Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
24 May 2021
9:57 am

PGA runner-up Oosthuizen still hungry for another Major

Ken Borland

Oosthuizen settled for his fifth runner-up finish in the big four tournaments.

Louis Oosthuizen put up a fight before finishing second best at the PGA Championship. Picture: Getty Images

Louis Oosthuizen joined the club of South African golfers beaten into second place by Phil Mickelson at a Major championship when the American became the oldest golfer to win one of the sport’s four main tournaments with his two-stroke victory in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course.

If it wasn’t bad enough having Tiger Woods hogging most of the Majors in the 2000s, winning 12 of them including beating Ernie Els into second place at both the US Open and the Open Championship in 2000, and winning the 2002 Masters by three strokes over Retief Goosen, Mickelson then beat Els by one stroke at the 2004 Masters and Tim Clark by two strokes at Augusta in 2006.

American golfer Phil Mickelson

American player Phil Mickelson with the PGA Championship trophy. Picture: Getty Images

Oosthuizen was just marginally off his game in the final round, while his putter remained his most unresponsive club as he posted a one-over-par 73 to finish tied second with American multiple Major winner Brooks Koepka. They each earned R14.7 million.

While Mickelson is celebrating his own place in the annals of history as the oldest ever Major winner, Oosthuizen will be mulling over his fifth runner-up finish in the big four tournaments, having claimed only one Major title at the 2010 Open Championship. But the 38-year-old player can take some heart from the fact that Mickelson, who turns 51 on June 16, has finished second 11 times in Majors, though the left-hander has also won six.

“I feel like I’m playing my heart out to get a second Major and I do know I have the game to do it. This was close,” Oosthuizen said after the final round.

“My game wasn’t great on the weekend, but it was better today than yesterday, so I just need to work harder on it to get myself in contention again.”

ALSO READ: Mickelson eyes elusive US Open after historic PGA win

What shaped up as being a famous day in South African golf history, with three players in the top six going into the final round, ended as a disappointment, with only Oosthuizen challenging before once again finishing second best.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout shot a 77 to slip to a tie for 30th, while Branden Grace was in a tie for 38th a shot further back after a 78.

Danie van Tonder, in his debut Major appearance, shot 73 in the final round to finish tied 44th, one shot ahead of Rory McIlroy.

Dean Burmester finished tied 59th and Garrick Higgo, also on his Major debut, shot an excellent 69 in the final round to climb to a tie for 64th.