Born Theodore Ernest Els on 17 October 1969, Ernie Els, as he is known, came onto the golfing scene in the 1990s and picked up the nickname The Big Easy because of his effortless swings and his big stature (1.91 meters). He has enjoyed major victories, such as the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997, as well as The Open Championship that was hosted at Muirfield in 2002. He has become one of South Africa’s leading international golfers, falling into the category of legendary players such as Gary Player. Now his talents will be carved into history with his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Ernie Els was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in a two hour ceremony, along with Jumbo Ozaki, Doug Ford, Jock Hutchinson, George H. W. Bush and Frank Chirkinian. During his speech, Els commented that it had been a long journey from South Africa. Wanting to follow in the footsteps of Gary Player, Ernie Els took to golf from an early age and has sixty-two titles to his name. This has not stopped him from continuing to chase major championships, and he is already getting ready for the upcoming Players Championship.
Els is also very involved in research for autism, as his son is autistic. He added that there was no greater joy than to have his son watch him play golf, watching intently as the ball travels through the sky. He shyly admitted that he had not been aware that there was a Hall of Fame, and realized after some research that it was established in 1940. He went on to say that all he ever wanted was to win major championships and make a success of his golfing career.
All inductees have to be forty years of age to be eligible for induction, and it is a great honor for Ernie Els. He has no plans to stop playing golf, and is still determined to try and capture more championships in the future. It is also most certainly a proud moment for all South Africans to see Ernie Els inducted into the World Hall of Fame.