It was another memorable Masters, just not if you’re South African

South African professional golfer Louis Oosthuizen reacts in frustration

South African Louis Oosthuizen reacts in frustration during round of The Masters at Augusta on April 6, 2023. Picture: Justin Lane/EPA

Published Apr 10, 2023


Centurion - As Jon Rahm walked off the 18th green at Augusta to claim an emphatic four-stroke victory for his second major and first green jacket on Sunday, there was a distinct lack of South African flavour to this year’s Masters.

Just one of the three South Africans teeing it up this year made the cut, with 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel squeaking in on three-over with opening rounds of 74 and 73. He would follow that up with scores of 73 77 to finish on nine-over in a tie of 50th, ahead of just three players that made the cut and did not withdraw.

Of course, Tiger Woods made his 23rd cut in a row but with the weather-affected tournament meaning he would have to play 28 holes on Sunday, he withdrew as he is still clearly battling to walk four rounds of golf.

The withdrawal of Woods was almost expected, but there was another one which did not make headlines and which was much more mysterious. It was the withdrawal of Louis Oosthuizen, he had one hole left to play in his second round. He was seven-over, and had no chance of making the cut when his round was halted on Friday.

Oosthuizen did not say what injury had prevented him from finishing the one hole, and it may have been far more appealing to jump on a plane and get out of Augusta as quickly as possible.

It’s also the second year in a row that Oosthuizen has withdrawn from The Masters, and his future in majors still remains unclear with his commitment to LIV Golf which means his world ranking will continue to plummet.

The silver lining at this year’s Masters from a South African perspective would be the performance of young amateur Aldrich Potgieter. The 18-year-old cut his teeth at Augusta with rounds of 77 and 74 for a respectable total of seven-over for a first-timer. South Africans can certainly expect to see the rising star tee it up in more majors in future.


IOL Sport

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