LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- Ernie Els wasn't the only South African smiling after a remarkable final round at the British Open.
Thomas Aiken, ranked No. 136 and the most unfamiliar name on the leaderboard at the start of the fourth round, secured his highest finish at a major by placing tied for seventh on 1-under 279.
After shooting a 3-over 73 in tough conditions on Sunday, Aiken said, "I had a top-10 [finish] at this wonderful championship I love playing so much."
Aiken, who would have placed tied for fifth if he hadn't bogeyed the last, was eighth at the 2009 British Open at Turnberry.
Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 winner, was tied for 19th to keep up South Africa's fine tradition at the oldest major.
Aiken said, "We just love the Open."