Louis Oosthuizen will start his final event of the year just two places lower than his 2018 starting point, following his rankings gain on Monday.
The 2010 Open champion returned to the winner’s circle after an emphatic display on Sunday that saw him cruise to a six-shot win at Randpark; his first since the 2016 ISPS HANDA Perth International.
Oosthuizen rose nine places to 25th in the world on the back of his display, and could yet better his January starting position with another strong showing this week at Leopard Creek. The renovated course plays host to the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
A cheque of R2 814 188 was merely a bonus for the 35-year-old as he produced some of his finest short-game work to claim the national title – one he has made no secret of being desirous to win – and become just the fourth South African player to win The Open championship and the SA Open after Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els.
The win comes on the back of a top five finish at the CIMB Classic and his miss at the Nedbank Golf Challenge where he was beaten down the stretch by Lee Westwood.
With new irons helping him dial in his approach shots, it was his putter that moved into fifth gear as he played all week with purpose and intention. There is now a strong belief that this title will lift him on to more as he looks to play his way back into the top 10.
It wasn’t only Oosthuizen who showed a green arrow in the latest rankings, with Branden Grace (up one place to 49th), Shaun Norris (up one place to 74th), Charl Schwartzel (up 10 places to 75th) and Brandon Stone (up 11 to 114th) all making positive moves.
Oosthuizen’s best ranking is fourth, which he achieved in 2013 after his win at the Volvo Golf Champions event.