• South Africa’s Major drought is nearly over

    Christiaan Bezuidenhout
    Christiaan Bezuidenhout

    If the numbers are anything to go by, South Africa’s Major winning drought will be coming to an end this year, writes Dylan Berger.

    On Sunday the 10th April 2011, South African golf had arguably reached its pinnacle point. Charl Schwartzel had just won the US Masters with a historic back 9 finish; his best friend Louis Oosthuizen was the reigning 2010 Open champion and Tim Clark was about to defend his 2010 Player’s Championship title at golf’s unofficial “5th Major”.

    At that brief moment in time at the beginning of the previous decade, South Africa held 3 of the top 5 titles in golf. It leaves one feeling somewhat disappointed that since then, only one Major title has been won with Ernie Els winning the 2012 Open Championship. And then the drought started.

    However, all is not lost and if one looks at the numbers, the almost decade long drought is coming to an end this year.

    South Africa has produced 7 Major winning champions. All but 2 winning their first Major whilst in their twenties.

    Player

    First Major

    Age At Time of Win

    Bobby Locke

    The Open 1949

    31

    Gary Player

    The Open 1959

    23

    Ernie Els

    US Open 1994

    24

    Retief Goosen

    US Open 2001

    32

    Trevor Immelman

    US Masters 2008

    28

    Louis Oosthuizen

    The Open 2010

    27

    Charl Schwartzel

    US Masters 2011

    26

    Average

    The Open

    27

    Christiaan Bezuidenhout, South Africa’s stand-out golfer over the past 2 seasons turned 27 on the 18th May. The current world No.44 showed glimpses of his Major winning potential at the PGA Championship last month. Even a closing round 77 still left him with a respectable T30 finish which is his best Major championship performance to date.

    The Delmas born native has had a solid season on the PGA Tour this year missing zero cuts and with a best place finish of 7th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational up to now.

    Bezuidenhout was born in 1994, the same year that Ernie Els won his first US Open making 2021 the 27th anniversary of Els’ remarkable victory at Oakmont Country Club.

    If the numbers are anything to go by, South Africa’s Major winning drought will be coming to an end this year. At odds of 100-1 for the US Open, the talented Bezuidenhout might just be the upset pick of the week.

    Article written by

    Juandre Joubert

    ×