This month Compleat Golfer’s playing editor, Louis Oosthuizen, talks about returning to South Africa and some other events he’s committed to.
Those who have followed my column in this magazine for nearly two years will know that I set myself extremely high standards, and each time I tee it up at a tournament, I go out there with the intention of winning it.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get on the winner’s list for 2017 yet, but I haven’t given up hope of doing so. And how great it would be to win on my return to South Africa.
Not that I haven’t had a good year. I ended 2016 at No 26 in the world, and as you know, the World Ranking is something I pay a lot of attention to. By mid-October I was at No 22, which shows that things haven’t been going south this year. And despite not having had a victory, runner-up positions at The PGA Championship and the unofficial fifth Major, The Players, show how close I have come.
So, I suppose one can say I have the ‘distinction’ of finishing runner-up in all ‘five’ Majors, so let’s hope 2018 will allow me to add to my 2010 Open Championship title!
I’m excited to be coming back to South Africa, starting with the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in November. I can’t wait to tee it up again this year. Playing in front of a home crowd is always fun and it all adds up to make this one of the best weeks on Tour.
My travels then take me to the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at The Heritage Golf Club, where I’m also co-designing an incredible second golf course at Heritage Resorts with Peter Matkovich. This is the third staging of the Mauritius Open, which is sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour and European Tour. It’s from 30 November to 3 December and it’s pleasing to see that a quality field has been assembled in another great place to play golf.
After that, I have committed to returning to South Africa for the Joburg Open at Randpark. I’m excited to be supporting the growth of what is one of the premier tournaments in world golf. I honestly reckon these are exciting times for the event, and that it’s going to grow in stature over the years.
Next year is going to be a busy one for me, and an early commitment on my side has been to return to play the Singapore Open from 18-21 January. I have come close the last two occasions I’ve played there – in 2012 I lost in a playoff to Italy’s Matteo Manassero – and you could say I have some unfinished business. I also have a third-place finish, going down by one stroke.
The SMBC Singapore Open will be the perfect way for me to start the season on an excellent golf course where I have great memories and where I know I can win. I am focused on winning titles and competing week in and week out in 2018.
However, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves! If you’re out and about at the Gary Player Country Club or at Randpark, be sure to say howzit, because seeing familiar, friendly faces and having home support is a great feeling and the perfect motivation to try to deliver the goods!
– This column first appeared in the November issue of Compleat Golfer, on sale now!