Born in Mossel Bay, South Africa in 1982, Lodewicus ‘Louis’ Oosthuizen turned professional in 2002 and won his first event on the European Tour, the Open de Andalucia de Golf, in March, 2010. The following July, he entered the Open Championship at St. Andrews, having missed the cut in seven of his eight previous appearances at major championships. However, Oosthuizen defied expectation, shooting 65-67-69-71 for a total of 272 – the second lowest in St. Andrews’ history – to win the Open Championship by seven strokes.
Strangely, though, it was after his maiden major championship victory that Oosthuizen started to develop a ‘nearly man’ reputation. Since his wide-margin win at the ‘Home of Golf’, he has finished outright second or tied second in all four major championships, including the Open Championship at St. Andrews in 2015, at least once apiece.
Oosthuizen began his run of ‘seconditis’ in the Majors at the Masters Tournament in 2012, where he finished tied with Bubba Watson after 72 holes, but lost on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff after Watson hit a remarkable recovery shot from the trees on the right of the tenth fairway. Three years later, he finished tied second in the US Open at Chambers Bay after shooting 77-66-66-67 – thereby tying the record low score for 54 holes, 199 – and the aforementioned Open Championship at St. Andrews, losing out to Zach Johnson by a single stroke in a four-hole playoff.
More recently, Oosthuisen has also finished tied second in the PGA Championship twice, losing out by two strokes to Justin Thomas at Quail Hollow in 2017 – thereby completing a career ‘Grand Slam’ of runner-up finishes – and by the same margin to Phil Mickelson at Kiawah Island in 2021. The following month, he was tied for the lead in the US Open at Torrey Pines after 54 holes, but eventually finished tied second again, by a single stroke, after John Rahm holed birdie putts from 25 feet and 18 feet on the final two holes.