Louis Oosthuizen is expected to lead the South African charge at the US Open next week.
The US Open is well known for being the most democratic of the four Major championships with almost half the field determined by final qualifying.
After a brutal 36 holes across 11 sectional qualifiers that tested both skill and endurance, five South Africans managed to punch their ticket to Torrey Pines for the 2021 US Open.
Thomas Aiken and Branden Grace were able to secure their spots at The Bears Club in Jupiter, Florida while Erik van Rooyen, Charl Schwartzel and Dylan Frittelli all played their way into the third Major of the year in Columbus, Ohio.
The quintet will join fellow countrymen Oosthuizen, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Garrick Higgo and Wilco Nienaber for another stern test of the golfing ability as the US Open returns to the South Course at Torrey Pines for the first time since 2008 when Tiger Woods held off Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole playoff, despite playing with a broken leg.
A South African golfer has triumphed on five occasions at the US Open: Gary Player in 1965, Ernie Els in 1994 and 1997, and Retief Goosen in 2001 and 2004.
Of the current crop of players, Louis Oosthuizen has come closest, finishing as the runner-up in 2015 to Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. ‘King Louis’ will again be our country’s best chance at ending SA’s Major drought as not since Ernie Els won The Open in 2012 has a South African golfer triumphed in one of the men’s game’s pinnacle events.
17 June 2021 promises to be an unforgettable day in the fledgling career of one Wilco Nienaber who will be making his Major championship debut.
The prodigiously talented youngster from Bloemfontein will be raring to go and together with Garrick Higgo, playing in his second Major, the future of South African golf certainly looks bright.