Oosthuizen making a name for himself at Old Course

By Doug FergusonJuly 16, 2010, 5:49 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – The name on his passport – Lodewicus Theodorus – sounds like it belongs in a Wagner opera.

His nickname among friends – Shrek – is not much better.

Louis Oosthuizen found a better way to make a name for himself Friday at St. Andrews, where he carefully navigated the Old Course through light wind and short spells of rain for a 5-under 67 to take the early lead in the British Open.

A long putt through the Valley of Sin on the 18th hole, and the birdie putt from just inside 15 feet that followed, put the 27-year-old South African at 12-under 132. He was three shots clear of Rory McIlroy, who had to face increasing wind in the afternoon.

“It’s probably the position anyone wants to be in playing a major on the weekend,” Oosthuizen said.

It’s a position he doesn’t know very well.

Oosthuizen (WUHST’-hy-zen) had played eight majors when he arrived at St. Andrews. He missed the cut in seven of them, the exception coming in the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, where he finished last.

“It wasn’t very great, was it?” said Oosthuizen, flashing the gap-tooth grin that earned him the Shrek moniker. “It was a matter of not believing in myself, I think. Everyone around here is telling me, ‘You’ve got the shots, you’re playing well.’ And again, that win earlier this season just got my mind set in a different way.”

He won his first European Tour event in Spain this spring, his fourth victory worldwide.

The South African most would have expected atop the leaderboard was Ernie Els, and in a way, Els was a part of this. If not for the Ernie Els Foundation in South Africa, Oosthuizen might not be at St. Andrews, or anywhere in golf.

Oosthuizen comes from a tennis-mad family, but quickly switched to golf when he put a club in his hand. The trouble came with finances, for the travel required to develop his game proved to be too much for the son of a farmer. That was about the time the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation began to identify young South Africans from families of limited resources.

He was 17 when he began with the foundation, leaving when he turned pro.

“It was unbelievable what he did for me, traveling around the country, helping with expenses, things like that,” Oosthuizen said. “He’s such a good mentor. And probably without him, those three years I’ve been in his foundation, I wouldn’t have been here.”

Els identified talent, all right.

Oosthuizen teamed with Charl Schwartzel to win the 2000 World Junior Team Championship. Two years later on his home course at Mossel Bay Club along the famed Garden Route, he shot a 57.

That was great pressure knowing what was at stake, even though he was playing with friends. Oosthuizen needed to birdie one of the last three holes for a 59, and instead he chipped in for eagle on the 17th and birdied the last.

Now comes more pressure, and he appears up for it.

“I like the way he’s playing right now,” said his longtime caddie, Zach Rasego, who talks strategy on every tee in Afrikaans with Oosthuizen. “He doesn’t get frustrated by anything.”

The start of his back nine could have gone different directions.

Oosthuizen drove the par-4 10th green for a two-putt birdie, only to three-putt the next green for a bogey. After a chip-and-putt birdie on the 12th, he came up woefully short on the 13th and couldn’t get up-and-down for par.

He never looked flustered. And he never gave up on his plan.

Oosthuizen can bash it out there with the best of them, yet even with a breeze at his back, he laid back in the fairway on the 15th and 16th holes, playing longer irons into the green.

“I’m trying to take the bunkers completely out of play,” he said. “Seeing Tiger … I don’t think he went in one bunker. To me, if you go in a bunker, that’s a bogey or it’s going to be a very good par. So I’ve got that strategy.”

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.