Louis makes history with six-stroke SA Open win

9th December 2018 | Sunshine Tour

Louis makes history with six-stroke SA Open win

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Louis makes history with six-stroke SA Open win

Louis Oosthuizen cemented his place in the history books when he won the South African Open Championship hosted by the City of Joburg, co-sanctioned for the first time by the Sunshine Tour, the European Tour and the Asian Tour at Randpark Golf Club on Sunday.

His six-stroke victory over France’s Romain Langasque also earned him the unique distinction of being only the fourth South African player to claim the oldest open championships in the world, namely The Open Championship and the South African Open Championship. He joins Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els in that unique club of champions.

“I think I’m the fourth South African to do it,” he said after his victory. “It feels very special to have the two oldest opens in the world. There was a lot of emotions at the end there. It was a tough four days but I feel like I put everything together until the end.”

He came into the final round with a three-shot cushion over England’s Matt Wallace, Madalitso Muthiya of Zambia and his close personal friend Charl Schwartzel. A shaky start which was characterised by two back-to-back bogeys in his first three holes threatened to derail him as the chase for the number one spot gathered momentum behind him.

He recovered swiftly, however, and picked up birdies on the fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth holes to arrest what looked like a dangerous threat to his ambition of claiming his maiden national open.

“It looked like everyone started shaky today, except for Branden (Grace)” he remarked, “When I saw his name up there early on, I knew he was going to give a charge. All of a sudden, I had a one-shot lead and I tried to just narrow everything a little bit and got on fairways and greens to give myself opportunities. But I played well and I’m rolling the ball really good. If I had an easier shot with an iron, I would take it on. I just kept everything together nicely.”

He looked like he’d adopted a cautious approach on the homeward nine, making pars from the 10th through to the 13th holes, until he made an eagle on the 14th hole to get to 18-under and open a six-shot lead with four holes left. He followed that up with a birdie on the 16th but that was quickly written off his card when he bogeyed the par-three 17th before closing with a par on the last.

Already exempt for the open championship to be played at Royal Troon next season, Oosthuizen’s main objective was to win at Randpark while compatriot and friend, Schwartzel’s mission was two-sided. He wanted to claim his maiden South African Open Championship while eyeing a spot in The Open. He had to settle for the latter as he and England’s Oliver Wilson joined Langasque as the three players earning spots to the oldest open championship in the world after he finished in a share of third alongside Wilson and compatriots Bryce Easton and Thomas Aiken.

Aiken and Easton missed out on The Open Championship spots on account of their lower rankings in the Official World Golf Ranking standings.

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