US Open: Louis finds staying with Bryson impossible

Sep 21, 2020 | Featured, South Africans abroad

There was never going to be much he could do about it, but Louis Oosthuizen plugged away manfully on Sunday as Bryson de Chambeau blasted his way to a six-stroke victory in the US Open at Winged foot.

Oosthuizen’s closing round of three-over-par 73 was no match for the power and the touch of De Chambeau, but he nevertheless managed to finish third, behind young Matthew Wolff who was runner-up and eight shots behind De Chambeau.

It was Oosthuizen’s sixth career top-three finish in a major championship. Since 2010, only four players have had more such finishes in the majors: Phil Mickelson (eight), Jordan Spieth (eight), Dustin Johnson (seven) and Rory McIlroy (seven).

Oosthuizen made two birdies to mitigate the effects of five bogeys, but the writing was on the wall the whole week as De Chambeau’s consistent distance advantage off the tee made a mockery of the thick rough meant to place a premium on accuracy off the tee.

Both the champion and Wolff took advantage of their proximity to the greens after long tee shots, and made use of their strength to gouge their way out of whatever trouble they might have been in and get close enough to give themselves chances that other players were simply unable to manufacture.

Behind Oosthuizen, Erik van Rooyen signed off with a flourish carding a level-par 70 to climb into 23rd for the tournament. Christiaan Bezuidenhout had no such luck, his 12-over-par 82 seeing him slip all the way down the leaderboard to 55th spot.

Like Oosthuizen, however, those two other South Africans who also made the cut will take the experience into future major championships and will no doubt contend more successfully in some of those.

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