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Oosthuizen pulls away to dominating Open title
No way he was going to win this one. Neither was anyone else.
Oosthuizen might have been nervous, but it didn’t show. Charl Schwartzel, his best friend from their junior golf days in South Africa, ran into him on Saturday and said Oosthuizen was showing him comedy videos on his phone.
“This was about an hour before he teed off,” Schwartzel said.
If anyone showed nerves, it was Casey. With the warm applause from a British gallery that had not seen one of its own holding a claret jug in 11 years, he hit wedge to 4 feet below the hole at No. 1 to send a message. The birdie putt caught the right lip, however, and it took until the sixth hole before Casey could make a birdie.
He wasn’t alone. Of the final 10 players to tee off, only Goosen made a birdie on any of the opening five holes.
Oosthuizen plodded along with pars.
“He’s doing all the things he needs to do,” said Woods, who has more experience than anyone playing from ahead in a major. “He’s being consistent, putting all the pressure on Paul to come get him. He doesn’t need to go out there and shoot a low round today.”
Oosthuizen went 24 consecutive holes without a bogey until his streak ended on the par-3 eighth hole by missing a 6-foot par putt. That trimmed his lead to three, and Casey hit driver onto the par-4 ninth green.
Whatever momentum he had didn’t last long. Oosthuizen also drove the ninth green and holed his 50-foot eagle putt to restore the lead to four shots, same as when he started. And this Open effectively ended three holes later.
Casey drove into the gorse bushes left of the 12th, took a drop back toward the seventh fairway, came up short of the green and wound up making a triple bogey, dropping him eight shots behind.
Oosthuizen spent the final hour with a big grin on his face, although he started out that way, too.
The biggest smile came on the 18th green, with a hug for Rasego, and an embrace with wife Nel-Mare and 7-month-old daughter Jana. It will be years before the child can appreciate the magnitude of this moment.
“I will say, ‘That’s the day Daddy makes us the proudest,’” his wife said. “And we’ll never forget it.”
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
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