Friday, August 06, 2010

Recognition for Open Champion

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen has been named The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month for July following his magnificent seven shot victory in the 150th Anniversary Open Championship. The 27 year old claimed his first Major title at the venue where every player wants to win – the Old Course at St Andrews – and he will receive an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne in recognition of his fantastic achievement. His opening round of 65 went into the record books as the lowest opening round by a winner while his 16 under par total of 272 helped give him the seventh biggest winning margin in Open Championship history. By lifting the Claret Jug, Oosthuizen followed in the footsteps of fellow South Africans Bobby Locke, Gary Player - four and three-time Open Champions respectively - and 2002 Champion Ernie Els, whose Foundation helped develop his career. He also became the sixth South African golfer in total to win a Major Championship. Furthermore, a week later, he almost made history again at the Nordea Scandinavian Masters, his bid to become the first player to win The Open Championship and triumph in the next event falling narrowly short as he finished joint fourth. “Winning The Open was special but winning at St Andrews was something else, it was incredible,” said Oosthuizen. “It was bigger than I ever imagined. You have this picture in your mind what it's going to be like after a Major win, and I think it was ten times what I expected. It’s been a fantastic reaction.” Peter Dixon, Golf Correspondent of The Times, said: “This was a stunning performance in difficult conditions. Louis took everything that was thrown at him, from the weather to the players giving chase, and came out comfortably on top. He is a worthy winner of the monthly award.” Oosthuizen returns to action at the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club this week after a celebration at his home club of Mossel Bay in South Africa, where he has had a new bridge dedicated to him and had the pleasure of trying out the new tractor on his farm, purchased on the back of his Open success. Aside from Oosthuizen, July was an impressive month for European Tour Members, all of whom were highly commended by the panel of golfing media. The month began with Miguel Angel Jiménez winning the ALSTOM Open de France to become the oldest winner of Continental Europe’s oldest Open. Edoardo Molinari continued his meteoric rise with victory in The Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond, lifting him into the world’s top 20 for the first time. Ross Fisher claimed his fourth European Tour title by winning the 3 Irish Open while on the US PGA Tour, Justin Rose captured his second victory of the season by winning the AT&T National. There was also honourable mention made of Bernhard Langer, who became the first player since Tom Watson in 2003 to win back to back Senior Major Championships when, in consecutive weeks, he captured the Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard at Carnoustie and the US Senior Open at Sahalee in Washington. Oosthuizen joins fellow South Africans Charl Schwartzel (January) and Ernie Els (March), the English pair of Ian Poulter (February) and Luke Donald (May) and Northern Irishmen Rory McIlroy (April) and Graeme McDowell (June), as candidates for The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Year on The European Tour, which will be decided at the end of the season.

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