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Oosthuizen

July 18, 2010 by staff 

OosthuizenOosthuizen:ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Louis Oosthuizen Almost nobody knew, much less how to pronounce his name. Not many will forget the results delivered in the home of golf to capture the British Open.

A week after the World Cup ended, South Africa had more to celebrate on Sunday, that a more likely source. Oosthuizen, a 27-year-old, who had only made one cut in his previous eight majors, blew up the campus of St. Andrews for a victory that seemed so easy as when Tiger Woods won for the first time here a decade ago.

Oosthuizen made only two bogeys in the last 35 holes in a strong wind that swept the Old Course. Directed in the last 48 holes and closed with a 1-under 71 for a win from seven strokes over Lee Westwood of England.

For all the madness of these vuvuzela, the sweetest sound Oosthuizen proved the shrill sound of a bagpipe.

Oosthuizen could not think of a more special place to capture his first major. He just had no idea it would be this easy.

Never let anyone get within three shots of him in the final round, and he responded to that challenge short of Paul Casey by knocking in a 50-foot putt for eagle on the par-4 ninth green to restore his cushion. Casey hopes ended with a triple bogey in three holes gorse later and spent the last hour Oosthuizen absorbing an atmosphere unlike any other in golf.

He finished at 16-under 272 and became the first player since Tony Lema in 1964 to win his first major at St. Andrews.

“Nobody was going to stop it,” said Casey, whose adventures in the gorse sent him to a 75 to tie for third with Rory McIlroy (68) and Henrik Stenson (71). “He did not miss a shot today. Do not know if I missed a whole week. That was four days of golf tremendous. He did not flinch today.”

No, there was only the gap-toothed smile earned him the nickname “Shrek” from friends. And the surprise on his face as he hung up the oldest trophy in golf, a silver claret jug with his name engraved alongside Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, and the other winners of South Africa – Player, Bobby Locke, Ernie Els, his mentor.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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