald is underway at -1 with a lovely tee shot down the first. Not long to wait now before final pair Scott and McDowell are teeing off. They're due away at 1430.
1303: Fowler tames the front nine in just 34 strokes as Colsaerts' birdie chance at 17 goes begging. Matt Baldwin, the Englishman in his first season as a pro, birdies the 2nd to go one under.
1250: There's just no stopping Colsaerts today as he drains a tricky 20 footer to move -1 overall. He has another excellent birdie chance at 17 too after a stunning iron approach.
1234: McIlroy will be relieved to be finished. He taps in for a par at 18 to end with a scorecard of 67-75-73-73 and +8 overall. Yikes. Steven Aiker and England's James Morrison are the next away at level par.
1217: Colsaerts is currently having a ball out on the course. -4 for today and level par overall. His poor second and third rounds have ensured he's not challenging for the Claret Jug.
1206: McIlroy continues his recovery mission with a birdie at 15. Jimenez, arguably the coolest golfer on the tour, has four birdies in his last five holes to join Poults and Furyk at +1. Great excuse to light up a cigar Miguel!
1153: I don't think Carlos Tevez is cut out to be a caddy after Romero cards a final round of 82. McIlroy has settled down well though after his rocky start. He's back to +13 after eight consecutive pars and a birdie at 13.
1147: Jim Furyk, who made a fine job of messing up the US Open earlier this year, has started smoothly with four pars and a birdie in his first five holes. (I didn't have money on him from the start and I'm definitely not bitter. Honest.)
1130: Lawrie begins with a couple of solid pars as Fowler, dressed in famous final-day orange, sneaks up to +1 with two early birdies. Westwood picks another bogey at six to fall back over par for his round. The wind is picking up now which will make it very interesting this afternoon...
1115: Colsaerts, right in the thick of it after the second round, birdies the 5th and 7th to move to +2 overall. Poulter slips back after an infuriating bogey at the 4th.
1101: Westwood's charge up the leaderboard has come to a grinding halt with a double bogey at the 4th. Paul Lawrie is just about to tee off after his challenge for the Claret Jug faded away dramatically.
1051: An eagle for Poulter! He watches on in sheer delight as his ball pops into the cup at the par 5 2nd. He shoots up to +1 now. Former champs Watson and Daly have finished with rounds of 72 and 73 respectively.
1029: Now if my eyes don't deceive me, a certain Carlos Tevez is caddying for his compatriot Andres Romero! A nice touch but he can't be offering much advice. The Argentine is rock-bottom at +13. Back to Westwood and he's picked up another birdie to go -2 for the day.
1020: Keeping our Union Jack-tinted glasses on and Westwood and Poulter have both started their final rounds. The former of those is away well with a birdie at the second to take him back to +3.
1006: McIlroy hasn't got off to the brightest of starts. Bogeys at two and four, and a double bogey at three leavs him a whopping +9. I'm going to stick my neck out here and say he won't be winning the Claret Jug this year. The legendary Tom Watson is also struggling at +11 thru 16.
0930: Welcome to our live coverage from the fourth and final round of The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Australian Adam Scott is the strong favourite to lift the Claret Jug this evening after his round of 68 yesterday left him four shots clear of the rest of the chasing pack. He will tee off at 1430 alongside 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell who will resume on -7. Snedeker, fading but also on -7 and Woods on -6 are the penultimate pair going off at 1420. Quite a few have begun their final rounds already, with Rory McIlroy the biggest name out there. Remember you can check the leaderboard and all the tee-off times via the links above. Stay tuned throughout the day!