Ernie’s off to Canada

South Africa's Ernie Els birdies the 18th during day four of the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lytham & St Annes. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 22, 2012. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
South Africa's Ernie Els birdies the 18th during day four of the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lytham & St Annes. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 22, 2012. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
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OPEN champion Ernie Els is to honour his commitment to this week’s Canadian Open.

The 42-year-old South African cancelled plans to fly directly to Ontario following his fourth major win and instead hired a helicopter to get him back to Wentworth in Surrey so he could celebrate with his family.

“A pretty crazy night, but in a good way obviously,” Els said in his website diary.

“I’ll be flying to Canada probably on Tuesday.

“It’s a tournament I wouldn’t want to miss. Once I commit that’s it. You follow through, whatever happens.”

The tournament sponsors Royal Bank of Canada also back Els, and he added: “They’ve been good to me and I want to give something back. It should be a great week.”

As for ending 10 years without a Major, he added: “Wow, what a week. It’s a crazy, crazy game – this was one of the greatest days of my career and one of the best rounds of my career.

“I said at the start of the tournament that I felt like something special might happen – and it doesn’t get more special than this. It’s an amazing feeling.

“Obviously the putt on 18 was as sweet as they come, right into the heart of the cup.

“The crowd’s reaction was incredible. They are the moments you dream about really.”

n A CRACKDOWN on slow play appeared to have worked at the Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes, although final pair Adam Scott and Graeme McDowell did find themselves put on the clock after falling behind.

European Tour senior referee Andy McFee followed the pair, but did not have to take action in the form of either a warning or a
one-shot penalty.

“I put them on the clock at the 10th tee and timed them for four holes,” McFee said.

“I let them go at the 14th tee – there were no bad times.”

It was during that period that McDowell fired his second shot into the bushes and ran up a bogey six on the long 11th, but he raised no objections after his round.

Championship committee chairman Jim McArthur said that Scott and McDowell finished 10 minutes behind schedule, but that was deemed acceptable in the circumstances.