Theodore Ernest "Ernie" Els (English pronunciation: /??ls/; born 17 October 1969) is a South African professional golfer, who has been one of the top professional players in the world since the mid-1990s. A former World No. 1, he is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing physical stature (he stands 1.91 metres) along with his fluid, seemingly effortless golf swing. Among his numerous victories are three major championships: the U.S. Open in 1994 at the Oakmont Country Club and 1997 at the Congressional Country Club, and the The Open Championship in 2002 at Muirfield.
Other highlights in Els' career include topping the 2003 and 2004 European Tour Order of Merit (money list), and winning the World Match Play Championship a record seven times. He has held the number one spot in the Official World Golf Rankings and holds the record for weeks ranked in the top ten with over 750