Cink: Enjoy it while you have it, Louis
2009 champ Stewart Cink has advised Louis Oosthuizen to make the most of his next 12 months as winner of golf’s oldest major.
Deposed champion Stewart Cink advised his successor Louis Oosthuizen to make the most of the next 12 months as winner of golf’s most historic major.
The South African romped to victory at St Andrews having led from early on the second day.
Cink, who won a play-off against five-time Open winner Tom Watson last year, has certainly had his fun with the Claret Jug, filling with all variety of liquids from Guinness to barbecue sauce.
The 37-year-old American’s triumph received probably less acclaim than it should have done because of the fact he deprived veteran Watson of a fairytale win.
But that did not stop him revelling in being Open champion.
“This is not a stage he has been on much yet but it will change,” said Cink.
“When you win a big tournament you get a bit more respect from your peers.
“You just have to enjoy the win and everything you can about the whole year as Open champion.
“It is really special to be in possession of that Claret Jug and some people may not appreciate how special it is.
“There are relatively few people who can claim that title so it deserves to be treated with respect.”
US Open champion Graeme McDowell, who won his first major at Pebble Beach last month, was delighted for the South African.
“He’s a great kid. We’ve known for a long time he is extremely talented and for a long time he worked with the same coach, Peter Cowen, as me,” said the Northern Irishman.
“He seems to have been one of these guys who has underachieved because he has all the tools.”
World number one and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods paid tribute to Oosthuizen’s staying power and resilience.
“He’s done all the things he needs to do. He’s been consistent and put all the pressure on Paul Casey to come and get him,” said the American.
“He didn’t need to go out there and shoot a low round as par or just under was going to win it for him.
“Basically the tournament was his.”
Oosthuizen’s compatriot Thomas Aiken acknowledged that his friend has got one over on him with a first major victory but did not begrudge him it at all.
He said: “I’ve known him since he was 11. There was myself and the likes of Charl Schwartzel and we all played junior golf, made the South African junior and amateur teams and have been pushing each other ever since.
“I think we all want to kill each other on the golf course but off it we are friends and we don’t wish bad things on each other, that’s the worst thing you can do as karma comes round and bites you.
“We are very friendly and every tournament we are at we always try to stay together.
“It has been great to see the golf he has been playing this week.
“Some people end up spending a lifetime waiting for their week and this has definitely been Louis’ week.”
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