Graeme McDowell, one of sport's great talkers, admitted tonight he found it difficult to say anything to playing partner Adam Scott after the Australian blew The Open at Royal Lytham.
Scott had led by four shots with only four holes to play, but he bogeyed them all to gift Els, who had earlier made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final green, a fourth major title by a single stroke.
"I mean, what can you say?" said McDowell, after he too shot a closing five-over-par 75 and dropped from second to joint fifth with Luke Donald.
"It was tough to say anything to him that was going to be of any relevance.
"I said he's a great champion and there's many majors ahead for him. It's just a tough beat.
"He struggled on the greens a little bit today, as we all did. The putt he missed on 16 was huge for him.
"Then he hit a great drive down the middle of 17 and with half of England right of that pin he missed it left.
"He's going to be extremely heart-broken and disappointed, but he's a great, great, great player and that's what I tried to convey to him on the last green.
"Like I say, it felt like a futile exercise trying to say anything to him, but I'm sure he's going to be unbelievably disappointed."
As his own attempt to add the title to his 2010 US Open crown failed, the Northern Irishman, who last month missed a putt at that event which would have forced a play-off, added: "It was a tough day at the office, no doubt about it.
"But I'm not splattered on the floor right now in disappointment. I'm just a little frustrated.
"I guess my disappointment kind of seems relatively stupid. I've just seen a guy lose the Open Championship."
Big congrats to Ernie!! 4 time major champion! Know how Adam feels right now, not a great place, but he will be back! Too good not to be! - Rory McIlroy