Louis proved all the naysayers wrong! He held the lead in the Open Championship from the 7th hole on Friday and never once looked like he would relinquish his grip on the coveted Claret Jug. With the victory South Africa has their 20th major championship and he becomes the fourth South African to win "Champion Golfer of the Year" honors.
Paul Casey, the nearest challenger, was no match for the diminutive man from Mossel Bay. Shrekkie, as he is nicknamed, showed no sign of wavering on Sunday as he split the fairway early and often. He did exactly what was needed - stay ahead of the pressure (three shots or more) and never gave Casey any hint that he had a chance. That eagle on nine must have hurt!
Here are a few observations from the event:
- The shot tracker feature off the 17th hole was phenomenal. A great idea that got even better when shown from the fairway. I got to a point where I could tell where balls would end up just by watching the tracker from the tee.
- I think the 17th hole played a little too long and I believe the chaps at the R&A would agree. They showed their thoughts by not putting the flag beyond the Road Hole Bunker once.
- Tom Watson did a fantastic job in the booth. He was the only one who came close to pronouncing Oosthuizen correctly, although it did look like John Daly picked out his outfit for Sunday.
- I enjoyed the addition of Rocco Mediate on the telecast - he was fresh and unrehearsed.
- Tom Weiskopf was insightful, but very dreary and slow and I felt he took away from the experience.
- Ricky Fowler is a golfer for the future! What a great turn around after his poor start.
- St. Andrews is the finest golf course on the planet - in my opinion. For almost 150 years it has withstood the challenges from the games finest and still continues to stand tall.
- After the butchering of "Oosthuizen" by all who attempted it, the Champion Golfer will from now on be referred to as Louis - to go along with Tiger, Phil and Ernie!
Some may have thought the Open was drab, but I absolutely loved it. What can be better than a fresh young star winning on the best golf course in the best event?