Is it time for Louis Oosthuizen to pull off a major surprise at The Masters?
JOHANNESBURG - For many professionals, winning a major like Louis Oostuizen did at the 2010 (British) Open Championship at the home of golf at St Andrews in Scotland would be the defining moment of their lives - but his is a career that has promised much more and featured a number of agonising near-misses.
Most notable of those near-misses for Oosthuizen, possibly, would have been his 2012 playoff defeat to American Bubba Watson for The Masters title. The supremely talented Watson needed a miracle wedge shot on the second hole of sudden death in the playoff to beat Oosthuizen.
Since then, Oosthuizen has gone on to finish second at the US Open and The Open in 2015 and PGA Championship in 2017. It means Oosthuizen has finished second at every major championship, which also included another playoff defeat in the 2015 Open Championship when American Zach Johnson triumphed.
In total, Oosthuizen has eight top-10 finishes in the majors.
The 38-year-old has nine wins on the European Tour, and his 2010 Open Championship victory also counts as his only PGA Tour victory.
Given his impressive record in Europe and the majors, it’s not a huge leap to suggest he has underachieved in the big four events.
He also does not have too much current form to speak of - from the six events he’s played on the 2021 PGA tour - he has two top-15 finishes.
One thing in his favour though, is that he usually manages to contend when he makes the cut in a major. Of the 31 cuts he’s made in majors, he’s been in the top-25 on 21 occasions.
He is also not listed among the favourites for the event, but that won’t worry the man from Mossel Bay in South Africa’s Western Cape.
Oosthuizen said on Monday, he was taking a relaxed approach - which could serve him well to be mentally fresh if he’s in contention again during the final round.
“I’m playing nine today, probably not doing much tomorrow and then playing another nine on Wednesday,” said Oosthuizen.
“I’m just really relaxing and sharpening up a few things and waiting for that tee-off on Thursday.”
Oosthuizen, at 28th in the world golf rankings is listed at 60/1 to win the Masters - and is certainly worth putting some money on this week as one of the dark horses. - African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Michael Sherman.