Back in 1984, a young South African named Ernie Els took down an American by the name of Phil Mickelson to win the Junior World Championship.
Born 8 months apart from one another the two turned pro in 1989 and 1992, respectively. Both have gone on to great things and now share the honour of winning The Open Championship at Muirfield.
Floppy, shaggy hair, a good sense of humour and success at Muirfield is not the only thing the two have in common.
Both have dominated the game in their own way over the last two decades. Both entered the Golf Hall Of Fame recently, Ernie in 2011 and Phil in 2012. Both have terrible full names: Theodore Ernest Els and Philip Alfred Mickelson.
Both players shot 66 at Muirfield to take the lead at The Open, Ernie in the second round in 2002 and Phil on Sunday this year. Both endured a tough Sunday battle to win the claret jug, Ernie in a playoff, Phil birding four of his last 6 holes.
Ernie’s win saw him reach #3 in the world behind Tiger and Phil, whilst Phil’s win saw him climb to #2 in the world behind Tiger.
Here’s how their careers match up against each other?
With numbers this close, I propose both players put all their majors on the line in a replay of the 1984 showdown. One company that might be keen to sponsor that event? Callaway. The manufacturer currently sponsors both players.