: Lodewicus Theodoris Oosthuizen ("wuhst-Hy-zen") secured his place in the history books with a magnificent victory in the 150th anniversary of The Open Championship at St Andrews. His seven stroke victory placed him alongside South African legends Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els as Open Champions. It was only his ninth appearance in a Major Championship and his Open success came only four months after his European Tour breakthrough, his victory in the Open de Andalucia de Golf instilling the belief that he could win.
He was born in 1982 in the town of Mossel Bay, South Africa, a small community about 34 miles east of Cape Town. Oosthuizen comes from a family that tends a farm back in Mossel Bay. His father and brother were great tennis players, but for some reason Louis opted to play golf. He grew up alongside Charl Schwartzel and the two won the World Junior team Championship in 2000.
At the age of 17 in 1999, he got a big break when he was given one of the first memberships in the Ernie Els Foundation, which sole purpose was to identify talented young South African players and give them the resource to get better in golf and provide educational and life-skill assistance. As Oosthuizen related to the media, being a part of the foundation for three years was an important part of his growth. At this stage of his life things were very expensive and he doubted that his father would of been able to absorb the expense if he wasn't a part of the foundation. Not only was the financial concerns taken away but Oosthuizen related how important it was that Els attended some of the clinics and spent time with the boys and became a mentor for Oosthuizen and Schwartzel. Oosthuizen turned pro in 2002 and played on the South African tour, then joined the European Tour in 2004. He won for the first time in South Africa at the 2004 Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour at Arabella and then the all important 2007 Dimension Data and the Telkon PGA Championship. Oosthuizen struggled on the European Tour his first five years and didn't make any real progress until 2009 when he had a runner-up finish in Abu Dhabi and then the Qatar Masters. Oosthuizen got into the winners circle in March when he won the Open de Andalucia, which got him into a totally different level in the golfing world. That win, along with a runner-up finish the week before in Morocco, was very important because it got him into the top-50 of the world rankings on the closing week to get into the Masters. Not only did those two great finishes get him into the Masters, but he was able to hold on to stay in the top-50 to play in both the U.S. Open and Open Championship.
Thanks to the gap in his front teeth and with the help of Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke he got the nickname "Shrek". He use to have a Shrek head cover on his bag, something that his caddie got rid of because he felt that it was bad luck.
For those still stuck, there are two ways to pronounce his name, first probably the way they do it in South Africa, WUHST-Hy-zen and another over in Europe, OOST-hou-sen.
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