Louis Oosthuizen’s disappointment was in contrast with Dylan Frittelli’s delight as those were the only two South African flags left flying in the top five by the end of the 149th Open at Royal St George’s on Sunday.
After three days of incredible golf, Oosthuizen was outplayed by Collin Morikawa and undone by his own cold putter as he watched the American march to victory.
Oosthuizen held the lead from day one and was one clear of the field going into the final round. But a closing 71 ended his hopes of a second Major as he finished tied third and four strokes behind Morikawa’s winning total of 15 under par.
Morikawa’s three successive birdies to close out the front nine took him into the lead, and a single birdie on the back nine was all he needed to claim the second Major of his career with a final round of 66 to become the first golfer in history to win two different Majors on debut after winning the PGA Championship in 2020. He finished two strokes clear of second-placed Jordan Spieth.
While Oosthuizen’s wait for a second Major continues, fellow South African Frittelli was delighted with his week at Royal St George’s.
Frittelli made the most of his late inclusion with a fifth-place finish on nine under par after closing with a 68. A performance he was justifiably very proud of.
“I got in on Monday morning and couldn’t have asked for much more. Just to be in contention on the weekend was my goal. I think I more than did that. I had a struggle on 11 today but besides that it was pretty plain sailing and I’m really proud of the way I handled everything. It gets me back in The Open the following year, so St Andrews is going to be awesome. I love that place and any Open Championship by me is tons of fun.”
Justin Harding finished tied 19th on four under, followed by JC Ritchie, Daniel van Tonder and Dean Burmester all in tied 40th on one under par. Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished tied 53rd on one over. – Sunshine Tour/European Tour/The Open