sports 6 days ago

Els reflects on playing what could be his last U.S. Open

theScore

Ernie Els' 74th stroke Sunday at Erin Hills could be the South African's last shot ever in a United States Open championship.

The four-time major champion's exemption from winning the 2012 Open Championship expires after this year, meaning if he wishes to play in future U.S. Opens, he'll need to qualify.

"It's been 25 years of great stuff,” Els told Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel after his round. "How many guys can say they played in 25 years of U.S. Opens?"

"The Big Easy" made his Open debut in 1993 in Baltusrol, where he finished in a tie for seventh, and then one year later won the title in a Monday playoff at Oakmont. The 47-year-old would win his second U.S. Open in 1997 at Congressional, when he beat Colin Montgomerie by one shot, becoming the first foreign player since 1910 to win it twice.

"This one and The Open (British) were my two best tournaments and it's because of my iron play, the demand it puts on your game," added Els.

Els will be at Royal Birkdale Golf Club next month for the Open Championship, a major he's exempt to play in until he turns 60 years old.

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