LYTHAM ST ANNES, England: British Open champion Ernie Els said he was inspired by watching South Africa's cricketers turn the screw on England in the first test before going out to win his fourth major title on Sunday.
South Africa batsman Hashim Amla made a record 311 not out to lift his side to 637 for two declared before the bowlers reduced England to 102 for four to put the touring side on course for victory at the Oval in London on Monday.
“Yeah, I was watching a bit,” Els told reporters.
“I watched a bit last night and then obviously this morning a little bit. It seems like the guys are fresh and ready to play and hopefully they'll have a good series.”
South Africa can knock England off the top of the world test rankings if they win the three-match series.
“There's still a long way to go, two more test matches, so there's a good start,” said Els after shooting a final-round 68 at Lytham to snatch the Open title in dramatic fashion from Australian Adam Scott who bogeyed the last four holes.