Louis Oosthuizen began his 2014 schedule the same way he has for the past four years, with a win. The popular South African went birdie-birdie on the closing holes at the Volvo Golf Champions tournament in Durban South Africa to pick up his second trophy in as many years at The Durban Country Club in the KwaZulu-Natal Province near the Indian Ocean.
The 31 year-old 2010 Open Champ carded a -4 under par 68 on Sunday for one-shot win over countryman, Branden Grace, and two shots over third-round leader, Tommy Fleetwood.
Oosthuizen vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with an eagle 3 at the par five eighth hole. He fell on hard times again, at 16 where he hit a great recovery shot to save bogey. He doubled the 16th on Saturday and knew he would need birdies at 17 and 18 if he wanted the victory.
Branden Grace shot a 68 of his own, and watched from the clubhouse as Oosthuizen nipped him on the final hole. The birdie at 17 was the key hole to his win.
However, as Grace watched on television, Oosthuizen hit a superb approach to two feet on the 17th and then chipped to the same distance on the short par four 18th to seal the win and first prize of €507,654.
“After my tee shot on 16 I was lucky that I could chip it out and nearly made a great par,” Oosthuizen said. “But when I stood over the ball on 17 I saw that Branden had made birdie on 18 so I knew that second shot was crucial to give myself a good opportunity and I hit it really close.
“And then 18, everyone thinks you just need to make a birdie but around that green it’s not easy and luckily I was far enough past where I could pitch it back into the grain and get it close.
Third-round leader, Brit Tommy Fleetwood, could never get it going at the Durban Country Club. He put up three bogeys on the front nine, and after making the turn at 38, only managed two birdies down the stretch. He finished with even par on the day, and in a tie for third place with second-round leader, Joost Luiten.
Louis oosthuizen missed most of the 2013 season due to problems with his back. After withdrawing from the Open Championship, he fell to a 34th place World Ranking. He was 27th in the Race To Dubai, but after the results of the Volvo are posted, he should have a second place position.
Now it’s off to the Desert Swing on the Sunshine Tour, and Abu Dhabi. This will be the strongest field of the new year as most of the top players on the European Tour, and stars from the PGA return to work.
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