Shrekie buoyed by Gary Player’s call
Louis Oosthuizen has disclosed how a telephone call from legendary Gary Player helped him hold off four European stars.
While celebrated his runaway Open Championship victory at St Andrews on Sunday South African Louis Oosthuizen revealed how a telephone call from the legendary Gary Player had helped him to keep four Europeans stars at bay.
“We had a little chat in my home language Afrikaans,” said the 27-year-old after his seven-shot win over Lee Westwood, with Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson joint third, a shot further back..
Casey was the one playing in the final group, but the Englishman could not match Oosthuizen’s eagle at the ninth and then took a triple bogey seven on the 12th to fall from five behind to all of eight shots off the pace.
Referring to Player’s advice he added: “He was saying just to stay calm out there, have a lot of fun and that the crowd was probably going to be on Paul’s side.
“But then he told me the story when he played against Arnold Palmer when he won his first Masters. He said they wanted to throw stuff at him, but that he was so focused it didn’t matter.
“It meant a lot him phoning me up. He’s just a great guy.”
Oosthuizen also praised Ernie Els, whose Foundation gave him his real start in golf, and wished happy birthday to Nelson Mandela on his 92nd birthday.
“That’s amazing. I woke up this morning and I didn’t know it was his birthday, but I saw it on the news.
“It felt a bit special really out there. When I walked down 18 I was thinking about his birthday and then my manager also gave me a list of things (for his winner’s speech) and it was also in there.
“So it worked out. What he’s done for our country is unbelievable.”
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