BEST YEARS IN THE MAJORS
One day Ernie Els may look back on 2004 with a sense of pride. He had putts to either win or make a playoff in the Masters, Open and PGA. He was in the final group in the US Open. The chance was there to win the Grand Slam. However, his year was worse than Greg Norman’s “Saturday Slam” in 1986, because at least the Shark came away from those four 54-hole leads with an Open win at Turnberry. He wasn’t shut out. Els was. He was second in the Masters and Open, T-4 in the PGA, and T-9 in the US Open, having had a last round 80. After his playoff defeat at Royal Troon in the Open, Els three-putted the final green at Whistling Straits for a bogey, when a par would have got him into a playoff with eventual winner Vijay Singh, Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard.
In 2000, he was second in the Masters, US Open and Open. But his closest margin to the winner was three shots to Vijay Singh at Augusta National.