They include Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Ernie Els and now the low-key, machine-like Oosthuizen.
(Photo: The great Bobby Locke.)
Between 1949 and 1957, Locke won four Open titles. Some of the old-time pros have told me that Locke was the greatest putter they ever saw. After playing exhibition matches with Locke, Sam Snead told the South African he ought to come to America. Sam said his peers ended up mad at him because Locke took Sam’s advice and not long after took home a lot of money from the States.
A nine-time major winner, Player won three Open Championships over a 15-year span. Gary could keep the ball low and was a short-game magician, including one of the greatest bunker players of all time.
Els won his Claret Jug in 2002 at Muirfield and couldn’t be prouder of Oosthuizen. Louis got a jump start in golf through Els’ foundation. Today Ernie wrote about the newest South African champion in his weekly diary:
I take great pleasure in congratulating Louis Oosthuizen on his fantastic victory. Honestly, it could not have happened to a better person. I played a practice round with him last Sunday and, typically for him, he didn’t give himself a chance. He is a quiet and unassuming guy, but he has shown everyone what a great champion he is.In closing, Ernie added:
I’m so pleased for Louis and, as I said before, it couldn’t have happened to a better person. As Open Champion his life will change, but he won’t. He’s simply a wonderful kid and what he’s done will inspire so many young kids back home in South Africa.As Mike of Ruthless Golf has been saying since springtime, here come the South Africans.
−The Armchair Golfer