Ernie Els’s career began at a young age, and his first golf tournament came when he won the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship. Els became a professional the same year, and won his first professional tournament in 1991. He also won the Sony Open and the Mercedes Championship. Els went on to win the Order of Merit at the 1992/93 Sunshine Tour season, and finished in the top 20 of all four majors in 1994. Ernie Els tied with Colin Montgomerie for the U.S. Open in 1994, and he was eventually victorious after tying with Loren Roberts in an 18-hole playoff.
The South African native began playing golf at a very young age, and he quickly gained prominence by winning the Junior World Championship in 1984. In this event, Els was the only non-North American to win the event. A year later, he won the South African Amateur and broke Gary Player’s record for the youngest winner of that tournament. His talent for the game prompted him to play for the PGA Tour.
Els played 17 tournaments on the TOUR and nine on the European Tour, winning twice on the former. He also finished ninth on the TOUR money list. On the European Tour, he won four events, including the Italian Open and the Spanish Open. He also finished in the top ten at three majors. Els became the first player since Steve Jones in 1989 to win his first two tournaments in early January. Other players to do it were Lloyd Mangrum in 1953 and Johnny Miller in 1974 and Gil Morgan in 1975.