FORMER PGA EuroPro Tour star Louis Oosthuizen has won one of the biggest events in world golf – The Open Championship.
South African Oosthuizen played on the Tour in 2002 and 2003 with his best finish being a tied third effort at the Marriott St Pierre in Chepstow, Wales.
Oosthuizen began the last day of The Open four strokes ahead of England’s Paul Casey and eventually triumphed by seven shots to win a Major and the top prize of more than â‚¬1million.
“It’s unbelievable,” said a delighted Oosthuizen. “After the 12th it became a bit difficult to keep such a big lead and to remain calm and focused but I kept cool and calm the whole way.
“I’m glad I had eight shots on 18! I think I cramped up a bit with the putter on 18 as well.
“It was a battle for me to keep calm round this course. That was the biggest goal for me, to keep calm. It’s probably going to hit me tomorrow or the week after what I did.”
After day one he was two behind leader Rory McIlroy, who shot 63 – the joint best round ever in any Major.
But Oosthuizen moved top on Friday as McIlroy, along with many others, struggled in terrible wind and rain conditions.
In eight previous Majors Oosthuizen, 27, had missed seven halfway cuts – and in the other he shot rounds of 81 and 77 over the weekend and finished last.
But after adding a five under par 67 to his opening 65 Oosthuizen went into the weekend on a Championship record-equalling 12 under par.
“It’s probably the position anyone wants to be in,” said Oosthuizen “It’s what we work to achieve and I’m just very happy with the two rounds I put together.”
Oosthuizen continued playing well on Saturday with a round of three-under.
â€œItâ€™s not every day you play in the final group leading The Open Championship,” said Oosthuizen.
“You know, I think by going out there and just enjoying the moment and not thinking about everything else, itâ€™s just going to make the day really nice.
“I’m playing nicely and I feel very confident out there. I can’t wait for Sunday. I think it’s going to be something special.”
He produced something special when it matters and life for Oosthuizen will never be the same again.
A number of other ex EuroPro Tour players competed at St Andrews.
Those who have made the cut included Ross Fisher and Colm Moriarty, who both finished in tied 37th on one-under, Zane Scotland came tied 55th on two-over and Steven Tiley was tied 68th on four-over.
Tom Whitehouse and Paul Streeter both failed to make the cut after scores of +3 and +8 respectively.