South African players, lead by Erik Van Rooyen, Zander Lombard, Brandon Stone, Shaun Norris and Louis Oosthuizen, are all in contention for the weekend at The Open Championship taking place at Carnoustie, the home of the 147th Championship, and it has been host to golf’s oldest major on seven other occasions.
Carnoustie first hosted The Open in 1931 and has produced some of the most dramatic moments in Open history. Boasting champion golfers such as Henry Cotton, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Tom Watson, Carnoustie is sure to deliver another worthy Champion in 2018.This is the kind of atmosphere that the South African players have stepped into and playing at their best will ensure that their names will be remembered or be written into the history books of the Open Championship.
South African golfing legend Gary Player says: “If Brandon Stone produces the kind of play he did last week when he won the Scottish Open, then the youngster could triumph at The Open at Carnoustie Golf Links.”
Van Rooyen managed to stay in contention after he dropped his putter on his ball marker on the 18th green and had to wait several minutes before a rules official said he could replace his marker. Van Rooyen went on to say that day two was far more challenging and he had to battle to stay in his own bubble and stay calm. No doubt Van Rooyen has the temperament and game to be in the final group on Sunday.South Africa’s Zander Lombard, the youngest of the South Africans at the age of 23 years, shot four-under 67 in his opening round, which would give him all the confidence to go into the weekend with the right game plan and support of the more senior and experienced South African players.Shaun Norris has fond memories of last year’s Open and the big question is, can he have a repeat in the 147th running of the event at Carnoustie? Shaun Norris has extensive experience playing in the UK, having spent time on the third tier EuroPro Tour over ten years ago. He has shown that he has the ability to shoot a low round and that could give him the finish that would reward his years of playing abroad in Japan, Asia and on the EuroPro Tour. A brilliant 65, in round three at Royal Birkdale last year, is in him to produce again.Louis Oosthuizen needs no introduction. The South African golfer is competing at this year’s Open Championship, the tournament he won in 2010, to record his only victory in a major. Louis is the anchor, the rock and the most experienced of the SA players going into the weekend. He is the player who has won and has the recipe to lift the trophy again and one cannot count him out going into today’s third round.