Adam Scott’s collapse today over the last four holes at the British Open allowed Ernie Els to win his fourth major championship. Els’ win means that fifteen different golfers have won the past fifteen major championships, tying the record set from 1994 to 1998. This remarkable string of different winners in each of the major championships over the past four years reflects the parity among top professional golfers.
Els victory indicates how changes in conditioning and equipment have extended the period over which top players can remain competitive in major championships. Tom Watson nearly won the British Open three years ago (he tied for first and lost in a playoff), 34 years after his first major championship. Els has won major championships over an eighteen year span. In the past ninety years only Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player have won major championships over a longer time span.