Oosthuizen repeats as Africa Open champ|
East London, South Africa (Sports Network) - Louis Oosthuizen's final birdie
on the 17th hole on Sunday was enough to propel him to a second straight
Africa Open title over upstart Tjaart Van Der Walt.
Oosthuizen finished the final round with his second straight six-under 67,
giving him a tournament-record 27-under 265 over 72 holes at East London Golf
Club. It's the fourth title overall for the South African, becoming the first
player to repeat at this event in its brief five-year history.
The top two finishers were neck and neck all afternoon, even with only two
holes to play. Oosthuizen finally squeaked ahead with a 30-foot birdie
putt on the par-three 17th, while Van Der Walt's bogey on the same hole all
but decided the tournament.
Both parred the last to give Oosthuizen the title.
"It was a real dogfight for most of the day," Oosthuizen said. "I remember
watching Tjaart when I was an amateur, and it was just great seeing him play
to his potential today."
Van Der Walt (69) still put together a fine runner-up performance at 25-under
267, but he was denied his first European Tour title. Retief Goosen, who won
the 2009 Africa Open when it was sanctioned by only the Sunshine Tour, shot a
four-under 69 Sunday and finished third at minus-24.
Jaco Van Zyl (66) was fourth at 23-under, while Alastair Forsyth (67) was
fifth at minus-22.
Oosthuizen, a former British Open champ, began the day tied with Van Der Walt,
and it remained that way for a majority of the round.
Both started at 21-under, and Van Der Walt made the first big move with
birdies on each of the first three holes. Oosthuizen went birdie-bogey-eagle
during the same stretch to stay one behind, but fell two back with a bogey at
Oosthuizen quickly tied Van Der Walt at 24-under with birdies at the sixth and
seventh, but Van Der Walt stayed a shot ahead with a birdie at the eighth.
Oosthuizen kept pace again with a birdie at the ninth before making the turn.
Oosthuizen grabbed his first outright lead of the final round with a birdie at
the 11th, but Van Der Walt came back with a birdie at the 13th to draw even
once again. The pair parred the next three holes to set up the exciting
Van Der Walt was unable to make it count when it mattered most, posting his
first bogey of the day and first in 27 holes at the ill-fated 17th.
Oosthuizen, meanwhile, gave himself a huge advantage with his second birdie of
the tournament on the par-three hole.
Oosthuizen managed to par the 18th, and Van Der Walt was unable to pull off
the miracle and also settled for par.
"(Van Der Walt) played really well," Oosthuizen said. "He's one of those that
won't go away. He's not going to mess it up -- he's too consistent for that."
NOTES: The top four finishers and five of the top six are from South
Africa...Goosen held the old tournament record of 267 from his victory in
2009...Next week is the Joburg Open, which was won by another South African
major winner, reigning Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
01/08 10:43:22 ET