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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 July, 2004, 20:58 GMT 21:58 UK
Pundits praise worthy champ
By Matt Slater
BBC Sport at Royal Troon

BBC pundit Wayne Grady was quick to dismiss any suggestion that Ernie Els lost the Open as opposed to Todd Hamilton winning it.

"Hamilton deserved it. He's a fantastic player," said Grady, who lost a play-off for the 1989 Open at Troon.

"It's all about giving yourself the opportunity to win these things. He's put himself in position today.

"It's taken him time to get here but I don't think he is going to just disappear now."

I think Phil Mickelson will win lots more majors - he has a whole new attitude
Jean van de Velde
Fellow pundit Jean van de Velde, who also lost a play-off for the Open, agreed with Wayne Grady about the merit of Todd Hamilton's victory.

But he also spared a thought for the two "special players" who came up short at the 133rd Open Championship.

"Ernie Els is such a great player. His birdie at 17 showed that," he said.

"And I think Phil Mickelson, now that he has changed his aggressive tactics a little, will win lots more majors. He has a whole new attitude."

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter tried to put the American's victory in pespective.

"I don't think it's quite as much of a surprise as Ben Curtis's win last year, because he'd never played in a major championship before," he said.

"This was someone who knew how to win golf tournaments, although not at this level. He played with a serenity that made him seem to the manor born."

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