It was another near miss for Louis Oosthuizen at a Major, but along with fellow South African Dylan Frittelli, the duo can be proud of their performances at the British Open.
Playing in his maiden Open Championship, Collin Morikawa became the first golfer in history to win two Major championships on debut. The calm demeanour of the young American with ice running through his veins held off a final-day charge from Jordan Spieth to become the Champion Golfer of the Year for 2021.
Sadly, it was not to be for the overnight leader, Louis Oosthuizen, who faltered early on the final day, falling back to 10 under par, four strokes behind his playing partner and eventual winner, Morikawa, before they had even reached the inward nine.
A bogey on the difficult 4th hole was exacerbated by a costly drop shot on the reachable par-five 7th hole, where Oosthuizen skulled his bunker shot over the green and failed to get up and down at the second attempt.
2021 will go down as the year of near misses for King Louis in Major championships, with a couple of runner-up finishes to add to yesterday’s eventual tie for third place with US Open champion Jon Rahm.
It may be of little consolation, however, as Oosthuizen climbs back into the top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time since 2012.
Marcel Siem may have been the feel-good story of the week as the veteran German managed to finish in a tie for 15th, an incredible achievement for a man who is currently battling his way back up to the top echelons of golf from the humble European Challenge Tour.
However, from a South African perspective, only getting into the tournament on the Monday prior when fellow countryman Louis de Jager returned a positive Covid-19 test, Dylan Frittelli should be extremely proud of his performance at Royal St Georges.
Frittelli’s fifth-place finish moves the US-based golfer back into the top 100 in the world, now 78th, and secures his spot at next year’s 150th Open Championship at the Home of Golf, St Andrews.
Justin Harding was the third and final South African to finish inside the top 20 at the 149th Open Championship, despite carding a two-over-par round of 72 this past Sunday.
Finishing in a tie for 40th, were Daniel van Tonder, Dean Burmester and JC Ritchie who signed for final rounds of 71, 71 and 66, respectively. The only other South African to make the cut, Christiaan Bezuidenhout never really got things going after an opening round of 68 and eventually finished in a tie for 53rd place.
FINAL RESULTS & PRIZE MONEY:
T-3: Louis Oosthuizen, -11, $682,500 (R9,828,000)
5: Dylan Frittelli, -9, -$480,000 (R6,912,000)
T-19: Justin Harding, $109,000 (R1,569,600)
T-40: JC Ritchie, $45,417 (R650,000)
T-40: Daniel van Tonder, $45,417 (R650,000)
T-40: Dean Burmester, $45,417 (R650,000)
T-53: Christiaan Bezuidenhout, $29,417 (R425,000)
© Agence France-Presse