Hall of Fame profile: Ernie Els

This week, the World Golf Hall of Fame is recognizing six people in the world of golf that have made substantial contributions to the game. We will be profiling all six, giving you relevant information about them and why they're a part of the new Hall of Fame class.

Ernie Els

Not since Gary Player has a golfer from South Africa made such a huge impact on the game of golf, but the Big Easy has done that. Els burst on the golfing scene in 1994 with his first U.S. Open victory and Rookie of the Year honors, only to follow that major win up with another in 1997 at the U.S. Open.

It took Ernie five years before he could snag another major, that coming at the British Open where he won in a playoff and cemented himself as one of the best players to ever come from South Africa.

Els has won 18 PGA Tour titles in his career, and 26 European Tour events. He is known for his generosity off the golf course, launching a foundation that helps identify young talent in the game of golf, and is also a big philanthropist for Autism, as his son Ben was born autistic.

There aren't a lot of golf swings that were are more effortless than Ernie's, and during the Tiger Woods era, it seemed Ernie was one of the few players able to keep winning despite the constant buzz surrounding any event Tiger had entered.

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