Ernie Els

Ernie Els on Day 3 of Johnnie Walker ClassicNicknamed the “Big Easy” for his stature and his seemingly effortless swing, South African Ernie Els boasts 15 PGA Tour wins, including three Major Championship wins and one win in the PGA World Championships.

Ernie Els has participated in the Johnnie Walker Classic almost every year since the tournament was first played. He joins Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo in having won the Johnnie Walker Classic twice, in 1997 and again in 2003. In the 2007 Johnnie Walker Classic played in Thailand, Ernie Els shared sixth place in the tournament with three other players.

2003 Johnnie Walker Classic Win

At the 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic, Ernie Els broke several records when he secured a 10-stroke victory against Australians Stephen Leaney and Andre Stolz, on the Lake Karrinyup course in Perth, Australia.

His rounds of 64-65-64-66 259 (29 under par) represented the lowest 72-hole score for the European, Australasian and Asian PGA Tours – breaking the record of 27 under par set by Jerry Anderson at the 1984 Omega European Masters.

Ernie Els’s 2003 win also broke the record for the lowest first 54-hole score to par of 193 (-23), putting him ahead of the 22 under par earned by Vicente Fernandez at the 1975 Benson and Hedges Festival.

Major PGA and European Tour Wins

Ernie Els has secured a total of 15 PGA Tour wins and a phenomenal 23 European Tour wins.

His PGA Tour wins include three Major Championship titles, including the US Open Golf Championship in 1994 and again in 1997, and the Open Championship in 2002. Ernie Els also won the WCG-American Express Championship, giving him his first PGA World Championship win, in 2004.

In 1999, Ernie Els was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour. In both 2003 and 2004, he was given the European Tour Order of Merit.

As well as winning the Johnnie Walker Classic twice, Ernie Els has won the European Tour’s:

  • HSBC World Matchplay Championship a total of three times, in 2003, 2004, and 2007
  • Dubai Desert Classic a total of three times, in 1994, 2002, and 2005
  • South African Open twice, in 1998 and in 2007