Big Easy Does It


GLASGOW, Scotland -- Ernie Els has sent an emphatic message to the oddsmakers for the British Open with his wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the Barclay's Scottish Open.
Posting a 2-under 69, Els cruised to the title, out-distancing the resurgent Phillip Price and Darren Clarke by five strokes to capture his second Scottish Open in four years.
With the win, the South African got a huge boost of confidence just in time for his title defense next week.
'I came into this tournament trying to get my confidence up,' said Els, who took control of the event with a brilliant opening-round 7-under 64.
The only suspense on Sunday turned out to be the battle for second place between Price and Clarke.
Price, coming off his win last week in the Smurfit European Open, and Clarke came into the final round tied for second and ended up leaving that way, as the two both carded five birdies and three bogeys for matching 2-under-par 69s.
Ireland's Gary Murphy finished alone in fourth at 10-under, seven shots off the pace.
Gary Evans shot one of the day's low rounds, a 6-under 65 to climb into a tie for fifth with Peter Lonard and Ian Poulter.
American Phil Mickelson finally got it into red numbers with his final round 3-under-par 68. Mickelson, who has dropped from second to eighth in the world rankings, shot himself out of the tournament with an awful 5-over 76 on Thursday.
The other big name American, John Daly, withdrew before the start of Sunday's round due to a sore wrist. It's not clear if he will be ready to go for next week's British Open.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond
  • Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond Leaderboard