South Africa and Jupiter, Florida
A former No.1-ranked professional golfer from South Africa, Ernie Els has bagged nearly every accomplishment in the golf world at some point in his life. From 2 world championship victories to 72 pro wins to being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011, this South African athlete has taken the world by storm and still takes time out to write an instructional golf column in Golf Digest to help amateurs hone their technique.
At the age of twenty, Els won the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship and then turned pro that same year. Five years later, he won the U.S. Open, his first major championship. It was a high energy competition that was tied at 72 holes and went into an 18-hole playoff the following day, with Els winning on a birdie in the second hole of sudden death.
Els rounds out his multi-faceted life with a number of other high-accolade endeavors, from his course design business to his autism foundation to winemaking.
Ernie by the Numbers