Australian Adam Shot blows a four-shot lead to to give Ernie Els the British Open as the South African shoots a final-round 68 to finish on seven under par.
Australian Adam Scott came second after bogeying the last four holes to miss out on his first major championship.
"I'm very disappointed but I played so beautifully for most of the week," Scott said afterwards. "I certainly shouldn't let this bring me down."
Els, who won his second Open title and his fourth Major Championship, admitted he was fortunate to claim the victory.
"I feel for my buddy Adam Scott," Els said. "I feel very fortunate and you're going to win one of these, you have to much talent."
Fourteen-times major champion Tiger Woods finished tied third with fellow American Brandt Snedeker after his chances were wrecked by a triple-bogey on the sixth hole.
It was the first time since playing at The Open in 2003 that Woods had hit a triple bogey at a Major Championship.
Results from the British Open at the par-70 course on Sunday in Lytham
273 Ernie Els (South Africa) 67 70 68 68
274 Adam Scott (Australia) 64 67 68 75
277 Tiger Woods (U.S.) 67 67 70 73
Brandt Snedeker (U.S.) 66 64 73 74
278 Luke Donald (Britain) 70 68 71 69
Graeme McDowell (Britain) 67 69 67 75