Louis Oosthuzien’s heroic performance in winning the Maybank Malaysian Open, just a week after suffering a heart-breaking play-off defeat at the Masters Tournament, has earned the South African The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Award for April.
Oosthuizen battled jetlag, high humidity and a world-class field at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, in the Malaysian capital, to seal his fifth European Tour title and swiftly banish the disappointment of missing out on his second Major Championship.
The 2010 Open Champion admitted his agonising play-off defeat to American Bubba Watson at Augusta National had caused him sleepless nights, but he showed few signs of fatigue in compiling four sub-70 rounds to cruise to a three-shot victory over runner-up Stephen Gallacher of Scotland.
His €314,700 winner’s cheque, allied to the €652,080 he received for finishing runner-up at the Masters Tournament, lifted Oosthuizen to second place in The Race to Dubai behind World Number Two Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.
The Golfer of the Month panel, comprising members of the golfing media, also praised the performances of South African Branden Grace and Bernd Wiesberger.
Perhaps inspired by his friend and compatriot’s feat in Malaysia, Grace followed Oosthuizen into the winners’ enclosure at the Volvo China Open. It was Grace’s third victory of a stunning season, and moved the South African up to fourth place in The Race to Dubai.
One week later, Wiesberger made his mark on The 2012 European Tour International Schedule by claiming his maiden title at the Ballantine’s Championship, where he cruised to a five-shot victory to confirm his status as the rising star of Austrian golf.
The panel also commended the victories of American Ben Curtis at the Valero Texas Open on the US PGA Tour and Australian Scott Hend at the ISPS Honda Singapore Classic on the Asian Tour, as well as Englishman Lee Westwood’s successful title defence at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters, also on the Asian Tour.
Oosthuizen follows Branden Grace (January), Paul Lawrie (February) and Rory McIlroy as monthly winners so far in 2012. All four players will join the subsequent award recipients in being considered for The 2012 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year, an award won last year by World Number One Luke Donald of England.