It’s been a 20-year wait, but worth every last second. To get the 1-2-3 in The Open at the home of golf? It gets no better.
Magnificent Louis Oosthuizen is our first major winner. The product of the Ernie Els Foundation, made his mentor and everybody else connected with him as proud as a vat of punch when he walked down the 18th fairway at St.Andrews to a hero’s welcome.
What a day for King Louis as the papers dubbed him. What a day for ISM because following in the South African’s slipstream was Lee Westwood in second place while Rory McIlroy took a share of third to complete our podium triple.
Louis, who could not be prised from the old claret jug for more than two hours after he collected it, started the day with such a lead that it seemed only England’s Paul Casey had a realistic chance of denying the 27-year-old his destiny.
And so it came to pass. Casey tried his best to put Louis under pressure, but never once did the champion look like folding.
Louis is a master golfer. His life will change, but as Ernie said later, he won’t. If there is a nicer guy on Tour, he has yet to identify himself. And what a player. Naturally talented and sneaky long – perfect qualities for the modern game, Louis is a true champion.
Lee would not have been as down about his runner up finish anywhere near what he was after finishing one shot behind last year. The Englishman’s consolation was that he was never in top form either physically or with his game when he arrived at St.Andrews yet left having finished second. He is now very close to making a takeover bid for the number one world ranking.
Rory’s third place finish was remarkable given that his scorecards included one with an ugly 80 on it. It means that in 14 rounds around the Old Course he still has not yet recorded one in the 70’s. His day, like Lee’s, is very close.
I expect Louis’ win not only to spur our other South Africans but also all connected with the ISM stable. It may have been quite a while before we registered our first major, but I am sure it will not be long before we collect the next.