Ernie Els can't wait for Muirfield after International Open win

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Two-time British Open winner Ernie Els admits he cannot wait to return to Muirfield for next month's major championship, after claiming his 28th European Tour title with victory at the BMW International Open in Germany.

The 43-year-old not only became the first South African to win the competition in its 25th edition, but also the oldest player to etch his name on the trophy at the Eichenried Golf Club in Munich.

Having carded a mightily impressive opening round of nine-under-par 63, Els was in contention for the duration of the tournament. 

He started the last day's play in a three-way tie for the lead - with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Sweden's Alex Noren - but kept his composure to score a final round 69, finishing the competition on an 18-under 270, one shot clear of runner-up Bjorn, and two ahead of Frenchman Alexander Levy in third place.

"I've tried to win this golf tournament for a long time. I really had it going and then I made it tough for myself again," Els reflected. "To keep the lead all the way through is quite a lot of pressure, so it's been a good week.

"Wire to wire you've got the pressure and every night you've got to sleep on it, so obviously it gives me a lot.

"I've had a great weekend in Germany and it's great to get my name on this wonderful trophy."

Els will arrive at Muirfield next month as the defending British Open champion, and after finishing joint-fourth at the US Open prior to this European Tour victory will take huge confidence into the third major of the 2013 season.

"When you get to my age, when you get a win, it's a wonderful feeling. Hopefully it gives me the confidence that I needed.

"I just tried to stay steady. I hit the ball on the greens and tried to two-putt, and that's kind of what I did.

"This is quite a week for me. There were a lot of strong players in the field and I'm really looking forward to Muirfield now."



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