If Ernie Els was feeling any pressure as he began his final hole in The 141st Open, it certainly did not show.
Ten years on from his maiden Open victory at Muirfield in 2002, Els once again was firmly in contention for the Claret Jug thanks to a thrilling back-nine charge at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Birdies at the 10th, 12th and 14th had lifted Els to within striking distance of leader Adam Scott, who was beginning to falter down the stretch.
The Big Easy could have been forgiven for tightening up as the prospect of a second Open triumph became increasingly realistic.
Yet Els, who had finished second and third in his two previous appearances at Lytham, soon provided proof he was amazingly relaxed despite the tension of the situation.
In the latest instalment of our Caddie Stories series, Ricci Roberts – the man on the bag for all four of Els’ major victories – recalls a memorable moment on the 18th tee in 2012.
“He just sort of put the foot on the the pedal on the back nine,” said Roberts. “We got to 18 and he stood on the tee and he’s like, ‘What do you think?’
“I said, ‘Well, look, for me it’s a 3-iron short or you’ve got to take it on with the driver.’ And he said, ‘Relax, I've got this.’
“He pulled out the driver, pegged it up, and he hit it with this little fade. It just came out pure.
“He just bent down, picked up the tee, and he goes, ‘So, Roberts, what do you think about that then?’ ”
To continue reading about Els’ dramatic triumph at Lytham, visit: https://www.theopen.com/Latest/Caddie-Stories-Ernie-Els-Ricci-Roberts-Lytham-2012.