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British Open moment: Holing a wedge from 45 yards on the 18th at Royal Birkdale to tie for fourth in 1998 as a 17-year-old amateur.

Pot bunker mentality: There’s little to fault in his game right now except for controlling his emotions as a major champion playing in the next major. He can join some exclusive company. Only six other players have won the U.S. Open and British Open in the same year _ Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen and Bobby Jones.

ERNIE ELS

Age: 43.

Country: South Africa.

World ranking: 13.

Worldwide wins: 66.

Majors: US Open (1994, 1997), British Open (2002, 2012).

At his best in 2013: Won the BMW International Open in Germany.

At his worst in 2013: Couldn’t hit the hole from 3 feet with his belly putter at the start of the year.

British Open moment: Sitting quietly in front of his locker at Royal Lytham & St. Annes last year, staring at the silver claret jug he had just won.

Pot bunker mentality: Not since Greg Norman in 1994 has a player been the defending champion and the last winner at the links (Turnberry) where the Open was played. Els won his first Open at Muirfield in 2002 and won last year at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

TOM WATSON

Age: 63.

Country: United States.

Story Continues →