Ernie Els' dramatic victory at Muirfield 2002 made it one of the most memorable British Open competitions in years and served to reaffirm how gloriously entertaining the annual quest for the coveted Auld Claret Jug is. 2000 Open winner Tiger Woods' failure to battle against the elements resulted in his unexpected early exit from the competition, finishing 10 over par for the first time since turning professional in 1996. This left him 11 strokes adrift of Els, who clinched the title after a four-man, four-hole play-off and an extra hole in sudden death against Thomas Levet. In Winning the Open, Els' caddie Ricci Roberts absorbingly recounts the drama as it unfolded out on the weatherbeaten course, adding to a compelling and informative selection of untold stories spanning four decades, as told by the caddies of previous Open champions. Roberts also discusses his long-standing career as Els' caddie, covering the triumphs of two US Open wins and the Open disappointments that preceded the latest victory. Elsewhere, we learn how Paul Lawrie decided on the shot that won the 1999 Open at Carnoustie, who provided the calming influence for 'Wild Thing' John Daly at St Andrews in 1995, and just what Greg Norman learned from his right-hand-man in 1986 which helped him lift the trophy in 1993.
Norman Dabell has broadcast for BBC Radio and written for The Telegraph and Reuters. He is a former deputy editor of Golf Illustrated and the author of two other books on golf: the best-selling How We Won the Ryder Cup and Natural Hazard.
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