Schwartzel/Oosthuizen lead after round 3 at Zurich Classic

Apr 25, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

As PGA Tour members, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have maintained bases in the United States for years now, residing and playing golf in Palm Beach, Florida, but they haven’t surrendered everything from their South African roots.

In quality team golf, when a team mixes and matches effectively to keep momentum churning at opportune times, Americans might claim to have “ham ‘n egged it” very effectively. Oosthuizen and Schwartzel use a different term, gleaned from their early days across the globe: To mix well as a team is to dovetail.

The two were asked if they had “dovetailed” to their satisfaction after their Saturday 9-under 63 at TPC Louisiana not only tied the day’s low four-ball score at the Zurich Classic, but propelled them atop the leaderboard at 19-under 197.

“We dovetailed well, yeah,” Schwartzel said. To which Oosthuizen, with a smile, immediately retorted to the reporter who’d asked, “It sounds weird when you say it.”

The pair’s comfort level is obvious, as they go back to playing golf with and against one another as pre-teens. That could prove to be a significant key as Oosthuizen and Schwartzel head into the tougher foursomes format on Sunday, trying to land victory in the PGA TOUR’s lone official two-man team event.

Believe it or not, Oosthuizen, 38, owns 13 victories around the world (including the 2010 British Open at St. Andrews), but never has won a tournament on U.S. soil. How cool would it be if were able to do it with his good pal Charl, 36, the 2011 Masters champion, there by his side?

“I think Louis obviously played really well in a lot of majors, and we’ve both won a lot of tournaments, and I feel like the more difficult it is, the better we both play,” Schwartzel said. “So the format for tomorrow in a way suits us, and if we execute the shots the way we see it, we’ll have a good chance.”

The South African pair finished third in this event in 2018. They’ll face a tough combination on Sunday: A difficult format, a toughening golf course that is growing firmer each day and some talented tandems close behind that are very capable of catching them if they play well. Australians Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith – the latter won this event with Jonas Blixt in 2017 to earn his PGA TOUR card – will join Oosthuizen-Schwartzel in the final pairing, just one shot back at 18 under after their own 63. (It was a popular number; six teams shot 63 Saturday.)

Also one shot back will be Tony Finau and Cameron Champ, the long bombers who had played great for two-and-a-half days but hit a wall and stopped making birdies on the back nine Saturday. They shot 67 in best-ball one day after shooting 68 in alternate-shot, and look forward to getting back on track on Sunday.

From the PGA Tour

You may also like…