Player call inspires Oosthuizen

7/19/2010 8:40:33 AM
Louis Oosthuizen  (Getty Images)
Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)

As South African Louis Oosthuizen celebrated a runaway Open Championship victory at St Andrews he revealed how a telephone call from the great Gary Player had inspired him.

"We had a little chat in my home language Afrikaans," said the 27 year old after his seven-shot win over Lee Westwood, with Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson joint third.

Casey was the one playing in the final group, but the Englishman could not match Oosthuizen's eagle at the ninth and then took a triple bogey seven on the 12th to fall from five behind to eight back.

Referring to Player's advice he added: "He was saying just to stay calm out there, have a lot of fun and that the crowd was probably going to be on Paul's side.

"But then he told me the story when he played against Arnold Palmer when he won his first Masters. He said they wanted to throw stuff at me, but he was so focused on beating him in Augusta.

"It meant a lot him phoning me up. He's just a great guy."

Oosthuizen also praised Ernie Els, whose Foundation gave him his real start in golf, and wished happy birthday to Nelson Mandela on his 92nd birthday.

"That's amazing. I woke up this morning and I didn't know it was his birthday, but I saw it on the news.

"It felt a bit special really out there. When I walked down 18 I was thinking about his birthday and then my manager also gave me a list of things (for his winner's speech) and it was also in there.

"So it worked out. What he's done for our country is unbelievable."