Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen is determined to become a multiple SA Open winner by claiming back-to-back titles this week.
The 2020 edition of South Africa’s biggest golf competition starts at the Randpark Golf Course in Johannesburg on Thursday morning. For Oosthuizen, it is an ‘extra special’ occasion to defend his title, while he also acts as the player host of the competition in the absence of Ernie Els.
‘It was special winning the SA Open for the first time last year as it was something that I’d always dreamt about, which was why I got so emotional at the time. Then to later get a call from Ernie [the previous tournament host] and Selwyn Nathan asking me to become the new tournament host was also special,’ said the 37-year-old ahead of the competition.
Oosthuizen, though, is not getting ahead of himself, admitting it’s going to be difficult with such a strong field of players and after a busy December schedule where he competed at the Presidents Cup in Australia.
‘I’ve played a couple of social rounds since and right now I’m not sure what my swing is going to do. Besides, I’m going to have to beat a very strong field this week including my good buddy, Charl Schwartzel.’
The 2010 British Open champion is also extremely impressed with the current standard of young golfers coming through the ranks in South Africa, with a record number of 11 amateurs competing at the SA Open this week.
‘I mean, we had four South Africans in the Junior Presidents Cup team.’
Oosthuizen will line up alongside Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Jayden Schaper (amateur) for the opening round on Thursday.