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2012 British Open Results: Four-Time Major Winner Ernie Els Slides By Adam Scott For Championship

With a lead that almost felt too good to be true entering his back nine, final round leader Adam Scott coughed up a four-stroke advantage down the stretch to give Ernie Els his fourth career major title on Sunday afternoon.

Scott bogeyed each of his final four holes, including a bogey on No. 18 where he missed a potential playoff-forcing putt, all while Els sat in the clubhouse hoping that his 7-under score carded earlier would be enough. Scott's final round 75 came in stark contrast with the day put forth by Els, who closed as strong as ever with a 2-under round of 68.

As the day's conditions took a toll on virtually the entire field, a number of prominent names dropped down the leaderboard on Sunday. In the end, only eight players would finish their four-day tournament in red numbers as mid-70's rounds became a theme over the weekend.

A winner at the British in 2002 when it was played at Muirfield Golf Links, Els has now reigned supreme in a major championship in three straight decades. His hot play this week in England should carry over well to next month's PGA Championship, a tournament where Els has traditionally struggled.

For more coverage of The Open, stay right here with this StoryStream. And for more golf news and analysis, head over to SB Nation's golf hub.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.