Ernie Els carded a brilliant 68 in tough conditions on Sunday and came from six shots off the lead to win the Open Championship. The Callaway Staff Pro led the field in greens in regulation and holed a clutch 15-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to earn his second Open win and his fourth career major victory. He used a RAZR Fit Driver (8.5°), RAZR X Muscleback Irons (5-9), X-Tour Fairway Wood, X Utility Prototype Irons (18°, 21° and 24°), JAWS Wedges (52° and 60°), a HEX Black Tour Ball and an Odyssey White Hot XG #1 Putter during the win.
Els shot up the leaderboard with a 4-under 32 over his final nine holes to finish at 7-under for the championship. He moved into serious contention with a birdie on the par-4 14th and drew a huge roar from the grandstands with his clutch birdie putt on the 18th green. The Big Easy celebrated by tossing his ball into the crowd, high fiving his longtime caddie Ricci Roberts and smiling all the way to the scorer’s table. He went on to win by one shot.
In a post round interview, Ernie was quick to thank Callaway for all their support. “The Callaway people have stood behind me and really helped me out,” Els said. “I’ve been with them for five years.” Roberts added that Els’ intense commitment and work ethic led to the major win. “I’ve spent a lot of time with him and I don’t think people understand how many hours he puts in,” Roberts said. “This guy works harder than anyone and he wanted it more than anyone else. This is unbelievable.”
Els' dramatic win at Royal Lytham was the third major championship win for the RAZR Fit Driver. The driver won LPGA Tour majors earlier this year at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the U.S. Women's Open, and RAZR Fit has now recorded 10 victories across the major worldwide tours. When Els was in the early stages of testing the driver he said, "I think people will really enjoy it and I think it's going to benefit their games in the long run."
His Open Championship win also marked the first major victory for Callaway’s HEX Black Tour Ball. The golf ball has won eight tournaments this year, including four of the last seven events on the European Tour. It has held up under tough scoring conditions at everywhere from Pebble Beach, where Phil Mickelson earned his 40th career win, to the Scottish Open, where Jeev Milkha Singh captured his fourth career European Tour win. When talking about HEX Black Tour, Els has said, “I think there’s at least five yards extra to that golf ball, so that’s music to my ears because I love the feel of the ball, it’s soft and I can control it around the greens.”
Callaway Chief Designer Roger Cleveland made a late tweak to Ernie's Callaway X Utility Prototype Irons the day before the Open started, flattening the lie angle of all three of Els' utility irons by half a degree. These clubs feature a deep center of gravity, which creates a higher launch angle for many players than their longer irons and Els first put them in play at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
With Els' win at the Open Championship, Callaway staffers have now won 10 tour events this year.
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