Adam Scott of Australia (left) needed some comforting words from Ernie Els after blowing his chance to win the British Open.

Ernie Els put an arm around Adam Scott’s shoulder on Sunday and told him: “Don’t fall into a pit of despair like I did.”

Australian Scott was seemingly cruising to his first major championship success, only to finish with four straight bogeys on a dramatic afternoon at Royal Lytham to hand the title to the South African.

Said Els: “I’ve blown majors, I’ve been on the other end more than I’ve been on the winning end, and I hope he doesn’t take it as hard as me.”

While Scott suffered a disappointment that mirrored some of the dramatic losses suffered by his great idol Greg Norman, Els savoured his comeback from the ranks of the forgotten.

As he said: “Just about everything that can happen in the game I’ve gone through.”

The 42-year-old said he couldn’t wait to see wife Liezl, and his kids Samantha and Ben, who suffers from autism. Els has raised millions of dollars to build a new school near his home in Florida for kids who are autistic. He said: “Ben has got his sayings and he will be happy with his dad. Samantha will be there right next to him and Liezl and it’s going to be a great time to see them. Ben is coming along nicely. He’s a wonderful boy now, and we are going to have a lot of fun.”

Els had spent the morning watching his cricket buddies rack up the runs against England. “While I was doing that, kind of daydreaming, it came to me in a split second that I would thank Nelson Mandela in my speech. I grew up in the apartheid era and he was right there. And right after the change, I was the first one to win a major and he was on the phone talking to me in Pittsburgh. So we have intertwined in a crazy way.”

While Els was feeling “numb” with victory, Scott looked shell-shocked. “We got to the 16th tee and I thought six good swings to finish out the round. But I couldn’t do it,” he said. “Ernie is great and his words will help. I will take all the good stuff I did this week and use that for the next time I’m out on the course.” – Daily Mail