Monday, 14 January 2013
Louis Oosthuizen  (Getty Images)
Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)

Louis Oosthuizen’s moment of Masters magic – his albatross during the final round at Augusta National – has been voted by fans as The 2012 European Tour Shot of the Year.

The first albatross at the par five second hole in the history of the Masters Tournament was greeted by one of Augusta National’s famous roars, as the South African’s perfect 253 yard four iron pitched at the front of the green before rolling down the contours and dropping in the hole.

Oosthuizen’s stunning stroke was voted The European Tour Shot of the Year by fans of My European Tour in the annual poll featuring all the Shot of the Month award winners from the 2012 season.

With more than 46% of the votes polled, Oosthuizen narrowly beat Justin Rose’s huge birdie putt across the 17th green in his match against American Phil Mickelson on the final day of The 2012 Ryder Cup, which received 40% of the votes.

Oosthuizen’s electrifying start to the final round at Augusta National took him into the lead and, while he was eventually denied victory by Bubba Watson in a play-off, the albatross will always hold a place in the record books.

The first player to make an albatross at Augusta National was Gene Sarazen, whose two on the 15th hole en route to winning the second Masters Tournament in 1935 was labelled “the shot heard round the world”. The only other albatrosses in Masters Tournament history were Bruce Devlin on the eighth hole in 1967, and Jeff Maggert on the 13th in 1994.

“It has to be the most memorable shot of my career so far,” said Oosthuizen, who won his sixth European Tour title at last week’s Volvo Golf Champions. “To have an albatross is rare enough, but to have one in the final round at Augusta when you’re in contention to win the Masters was very special, and something I’ll always remember when I look back on my career.

“I knew the shot was good as soon as I’d hit it, but I didn’t know just how good until I heard the cheers from the people behind the green. Augusta is really known for its Sunday roars, so to hear the noise when the ball dropped into the hole was a great feeling. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite finish the job off in the afternoon, but winning The European Tour Shot of the Year is some consolation. There were hundreds or even thousands of great shots hit on The European Tour last year, so for mine to be voted the best is a huge honour.”

Every My European Tour fan who voted for Oosthuizen’s albatross has been entered into the prize draw to win a golf break to the stunning Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, including golf and tuition at The European Tour Performance Institute.

One lucky winner will soon be heading to the exclusive Resort, a European Tour Destination and IAGTO European Golf Resort of The Year, for a break which includes two nights’ accommodation in a luxurious suite with breakfast and a round of golf on each course (Le Chateau and Le Riou), as well as unlimited access to the Albatross Golf Performance Centre.

Terre Blanche, a stunning, mature resort nestling in the heart of Provence in the south of France which played host to the 2012 French Riviera Masters won by DJ Russell, is a breath-taking five-star facility located 45 minutes from Nice on the French Riviera, and offers a complete leisure experience for golfers and non-golfers alike. The five-star resort delivers on all fronts, from the five-star Leading Hotel of the World and state-of-the-art Spa to the world-renowned Albatross Golf Performance Centre, and is completed by two challenging 18-hole courses designed by Dave Thomas.

Ranked 18th in Golf World UK magazine’s list of the Top 100 courses in continental Europe, le Château course at Terre Blanche measures 6,616 metres (7,235 yards) and is characterised by several spectacular water hazards. The bunkers, greens and flag positions provide the challenges of a true championship course, rewarding players for precision and distance.

The second 18-hole course, Le Riou, is a highly technical course requiring strategy and precision, measuring 6,005 metres (6,567 yards) and featuring rolling contours and winding fairways. The course unfolds through pine- and oak-lined hills and valleys, providing inspiring views of medieval Provençal villages and the Southern Alps.

The winner will also be treated to some of the most experienced tuition around from Biomecaswing –the ETPI’s appointed biomechanics experts – who will analyse and improve body and technique for a half day, an experience that is guaranteed to improve their game.

Fans will again be able to vote for their favourite shots each month through the 2013 campaign, and ultimately the 2013 Shot of the Year, through My European Tour. The first monthly competition will be run in early February.

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