Louis Oosthuizen coasts to six-shot win at South African Open
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 09/12/18 4:15pm
Louis Oosthuizen lifted his first South African Open title after he cruised to a commanding six-shot victory in Johannesburg.
Oosthuizen's overnight three-shot lead was whittled down to one when he bogeyed two of the first three holes on the final day, but he restored his advantage with a barrage of birdies and enjoyed a procession down the stretch as a 67 secured his first European Tour win for almost three years.
Romain Langasque produced a rousing finish with a 66 which earned him outright second on 12 under to book one of the three places on offer at The 148th Open next July, with Charl Schwartzel and Oliver Wilson also qualifying for the field at Royal Portrush.
But it was the 2010 Open champion who dominated the tournament thanks to a spirited recovery from his nervy start on the final day, responding to bogeys at the second and third with four birdies over the next six holes which hoisted him five strokes clear of the chasing pack.
Oosthuizen remained untroubled after the turn as he parred the next four holes, although Langasque applied some pressure when he followed birdies at 12 and 13 with an eagle at the 14th which got him within three of the leader.
But Oosthuizen replied with a stunning second to the long 14th which set-up a tap-in for eagle, and victory was a mere formality when Langasque bogeyed the 16th while the home favourite knocked another iron in close and converted the chance for birdie.
A bogey at the 17th hardly fazed the leader as he closed out his first national Open win with a comfortable par for a winning score of 18 under par, making him only the sixth player to win both The Open Championship and the South African Open.
"This feels very special, this is perfect," said the champion afterwards. "I wish the family was here, but the crowd was great this whole week, it was nice to do it for them.
"I knew today was either going to be very special or heartbreaking. I know there's only a few that have won The Open and the SA Open so I'm very chuffed to have my name on this.
"We had a tough start today and my caddie just told me, 'you're swinging it well, just go for it'. I just got back to basics, to try and hit fairways and greens. I know I'm putting well, I just needed to give myself putting opportunities for birdie."
Halfway leader Charl Schwartzel's quest to win his home Open for the first time goes on after he returned back-to-back weekend rounds of 72 to slip into a tie for third with Bryce Easton, Thomas Aiken and Wilson, who carded six birdies in his closing 67.