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Sunday, 21 July, 2002, 18:54 GMT 19:54 UK
Can Ernie challenge Tiger?
Ernie Els now has three Major championships
South Africa's Ernie Els wins a four-way play-off to bag his first Open Championship.

Can Els go on to challenge Tiger's pre-eminence?

HAVE YOUR SAY

Els defeated Frenchman Thomas Levet in sudden death after they and Australia's Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington had finished level after four rounds.

Appleby and Elkington fell by the wayside after four extra holes, but Els held his nerve to prevail in one of the Open's most thrilling finales.

Meanwhile, Woods followed his third round 81 with a 65 to serve notice that Saturday's disaster was merely an aberration.

Can Els go on to consistently challenge Tiger?

HAVE YOUR SAY


Ernie is a huge threat to Tiger's dominance in golf. We have Schumacher dominating Formula One, the Williams sisters in tennis and Woods in golf - all of which has become so predictable and utterly boring. Ernie will change that; he has all the clubs in his bag, and such calmness about himself.
Andrew, South Africa

Ernie undoubtedly has the talent, but so does Mickelson, Duval, Montgomerie, Harrington, etc. The difference between them and Tiger is consistency. Tiger never allows anyone else a chance when leading a tournament. He never does anything spectacular, shoots four solid rounds and makes no mistakes - hence demoralising his competition.
James, UK

Ernie certainly has the talent to go all the way, but he struggles mentally and needs to sort this out to constantly be up front with Tiger. Now that would let us see some exciting golf!
Nick D, United Kingdom


The only people able to challenge the master are Sergio Garcia and an in-form Justin Rose
Matt Dale, England

Ernie Els is a brilliant golfer but may not have the consistency to match Tiger. He is a great champion that youngsters should look up to; a gentlemen golfer who doesn't throw his temper around or punch the air in an irritating manner.
Chin Keng Toh, Malaysia

You have to be joking! The only people able to challenge the master are Sergio Garcia and an in-form Justin Rose. Apart from those there is no hope. Tiger has the attitude, charisma and skill to be the best golfer of all time.
Matt Dale, England

Els won the Open by the skin of his teeth, and one cannot imagine Tiger having the Open in his grasp as Els did until the 16th and so nearly chucking it away. Until Ernie develops Tiger's ability to close out tournaments from the lead he will never challenge him consistently.
Paul, Canada

Both Tiger and Ernie are great golfers and great sporting gentlemen. However, Ernie needs to work as hard on his mindset as he does on his swing. Let's hope that he can mount a challenge, as all sports need to be competitive if they are to be enjoyed by the viewing audience and fans. Hopefully, Ernie can prevent Golf from becoming like Formula One - predictable and boring.
Sean Gallagher, Zimbabwe


Ernie has ability but has never looked like being able to sustain a challenge to Tiger over a long period of time
Paul, England

Ernie has ability but has never looked like being able to sustain a challenge to Tiger over a long period of time. Of course he will win the odd tournament ahead of Tiger, but not enough to be considered a challenge or threat to him. The only threat to Tiger is his own complacency. If he stays focused he will continue to dominate.
Paul, England

Ernie has ability but has never looked like being able to sustain a challenge to Tiger over a long period of time. Of course he will win the odd tournament ahead of Tiger, but not enough to be considered a challenge or threat to him. The only threat to Tiger is his own complacency. If he stays focused he will continue to dominate.
Paul, England

I hope Els can put a challenge to Tiger but I don't really think anyone will do it for a while yet. Mr Woods has too much game and when he is on, nobody can do anything but watch and appreciate the fact that you are witnessing history in the making. Personally, I would like to see Justin Rose or Sergio Garcia step up. I think those two might be the ones.
Al, USA

Ernie Els deserves full credit for the win. He made some mistakes but regrouped himself which is a very hard thing to do in golf. As far as Tiger goes, I don't think that anyone can realistically challenge him. I think he will be feeling a little embarrassed after this week and I expect him to unleash his fury at next month's US PGA Championship.
Pasha Sidhu, Canada


He has the swing, length, and short game to be one of the best to ever play the game
Reg Armstrong, USA

It's far-fetched to say one Els victory suddenly makes him a "challenge". Even more far-fetched is the claim that Els "has the talent to play better" than Tiger. Tiger is the most talented, and mentally tougher player. He won't have a sustained challenge for some years.
Neil, UK

Tiger has that unique ability of "psyching" out his competitors even before he tees off. Ernie (and all the other golfers) must develop a similar aura and mental toughness. By prevailing in the face of foul weather on Saturday and a play-off today, Ernie has shown what he is capable of. Now for many more.
Craig Allwright, South Africa

Absolutely, he just needs to believe it!
Karen, SA

Tiger Woods is a human being, just like Els, and any other golfer. However, he has been playing since he was two and works harder than anybody at his game. Until the others outwork him, they will never topple him.
Paul, UK

Ernie is a good golfer. He has the swing, length, and short game to be one of the best to ever play the game. His only short-coming is the mental toughness and confidence to consistently beat Tiger. This is also true of all of Tiger's other competitors. Even when Tiger is not in the thick of the fight, seldom do numbers 2-5 in the rankings win. But it is great to see Ernie win The Open.
Reg Armstrong, USA

Tiger is still streets ahead of everyone - only the weather beat him really - and if he had been in contention today it would have been a different story. But well done Ernie Els - showed great nerve and deserves his third Major.
Lloyd, England


Ernie can win four or five more majors
Bob , N.Ireland

Els has shown his full potential and is clearly a challenge to Tiger's reign!
Thomas Brassington, England

Ernie needs to develop more consistency and purpose. He had the Open wrapped up after the 12th and managed to drop three shots. If he is to beat Tiger Woods, he needs to develop that very Tiger-like instinct - going in for the kill when the opportunity beckons.
Eric Savage, South Africa

The big man was surperb all week, and those two bunker shots match the greatest ever played under those circumstances. Yes, he can challenge Tiger. Ernie can win four or five more majors.
Bob , N.Ireland

Ernie Els has stood in the shadow of Tiger Woods for too long. Just before Woods came on the scene Ernie was the top player around. I believe Ernie has the talent to topple Woods' reign in golf perhaps next year.
Jerry, England

Ernie certainly has the talent to play as well as Tiger, and better, but he needs to put it together mentally for more sustained periods of time. This is Ernie's year, watch out! He might have found what he was looking for at Muirfield.
Simon Ash, South Africa

Tiger would love a good challange from Els. In the end Tiger will win. Go Tiger!
Dalbir, USA

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12 Jul 02 | Sports Talk
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