AUGUSTA, Ga. – One year ago this week, Charl Schwartzel slid his arms into a green jacket and explained that his Masters win was due at least in part to his lifelong friendship with Louis Oosthuizen, who had claimed the Open Championship one year earlier.
“You know, we always traveled together, so we basically are the best of mates,” he said at the time. “To see him win there was just such a big inspiration. We play almost every single practice round together, as well. So we know where our level of golf is, and just to see him do it made it, in my mind, realize that it is possible and just sort of maybe take it over the barrier of thinking that a major is too big for someone to win.”
Apparently being BFFs with each other is the gift that keeps on giving.
While Schwartzel began his title defense at Augusta National with an opening-round even-par 72 on Thursday, his buddy Oosthuizen bested him by four strokes, tallying a 68 that left him in second place after 18 holes.
Afterward, he conceded that some of his early success can be credited to witnessing Schwartzel’s victory on the same course.
“We play together a lot and I think it's more just watching videos of him winning over and over, and seeing the way he handled himself under the pressure which was brilliant, finishing with four birdies,” he explained. “The main thing was he put himself in a position to win.”
Through one round, at least, Oosthuizen has put himself in that position, as well. Which means that come Sunday evening, he could have his best friend helping him into a green jacket of his own.