Louis Oosthuizen, 2010
Major CV: 2010 was the 150th anniversary of The Open – the 28th at St Andrews – and was dominated by a rank outsider, Louis Oosthuizen, who’d only made the cut in one of his previous eight Major outings.
St Andrews moment: The South African claimed his first Major in convincing fashion, finishing seven strokes clear of Lee Westwood after carding 272 (-16, £850,000 prize money).
Why is St Andrews so special?
Firstly, it’s a true links where you play plenty of bump and run shots. You can feel the tradition of the town and the course as soon as you get there. When you step on the Swilcan Bridge you know that every great golfer the game has known has walked over it.
What is your favourite hole?
It would have to be the 17th, because it is unique. It’s such a difficult tee shot over the hotel, and then you need a long time to fathom what to do for your second. It’s blind off the tee and you have to hit over out of bounds and hope it comes back in. Then there’s the Road Hole bunker to avoid and a narrow entrance to a long, thin green. If you have your putter in your hand for your third shot, you have got through the hard bit.
What would be your stand-out St Andrews moment?
It would have to be walking up the 18th knowing that only a complete disaster could stop me winning. I was able to take it all in, especially seeing all my family and friends cheering me on. It is something I will never forget. Winning The Open at St Andrews. It doesn’t get any better for a golfer.
Is today’s Old Course too short and easy for the modern game?
Not at all. Its defences are mainly with the elements, but it’s not easy even on a calm day. And there’s always the 17th waiting to pounce on the slightest mistake.
Will The Open still be played on the Old Course in 100 years time?
I sincerely hope so. The Open and St Andrews will be together as long as golf is played.
Who is your tip to win this year?
This is the needle in the haystack question. There are far too many people capable of winning than I have space for here.