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Oosthuizen pulls away to dominating Open title
ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (AP) - Louis Oosthuizen walked over the Swilcan Bridge toward a victory that was never in doubt Sunday at St. Andrews, another big moment in sports for South Africa.
This celebration, though, carried a different tune.
The drone of vuvuzelas, all the rage at the World Cup, was replaced by the skirl of bagpipes coming from behind the Royal & Ancient clubhouse. For the 27-year-old South African, the sound could not have been sweeter.
With a performance that rivaled the dominance of Tiger Woods at the home of golf 10 years ago, Oosthuizen led over the final 48 holes and blew away the field by seven shots to capture the British Open.
“To win an Open championship is special,” Oosthuizen said. “But to win it at St. Andrews … it’s something you dream about.”
The timing could not have been better _ one week after South Africa concluded a wildly popular World Cup, and the day Nelson Mandela celebrated his 92nd birthday.
“It felt a bit special, really,” he said. “When I walked down 18, I was thinking about his birthday.”
By then, the hard work was done. Oosthuizen (WUHST’-hy-zen) made only two bogeys over the final 35 holes in a strong wind that swept across the Old Course. He closed with a 1-under 71 for a seven-shot victory over Lee Westwood, who was never in the game.
The only challenge came from Paul Casey, who got within three shots after the eighth hole, then drove the green on the par-4 ninth. Oosthuizen answered by hitting driver onto the green and knocking in a 50-foot eagle putt to restore his cushion.
Three holes later, Casey hit into a gorse bush and made triple bogey, while Oosthuizen holed an 18-foot birdie putt.
Oosthuizen spent the final hour soaking up an atmosphere unlike any other in golf with his caddie, Zack Rasego. He finished at 16-under 272 and became the first player since Tony Lema in 1964 to win his first major at St. Andrews.
Just as Lema did when he won, Oosthuizen ordered bottles of champagne for the press.
Never mind that everyone struggled to pronounce his name. All that mattered was the spelling on the bottom of that claret jug. And yes, the engraver used the abbreviated version _ Louis _ not his given name of Lodewicus Theodorus Oosthuizen.
With the fifth victory of his career, Oosthuizen moved to No. 15 in the world. And as a sign of just how global golf has become, it’s the second time this decade that the four major championship trophies reside on four continents.
“Nobody was going to stop him,” said Casey, whose adventures in the gorse sent him to a 75 and a tie for third with Rory McIlroy (68) and Henrik Stenson (71). “He didn’t miss a shot today. I don’t know if he missed one all week. That was four days of tremendous golf. He didn’t flinch today.”
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
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