Laureus Awards: sa golfer ernie els nominated for comeback trophy

2012-12-14 00:00

RIO DE JANEIRO — South African golfing great Ernie Els has been nominated for the 2013 Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award, following a ballot by the world’s media.

Having failed to qualify for the U.S. Masters for the first time since 1993, the 42-year-old Els bounced back in the most dramatic way with his fourth Major Championship victory at the Open Championship at Lytham.

In one of the most surprising turn-rounds in golf, he started the final day six shots behind Australia’s Adam Scott and ended winning by one — 10 years after he had won his last Major Championship. Els birdied the 18th hole to finish on seven-under-par, scoring 68 to Scott’s 75.

Els, the 2002 Open champion and the 1994 and 1997 U.S. Open champion, had dropped to 65th in the world rankings earlier in the year.

He said: “A lot of people never thought I would win but I started believing this year.

“I was getting a lot of help from my family and the professionals around me.”

Also nominated with Els for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award are the European Ryder Cup Team, after their last day fightback against the United States in the so-called “Miracle of Medinah”, Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, who won the Olympic 10 000 m following 16 months of injury, Australia’s Anna Meares, who won an Olympic cycling gold medal four years after breaking her neck, Felix Sanchez (34) winner of the 400 m hurdles gold medal again, eight years after he won in Athens, and the Germany Men’s Olympic Eights Team, who won an Olympic gold medal for the first time since 1988.

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2012, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.

The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury — made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time — will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged in Rio de Janeiro on March 11 next year.

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