Oosthuizen plans to stay on European Tour, despite doors now open to him

louis oosthuizen, claret jug, belt
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In the wake of his British Open victory, Louis Oosthuizen returned to the Old Course to pose with the Claret Jug and the replica of the unique red leather and silver buckle belt that served as the trophy at the inaugural British Open.
PA Sport


Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 | 1:01 p.m.

New British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen has committed himself to the European Tour for the time being -- starting with the Nordea Scandinavian Masters in Sweden this week.

The South African's seven-shot victory at St. Andrews entitles him to PGA Tour membership, but he remains clear on his plans.

"At the moment, I am playing my schedule like I would have," he said. "I think the only difference is I am in Akron now."

That is the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in three weeks' time, and it will be followed a week later by the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, where tradition dictates he will play the first two rounds with Masters champion Phil Mickelson and U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell.

Oosthuizen's brief sleep Sunday night was with the Claret Jug alongside his bed, but while he will have to return that at the start of next year's championship at Sandwich, he also has in his possession a permanent reminder of his first major title. As part of the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the first Open in 1860, Oosthuizen was also presented with a replica of the red leather and silver buckle belt that was the original Open trophy.

The 27-year-old, a 250/1 shot before the event, is golf's newest major champion, but it has already given him the taste for more.

"I want a few more of them," he stated. "It would be great - after winning one, you want to get to the second one and after the second one you probably want to get to the third. I'm going to work harder and get as many as I can."

Part of the key to his success was a red dot on his golf glove, the idea of sports psychologist Karl Morris to help him focus more with his pre-shot routine.

"It's the first time I've done it,” he said, “and I'm very happy with the way I did it the last nine holes."