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VIDEO: Ernie Els Gives Moving Thanks In Speech After Winning 2012 British Open

Ernie Els's victory in the 2012 British Open was viewed as a surprise, but given how he handled his post-victory speech to the crowd, it sounded as if he expected to win all along.

The highlight of his words was easily his thanks to former South Africa president Nelson Mandela for uniting the country through his work.

"I've got to thank, obviously, first of all, you know, President Mandela, who's been such a great influence in our country. We have been truly blessed to have a man like President Mandela take us through a very difficult time in our country. And everybody now, we can see the success of the country, now, and it's only because of President Mandela."

You can check out the full video of the speech HERE. The mix of humor and overall kindness in his words is what makes him a fan favorite on the PGA Tour.

For more on the Open, stick with SB Nation Tampa Bay's 2012 British Open StoryStreamand SB Nation's golf hub for all the latest news year-round.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.