Thursday 27 June 2019

Tearful Oosthuizen pulls away to emotional victory

Tears of joy: An emotional Louis Oosthuizen after winning the South African Open at Randpark Golf Club. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Tears of joy: An emotional Louis Oosthuizen after winning the South African Open at Randpark Golf Club. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Graeme McDowell had to settle for a $265,000 (€296,000) Christmas bonus when he finished runner-up for the third time in his career at the 54-hole QBE Shootout in Florida.

Second with Darren Clarke in 2010 and with Shane Lowry last year in the 54-hole team strokeplay event, he looked set to pocket his share of the $845,000 top prize with Argentina's Emiliano Grillo when they birdied seven holes in a row on the back nine to take the lead.

But Patton Kizzire and Brian Harman eagled the 17th at Tiburon Golf Club's Gold Course in Naples to edge in front on 30-under par.

And when McDowell missed a nine-footer for a closing birdie that left him and Grillo on 29-under after a 62, the American pair safely parred the 18th to card an 11-under 61 for a one-stroke win, taking home $422,500 each.

On the European Tour, Louis Oosthuizen fought back tears after he recovered from a shaky start to clinch an emotional first victory in the South African Open.

The 2010 Open champion made two early bogeys and saw his three-shot overnight lead cut to one stroke after just three holes of the final round at Randpark Golf Club.

But he played the remaining holes in six-under to card a closing 67 and win by six strokes from Frenchman Romain Langasque on 18-under par.

"I wish the family was here," Oosthuizen said as he choked back tears on the 18th green.

"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."

Closing

Langasque's closing 66 earned him one of three spots in The Open Championship at Royal Portrush with 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel and England's Oliver Wilson.

Schwartzel (72) and Wilson (67) tied for third alongside South Africans Thomas Aiken and Bryce Easton on 10-under, clinching their spots in The Open thanks to their superior world ranking.

Schwartzel, who was also seeking his first win in his national open, was disappointed to come up short but pleased to book his spot in The Open.

"It's a nice bonus," he said. "I was hoping to do better in this tournament, but I'm still happy that I get to play The Open in Northern Ireland which will be really nice."

On the Staysure Tour, Paul McGinley tied for fourth as Clark Dennis equalled the senior tour's 54-hole scoring record en route to an eight-stroke win over Swede Magnus P Atlevi in the MCB Tour Championship - Mauritius.

The American went bogey-free all week, closing with an eight-under-par 64 to finish on 23-under par and match Thaworn Wiratchant's winning total last year.

Roger Chapman shot 67 to claim third place outright on 13-under par and make the top 29 available players from the Order of Merit who secured spots alongside invitees, Tom Lehman, David Frost and Marc Farry in this week's season-ending MCB Tour Championship - Seychelles.

McGinley, who is skipping the Seychelles, shot 69 to tie for fourth with Welshman Phillip Price on 12-under, claiming €22,897 to finish 25th in the money list with €81,903 from just six starts.

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