Els in June 2008
|Full name||Theodore Ernest Els|
|Nickname||The Big Easy|
17 October 1969 |
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg; 15 st)|
|Residence||Wentworth, England, UK;
George, Western Cape, South Africa;
Jupiter, Florida, USA
|Spouse||Liezl (m. 1998)|
|Children||Samantha (b. 1999)
Ben (b. 2002)
|Current tour(s)||European Tour (joined 1992)
PGA Tour (joined 1994)
|Number of wins by tour|
|European Tour||27 (7th all time)|
|Japan Golf Tour||1|
|Sunshine Tour||16 (7th all time)|
|Best results in Major Championships
|Masters Tournament||2nd: 2000, 2004|
|U.S. Open||Won: 1994, 1997|
|The Open Championship||Won: 2002, 2012|
|PGA Championship||3rd/T3: 1995, 2007|
|Achievements and awards|
|World Golf Hall of Fame||2011 (member page)|
Rookie of the Year
Order of Merit winner
Player of the Year
|1994, 2002, 2003|
Order of Merit winner
Theodore Ernest "Ernie" Els (//; born 17 October 1969) is a South African professional golfer. A former World No. 1, he is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing physical stature (he stands 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)) along with his fluid golf swing. Among his 65 career victories are four major championships: the U.S. Open in 1994 at Oakmont and in 1997 at Congressional, and The Open Championship in 2002 at Muirfield and in 2012 at Royal Lytham & St Annes. He is one of six golfers to twice win both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship.
Other highlights in Els' career include topping the 2003 and 2004 European Tour Order of Merit (money list), and winning the World Match Play Championship a record seven times. He was the leading career money winner on the European Tour until overtaken by Lee Westwood in 2011, and was the first member of the tour to earn over 25 million Euros from European Tour events. He has held the number one spot in the Official World Golf Ranking and holds the record for weeks ranked in the top ten with 788. Els rose to 15th in the world rankings after winning the 2012 Open Championship. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2010, on his first time on the ballot, and was inducted in May 2011.
When not playing, Els has a golf course design business, a charitable foundation which supports golf among underprivileged youngsters in South Africa, and a highly-regarded wine-making business. He has written a popular golf instructional column in Golf Digest magazine for several years.
Background and family 
Growing up just east of Johannesburg in Kempton Park, South Africa, he played rugby union, cricket, tennis, and, starting at age 8, golf. He was a skilled junior tennis player and won the Eastern Transvaal Junior Championships at age 13. Els first learned the game of golf from his father Neels, a trucking executive, at the Kempton Park Country Club. He was soon playing better than his father (and his older brother, Dirk), and by the age of 14 he was a scratch handicap. It was around this time that he decided to focus exclusively on golf.
Els first achieved prominence in 1984, when he won the Junior World Golf Championship in the Boys 13–14 category. Phil Mickelson was second to Els that year. Els won the South African Amateur Championship a few months after his 17th birthday, becoming the youngest-ever winner of that event, breaking the record which had been held by Gary Player.
Els married his wife Liezl in 1998 in Cape Town and they have two children, Samantha and Ben. In 2008 after Els started to display an "Autism Speaks" logo on his golf bag it was announced that their then five-year old son was autistic. Their main residence is at the Wentworth Estate near Wentworth Golf Club in the south of England. However, they also split time between South Africa and their family home in Jupiter, Florida, in order to get better treatment for Ben's autism.
Professional career 
1989–1996: Early years and first major win 
In 1989, Els won the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship and turned professional the same year. Els won his first professional tournament in 1991 on the Southern Africa Tour (today the Sunshine Tour). He won the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit in the 1991/92 and 1994/95 seasons. In 1993, Els won his first tournament outside of South Africa at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan. In 1994 Els won his first major championship at the U.S. Open. Els was tied with Colin Montgomerie and Loren Roberts after 72 holes and they went to a 18-hole playoff the next day. In spite of starting the playoff bogey-triple bogey, Els was able to match Roberts' score of 74. Els birdied the second hole of sudden death to win his first U.S. Open title.
Els brought his game all around the world in his young career winning the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour, and the Toyota World Match Play Championship defeating once again Colin Montgomerie 4 & 2. The following year, Els defended his World Match Play Championship, defeating Steve Elkington 3 & 1. Els won the GTE Byron Nelson Classic in the United States then headed back home to South Africa and won twice more. In 1996, Els won his third straight World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, defeating Vijay Singh in the final 3 & 2. No player in history had ever managed to win three successive titles in the one-on-one tournament. Els finished the year with a win at his home tournament at the South African Open.
1997–2002: Career years and multi-major championships 
1997 was a career year for Els first winning his second U.S. Open (once again over Colin Montgomerie) this time at Congressional Country Club, making him the first foreign player since Alex Smith (1906, 1910) to win the U.S. Open twice. He defended his Buick Classic title and added the Johnnie Walker Classic to his list of victories. Els nearly won the World Match Play Championship for a fourth consecutive year, but lost to Vijay Singh in the final. 1998 and 1999 continued to be successful years for Els with 4 wins on both the PGA and European tours.
2000 started in historic fashion for Els being given a special honour by the Board of Directors of the European Tour awarding him with honorary life membership of the European Tour because of his two U.S. Opens and three World Match Play titles. 2000 was the year of runner ups for Els; with three runner up finishes in the Majors (Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship) and seven second place finishes in tournaments worldwide. Els had a disappointing 2001 season, failing to win a US PGA tour event for the first time since 1994 although he ended the year with nine second place finishes.
2002 was arguably Els's best year which started with a win at the Heineken Classic at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Then went to America and outplayed World Number one Tiger Woods to lift the Genuity Championship title. The premier moment of the season was surely his Open Championship triumph in very tough conditions at Muirfield. Els overcame a four-man playoff to take home the famous Claret Jug trophy for the first time, also quieting his critics about his mental toughness. The South African also won his fourth World Match Play title, along with his third Nedbank Challenge in the last four years dominating a world class field winning by 8 shots.
2003–2005: The Big Five 
2003 gave Els his first European Tour Order of Merit. Although playing fewer events than his competitors Els won four times and had three runner ups. He also performed well in the United States with back to back victories at the Mercedes Championship - where he set the all time PGA Tour 72 hole record for most strokes under par at 31 under - and Sony Open and achieved top 20 spots in all four majors including a fifth place finish at the U.S Open and sixth place finishes at both the Masters and PGA Championship. To top off the season Els won the World Match Play title for a record-tying fifth time. In 2003 he was voted 37th on the SABC3's Great South Africans.
2004: Success amidst disappointment 
2004 was another successful year as Els won 6 times on both tours including big wins at Memorial, WGC-American Express Championship and his sixth World Match Play Championship, a new record. His success did not stop there. Els showed remarkable consistency in the Majors but lost to Phil Mickelson in the Masters when Mickelson birdied the 18th for the title, finished ninth in the U.S. Open after playing in the final group with friend and fellow countryman Retief Goosen and surprisingly lost in a playoff in the Open to the then unknown Todd Hamilton. Els had a 14-foot (4.3 m) putt for birdie on the final hole of regulation for the Open at Royal Troon, but he missed the putt and lost in the playoff. Els ended the major season with a fourth place finish in the PGA Championship, where a three putt on the 72nd hole would cost him a place in the playoff. In total, Els had 16 top-10 finishes, a second European Order of Merit title in succession and a second place finish on the United States money list.
2004 was the start of the "Big Five Era", which is used in describing the era in golf where Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Phil Mickelson dominated the game of golf. The five switched up and down the top five positions in the World Golf Ranking; most notably Vijay Singh's derailment of Tiger Woods as the best golfer in the world. The five stayed, for the most part, in the top five spots from 2004 until the start of 2007. Nine majors were won between them, many fighting against each other head to head.
In July 2005, Els injured his left knee while sailing with his family in the Mediterranean. Despite missing several months of the 2005 season due to the injury, Els won the second event on his return, the Dunhill Championship.
2006–present: Gradual recovery and 4th major championship 
At the start of the 2007 season Ernie Els laid out a three-year battle plan to challenge Tiger Woods as world number one. "I see 2007 as the start of a three-year plan where I totally re-dedicate myself to the game," Els told his official website.
When he missed the cut by two strokes at the 2007 Masters Tournament, Els ended tour-leading consecutive cut streaks on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. On the PGA Tour, his streak began at the 2004 The Players Championship (46 events) and on the European Tour it began at the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic (82 events)
Els has often been compared to Greg Norman in the sense that both men’s careers could be looked back on and think what could have been. Although the two of them are multiple major championship winners they have both shared disappointment in majors. Their disappointments have ranged from nerves, bad luck and simply being outplayed. 1996 was the year where Norman collapsed in the Masters and Els in the PGA Championship. Els has finished runner-up in six majors. He has finished runner-up to Tiger Woods more than any other golfer and has often been described as having the right game to finally be the golfer to beat Woods in a major.
On 2 March 2008, Els won the Honda Classic contested at PGA National's Championship Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Els shot a final round 67 in tough windy conditions, which was enough to give him the win by one stroke over Luke Donald. The win marked the end of a three and a half-year long stretch without a win on the PGA Tour for Els. The win was his 16th PGA Tour victory of his career.
On 8 April 2008, Els officially announced that he was switching swing coaches from David Leadbetter (whom Els had worked with since 1990) to Butch Harmon who has revamped the golf swings of many established pros (which started with Greg Norman). During Els 2008 Masters press conference Els said the change is in an effort to tighten his swing, shorten his swing, and get a fresh perspective.
On 8 November 2009, Els almost ended his year-long slump by shooting a course-tying record 9-under 63 in the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions to finish at 16-under par 272, a stroke back of Phil Mickelson who finished with a 17-under 271 total including a final round of 3-under 69.
Els finally did break his winless streak by capturing the WGC-CA Championship at Doral in 2010, winning by four strokes over fellow countryman Charl Schwartzel. It was Els's second WGC tournament title. The victory also saw Els overtake Colin Montgomerie to become the career money leader on the European Tour. Els then won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill two weeks later. It was his 18th PGA Tour victory, and his second in as many starts.
Els most recently tasted success at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in October 2010. After opening the 36 hole event with a round of 68 he fended off the challenge of David Toms with a final day 69 to win the four-man tournament by one stroke, capturing $600,000 in the process. In December 2010, Els won the South African Open beating Retief Goosen by one shot.
Els started the 2012 season in his home country at the Volvo Golf Champions where he finished in a tie for second place after he and Retief Goosen lost out in a playoff to Branden Grace. Els and Goosen could only manage pars on the first playoff hole, while Grace two-putted the par-five green for birdie and victory. Els was next in contention at the Transitions Championship, where he needed a win to qualify for the 2012 Masters, led the tournament for most of the final round and had the lead outright until the 16th hole. However he finished the tournament bogey-bogey missing a short three footer on the last hole to make the playoff. The tournament was eventually won by Luke Donald in a four-man playoff.
In 2012, Els failed to qualify for the Masters, the first time since 1993 that he would not play at Augusta. He was ranked 58th in the world prior to the tournament (the top 50 are given automatic invitations).
Els won the 2012 Open Championship, making a birdie on the last hole. Adam Scott led by four shots after a birdie at the 14th hole, but bogeyed the final four holes to miss a playoff with Els by one stroke. Els earned $1,405,890 for the major win, and among other benefits, exemptions for five years to the other three majors. Els became the eighth player to win major tournaments in three different decades, joining his countryman Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Billy Casper, Raymond Floyd, John Henry Taylor and Harry Vardon.
Other ventures 
Els-designed golf courses 
- Anahita Golf Course – Beau Champ, Mauritius
- Mission Hills Golf Club (The Savannah Course) – Shenzhen, China
- Whiskey Creek – Ijamsville, Maryland, USA
- Oubaai – Garden Route, South Africa
Els is also responsible for the refinement and modernisation of the West Course, Wentworth-Virginia Water, England, which took place in 2006.
Courses under construction include:
- Hoakalei Country Club at Hoakalei Resort – Honolulu, Hawaii
- The Els Club – Dubai, UAE
- Gardener Ross Golf and Country Estate – Gauteng, South Africa
- Albany – New Providence, The Bahamas
- Durrat Al Bahrain Golf Course – Durrat Al Bahrain, Bahrain
Internationalisation of golf 
Unlike most of his contemporaries, Els is known for his willingness to participate in tournaments all around the world, having played regularly in European Tour-sanctioned events in Asia, Australasia, and his native country of South Africa. He says that his globe-trotting schedule is in recognition of the global nature of golf. This has caused some friction with the PGA Tour, an organisation that would prefer Els to play more tournaments in the United States. In late 2004, Tim Finchem, the director of the PGA Tour, wrote quite a firm letter to Els asking him to do so, but Els publicised and rejected this request. The PGA Tour's attitude caused considerable offence in the golfing world outside of North America.
The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation was established in 1999. It has the objective of identifying youths who show talent and potential in the game of golf from under-privileged backgrounds. It provides educational assistance amongst other moral and financial help in order for these youths to reach their full potential.
The first Friendship Cup was played in 2006 which is a match play competition, played in a Ryder Cup type format. In the cup, Els's foundation plays against the foundation of Tiger Woods. Els's foundation won 12.5 points to 3.5 points.
Els has also participated several times in the Gary Player Invitational series of charity golf events, to assist Player raise significant funds for underprivileged children around the world.
Since his son's autism diagnosis, Els and his wife have been active in charities devoted to that condition. This involvement has increased as Ben has reached school age. In 2009, Els launched an annual charity golf event, the Els for Autism Pro-Am, held at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens near his South Florida residence during the PGA Tour's March swing into the area. The first event, which featured many PGA Tour and Champions Tour golfers, raised $725,000 for The Renaissance Learning Center, a nonprofit charter school in the area for autistic children. The couple has also established the Els Center of Excellence, which began as a drive to build a new campus for the aforementioned school but has since mushroomed into a $30 million plan to combine the school with a research facility.
On his technique:
|“||I've never been a very technical player. I don't get caught up in swing positions and mechanics. When I work on my swing...I'm looking for feels. You'll get better results—and often more distance—if you swing at eighty percent effort. I get all kinds of people telling me I have the best swing in the world—it's beautiful, it's effortless. But I know when that isn't true.||”|
—Els to Golf Digest on his son's autism:
|“||It's been a bit of a challenge ... It's so new to everybody, that a lot of people have different ideas. After seeing just about everybody in the world, I decided on this path we're going to go. Like any family will tell you, it's not easy. And it's a change of life, a change of priorities. You've got to be ready for it. And it's happening more often. I never knew about it, never thought about it, until it's in your lap.||”|
Amateur wins (4) 
- 1984 World Junior Golf Championships (Boys 13–14 division)
- 1986 South African Boys Championship, South African Amateur Championship
- 1989 South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship
Professional wins (65) 
PGA Tour wins (19) 
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||20 Jun 1994||U.S. Open||–5 (69-71-66-73-74=279)||Playoff||Colin Montgomerie, Loren Roberts|
|2||14 May 1995||GTE Byron Nelson Classic||–17 (69-61-65-68=263)||3 strokes|| Robin Freeman, Mike Heinen,
D. A. Weibring
|3||9 Jun 1996||Buick Classic||–13 (65-66-69-71=271)||8 strokes|| Steve Elkington, Tom Lehman,
Jeff Maggert, Craig Parry
|4||15 Jun 1997||U.S. Open||–4 (71-67-69-69=276)||1 stroke||Colin Montgomerie|
|5||22 Jun 1997||Buick Classic||–14 (64-68-67-69=268)||2 strokes||Jeff Maggert|
|6||22 Mar 1998||Bay Hill Invitational||–14 (67-69-65-73=274)||4 strokes||Bob Estes, Jeff Maggert|
|7||21 Feb 1999||Nissan Open||–14 (68-66-68-68=270)||2 strokes|| Davis Love III, Ted Tryba,
|8||6 Aug 2000||The International||48 points (15-19-6-8=48)||4 points||Phil Mickelson|
|9||3 Mar 2002||Genuity Championship||–17 (66-67-66-72=271)||2 strokes||Tiger Woods|
|10||21 Jul 2002||The Open Championship||–6 (70-66-72-70=278)||Playoff|| Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington,
|11||12 Jan 2003||Mercedes Championships||–31 (64-65-65-67=261)||8 strokes||K. J. Choi, Rocco Mediate|
|12||19 Jan 2003||Sony Open in Hawaii||–16 (66-65-66-67=264)||Playoff||Aaron Baddeley|
|13||18 Jan 2004||Sony Open in Hawaii||–18 (67-64-66-65=262)||Playoff||Harrison Frazar|
|14||6 Jun 2004||Memorial Tournament||–18 (68-70-66-66=270)||4 strokes||Fred Couples|
|15||3 Oct 2004||American Express Championship||–18 (69-64-68-69=270)||1 stroke||Thomas Bjørn|
|16||2 Mar 2008||Honda Classic||–6 (67-70-70-67=274)||1 stroke||Luke Donald|
|17||14 Mar 2010||WGC-CA Championship||–18 (68-66-70-66=270)||4 strokes||Charl Schwartzel|
|18||29 Mar 2010||Arnold Palmer Invitational||–11 (68-69-69-71=277)||2 strokes||Edoardo Molinari, Kevin Na|
|19||22 Jul 2012||The Open Championship||–7 (67-70-68-68=273)||1 stroke||Adam Scott|
PGA Tour playoff record (4–4)
|1||1994||U.S. Open||Colin Montgomerie, Loren Roberts||Won with par on second extra hole after 18-hole playoff
(Els:74, Roberts:74, Montgomerie:78)
|2||2000||Mercedes Championships||Tiger Woods||Lost to birdie on second extra hole|
|3||2001||The Tour Championship|| Sergio García, David Toms,
|Weir won with birdie on first extra hole|
|4||2002||The Open Championship|| Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington,
|Els won with par on first extra hole after four-hole playoff
Els (4-3-5-4), Levet (4-2-5-5), Appleby (4-3-5-5), Elkington (5-3-4-5)
|5||2003||Sony Open in Hawaii||Aaron Baddeley||Won with birdie on second extra hole|
|6||2004||Sony Open in Hawaii||Harrison Frazar||Won with birdie on third extra hole|
|7||2004||The Open Championship||Todd Hamilton||Lost four-hole playoff:
Hamilton (4-4-3-4), Els (4-4-4-4)
|8||2012||Zurich Classic of New Orleans||Jason Dufner||Lost to birdie on second extra hole|
European Tour wins (27) 
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||30 Jan 1994||Dubai Desert Classic||–20 (61-69-67-71=268)||6 strokes||Greg Norman|
|2||20 Jun 1994||U.S. Open||–5 (69-71-66-73=279)||Playoff||Colin Montgomerie, Loren Roberts|
|3||19 Feb 1995||Lexington South African PGA Championship1||–9 (65-71-71-64=271)||2 strokes||Roger Wessels|
|4||26 Jan 1997||Johnnie Walker Classic||–10 (70-68-71-69=278)||1 stroke||Peter Lonard, Michael Long|
|5||15 Jun 1997||U.S. Open||–4 (71-67-69-69=276)||1 stroke||Colin Montgomerie|
|6||8 Feb 1998||South African Open1||–15 (64-72-68-69=273)||3 strokes||David Frost|
|7||24 Jan 1999||Alfred Dunhill South African PGA Championship1||–15 (67-69-69-68=273)||4 strokes||Richard Kaplan|
|8||15 Jul 2000||Standard Life Loch Lomond||–11 (69-67-68-69=273)||1 stroke||Tom Lehman|
|9||3 Feb 2002||Heineken Classic||–17 (64-69-69-69=271)||5 strokes|| Peter Fowler, David Howell,
|10||2002||Dubai Desert Classic||–16 (68-68-67-69=272)||4 strokes||Niclas Fasth|
|11||21 Jul 2002||The Open Championship||–6 (70-66-72-70=278)||Playoff|| Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington,
|12||2 Feb 2003||Heineken Classic||–15 (70-72-66-65=273)||1 stroke||Nick Faldo, Peter Lonard|
|13||16 Feb 2003||Johnnie Walker Classic||–29 (64-65-64-66=259)||10 strokes||Stephen Leaney, Andre Stolz|
|14||13 Jul 2003||Barclays Scottish Open||–17 (64-67-67-69=267)||5 strokes||Darren Clarke, Phillip Price|
|15||7 Sep 2003||Omega European Masters||–17 (65-69-68-65=267)||6 strokes||Michael Campbell|
|16||8 Feb 2004||Heineken Classic||–20 (60-66-68-74=268)||1 stroke||Adam Scott|
|17||3 Oct 2004||WGC-American Express Championship||–18 (69-64-68-69=270)||1 stroke||Thomas Bjørn|
|18||17 Oct 2004||HSBC World Match Play Championship||2&1||Lee Westwood|
|19||6 Mar 2005||Dubai Desert Classic||–19 (66-68-67-68=269)||1 stroke|| Stephen Dodd,
Miguel Ángel Jiménez
|20||13 Mar 2005||Qatar Masters2||–12 (73-69-69-65=276)||1 stroke||Henrik Stenson|
|21||1 May 2005||BMW Asian Open2||–26 (67-62-68-65=262)||13 strokes||Simon Wakefield|
|22||11 Dec 2005
|Dunhill Championship1||–14 (71-67-68-68=274)||3 strokes||Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel|
|23||17 Dec 2006
|South African Airways Open1||–24 (67-66-66-65=264)||3 strokes||Trevor Immelman|
|24||14 Oct 2007||HSBC World Match Play Championship||6&4||Ángel Cabrera|
|25||14 Mar 2010||WGC-CA Championship||–18 (68-66-70-66=270)||4 strokes||Charl Schwartzel|
|26||19 Dec 2010
|South African Open1||–25 (65-65-67-66=263)||1 stroke||Retief Goosen|
|27||22 Jul 2012||The Open Championship||–7 (67-70-68-68=273)||1 stroke||Adam Scott|
Sunshine Tour wins (16) 
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||23 Jun 1991||Amatola Sun Classic||Peter van der Riet|
|2||19 Jan 1992||Protea Assurance South African Open||–15 (65-69-69-70=273)||3 strokes||Derek James|
|3||25 Jan 1992||Lexington South African PGA Championship||–9 (69-66-65-71=271)||1 stroke|| Ian Palmer, Kevin Stone,
|4||15 Feb 1992||South African Masters||–13 (67-70-71-67=275)||1 stroke||Chris Williams|
|5||28 Feb 1992||Hollard Royal Swazi Sun Classic|
|6||22 Nov 1992||FNB Players Championship||–18 (68-68-65-69=270)||4 strokes||Mark McNulty|
|7||20 Dec 1992||Goodyear Classic||–12 (71-69-69-67=276)||2 strokes||Retief Goosen|
|8||8 Jan 1995||Bell's Cup||–13 (69-67-69-70=275)||5 strokes||Hendrik Buhrmann, Pat Horgan|
|9||19 Feb 1995||Lexington South African PGA Championship1||–9 (65-71-71-64=271)||2 strokes||Roger Wessels|
|10||21 Jan 1996||Philips South African Open||–13 (65-70-74-66=275)||1 stroke||Brenden Pappas|
|11||8 Feb 1998||South African Open1||–15 (64-72-68-69=273)||3 strokes||David Frost|
|12||17 Jan 1999||Alfred Dunhill South African PGA Championship1||–15 67-69-69-68=273)||4 strokes||Richard Kaplan|
|13||9 Dec 2001||Vodacom Players Championship||–15 (70-68-70-65=273)||1 stroke|| Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman,
Alan McLean, Martin Maritz
|14||11 Dec 2005||Dunhill Championship1||–14 (71-67-68-68=274)||3 strokes||Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel|
|15||17 Dec 2006||South African Airways Open1||–24 (67-66-66-65=264)||3 strokes||Trevor Immelman|
|16||19 Dec 2010||South African Open1||–25 (65-65-67-66=263)||1 stroke||Retief Goosen|
1 Co-sanctioned by the European Tour
Japan Golf Tour wins (1) 
- 1993 Dunlop Phoenix
Other wins (14) 
- 1994 (3) Toyota World Match Play Championship (unofficial money European Tour event), Sarazen World Open, Johnnie Walker World Golf Championship
- 1995 (1) Toyota World Match Play Championship (unofficial money European Tour event)
- 1996 (1) Toyota World Match Play Championship (unofficial money European Tour event)
- 1997 (1) PGA Grand Slam of Golf (unofficial money PGA Tour event)
- 1999 (1) Nedbank Million Dollar Challenge (unofficial money Sunshine Tour event)
- 2000 (1) Nedbank Golf Challenge (unofficial money Sunshine Tour event)
- 2002 (2) Nedbank Golf Challenge (unofficial money Sunshine Tour event), Cisco World Match Play Championship (unofficial money European Tour event)
- 2003 (1) HSBC World Match Play Championship (unofficial money European Tour event)
- 2004 (1) Nelson Mandela Invitational (unofficial money Sunshine Tour event; with Vincent Tshabalala)
- 2008 (1) Hassan II Golf Trophy
- 2010 (1) PGA Grand Slam of Golf (unofficial money PGA Tour event)
Major championships 
Wins (4) 
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner(s)-up|
|1994||U.S. Open||2 shot lead||−5 (69-71-66-73=279)||Playoff 1||Colin Montgomerie, Loren Roberts|
|1997||U.S. Open (2)||2 shot deficit||−4 (71-67-69-69=276)||1 stroke||Colin Montgomerie|
|2002||The Open Championship||2 shot lead||−6 (70-66-72-70=278)||Playoff 2||Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington, Thomas Levet|
|2012||The Open Championship (2)||6 shot deficit||−7 (67-70-68-68=273)||1 stroke||Adam Scott|
1 Defeated Montgomerie in 18-hole playoff and Roberts in sudden death: Els (74-4-4), Roberts (74-4-5), Montgomerie (78)
2 Defeated Appleby and Elkington in 4-hole playoff and Levet in sudden death: Els (4-3-5-4-par), Appleby (4-3-5-5), Elkington (5-3-4-5), Levet (4-2-5-5-bogey)
Results timeline 
|The Open Championship||CUT||DNP||DNP||T5||T6||T24||T11||T2||T10||T29||T24|
|The Open Championship||T2||T3||1||T18||2||T34||3||T4||T7||T8|
|The Open Championship||CUT||CUT||1|
DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.
- Starts – 81
- Wins – 4
- 2nd place finishes – 6
- 3rd place finishes – 5
- Top 3 finishes – 15
- Top 5 finishes – 22
- Top 10 finishes – 33
- Top 25 finishes – 50
- Missed cuts – 15
- Most consecutive cuts made – 27
- Longest streak of top-10s – 5
World Golf Championships 
Wins (2) 
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin of victory||Runner-up|
|2004||WGC-American Express Championship||2 strokes||–18 (69-64-68-69=270)||1 stroke||Thomas Bjørn|
|2010||WGC-CA Championship (2)||Tied for lead||–18 (68-66-70-66=270)||4 strokes||Charl Schwartzel|
Results timeline 
|Accenture Match Play Championship||R64||R32||4||R32||R64||DNP||DNP||R64||R64||R64|
|Accenture Match Play Championship||QF||R32||R32||R32||R64|
1Cancelled due to 9/11
DNP = Did not play
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
WD = withdrew
NT = No tournament
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.
PGA and European Tour career summary 
|PGA Tour||European Tour|
|Season||Wins (Majors)||Earnings (US$)||Rank||Wins (Majors)||Earnings||Rank|
|1994||1 (1)||684,440||19||2 (1)||£311,850||10|
|1997||2 (1)||1,243,008||9||2 (1)||£359,421||–|
|2002||2 (1)||3,291,895||5||3 (1)||€2,251,708||3|
|2012||1 (1)||3,453,118||16||1 (1)||€2,077,533||–|
|Career*||19 (4)||45,182,241||5||27 (4)||€28,552,929||1|
* As of 14 April 2013.
These figures are from the respective tour's official sites. Note that there is double counting of money earned (and wins) in the majors and World Golf Championships since they became official events on both tours.
Team appearances 
- Alfred Dunhill Cup (representing South Africa): 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 (winners), 1998 (winners), 1999, 2000
- World Cup (representing South Africa): 1992, 1993, 1996 (Individual and team winners), 1997, 2001 (winners)
- Presidents Cup (International team): 1996, 1998 (winners), 2000, 2003 (tie), 2007, 2009, 2011
See also 
- List of men's major championships winning golfers
- List of World Number One male golfers
- List of golfers with most PGA Tour wins
- List of golfers with most European Tour wins
- List of golfers with most Sunshine Tour wins
- List of African golfers
- Monday Night Golf
- List of celebrities who own wineries and vineyards
- "Ernie Els: Career Detail". PGA Tour. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
- "Players who have reached the Top Ten in the Official World Golf Ranking since 1986" (PDF). European Tour Official Guide 09 (38th ed.). PGA European Tour. 2009. p. 558. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
- "Week 11 – Ernie Els Wins WGC-CA Championship To Jump To World Number Eight While The Puerto Rico Open Goes to a Monday Finish". Official World Golf Ranking. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- "2011 Hall of Fame class: Els, Ford, Bush, Hutchison". PGA Tour. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Ernie Els speaks out over son's autism". The Daily Telegraph. 11 March 2008.
- "PGA, Els Family Tee Up to Raise Awareness". Autism Speaks, e-Speaks. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Dorman, Larry (21 June 1994). "Forget Finesse, Remember a Name: Els Wins Open". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Jimenez, Tony (20 December 2006). "Els has 3-year plan to catch Woods as world's No. 1". Sports Illustrated/CNN. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Els gets first win in two years". ESPN. 14 March 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
- "Ernie Els completes Arnold Palmer Invitational victory". BBC Sport. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- "Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson can't grasp U.S. Open win with Tiger Woods struggling at Pebble Beach". Daily News (New York). 21 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
- "Ernie Els comes out on top in South African Open". BBC Sport. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
- "Ernie Els – Advanced Statistics". Golfrankingstats.com. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- DiMeglio, Steve (23 July 2012). "Shocking finish: Ernie Els rallies to win British Open". USA Today. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- "Ernie Els wins British Open after late Scott collapse". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- "Ernie Els rallies to win Open". 24 July 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- [dead link]
- "Liezl Els Committed to Autism Awareness". PGA TOUR Charities. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2010.[dead link]
- Apfelbaum, Jim, ed. (2007). The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations.
- USA Today http://content.usatoday.com/topics/quote/People/Athletes/Golf/Ernie+Els/09gvcjm3mrarV/0bSTcXb8HMgeq/2
|url=missing title (help).
- Official website
- Ernie Els at the PGA Tour official site
- Ernie Els at the European Tour official site
- Ernie Els at the Sunshine Tour official site
- Ernie Els at the Japan Golf Tour official site
- Ernie Els at the Official World Golf Ranking official site