Agony for Oosthuizen at British Open


South African Louis Oosthuizen reacts after completing the 18th hole during the fourth round and final day at the British Open Golf Championship at St Andrews, Scotland, Britain, 20 July 2015.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen lost in a playoff in a Major for the second time in his career as American Zach Johnson won the four-hole, three-man decider for the Open Championship at St Andrews, in Scotland, on Monday.

Johnson ended one under for the four-hole affair, Oosthuizen missed an eight footer for birdie on the 18th as he ended on level par.

Had Oosthuizen made the putt it would have sent the playoff into sudden death.

Aussie March Leishman ended the four-hole playoff on two over.

Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Champion at the same venue, lost to American Bubba Watson in a playoff for the 2012 Masters title.

A teary-eyed Johnson who added to his 2007 Masters triumph to become a two-time Major champion, became emotional following his win.

“To don my name on that trophy is surreal and humbling,” said Johnson.

“It was a week of courage and bravery, I can’t play any better than that, and waited for my opportunities.”

Earlier, needing a birdie to tie Aussie Marc Leishman and American Zach Johnson on the 72nd hole on 15 under, Oosthuizen smashed a massive drive.

He proceeded to hit a crisp approach to within eight feet.

The putter, which misbehaved during his round, on this occasion glided the ball into the hole for a final round 69.

Oosthuizen was bidding to become the first person since Tiger Woods in 2000 and 2005 to lift the Claret Jug at St Andrews, the home of golf.

Oosthuizen began the day tied for the lead on 12 under, and was the first player to get to 13 under with a birdie on his first hole.

He missed a makeable 18 footer for birdie on the fourth and then three-putted for par on the par 5 fifth to remain two strokes adrift.

On the sixth hole, Oosthuizen rolled in a putt of 20 feet to pull within one shot.

Oosthuizen three-putted for bogey on the par three eighth after a poor tee shot left his ball 30 yards away from the hole, albeit still on the massive putting surface.

The Major champion bounced straight back on the par four ninth by draining a birdie putt of around 30 feet to get back to 14 under.

After hitting his tee shot onto the edge of the driveable par four 10th, Oosthuizen three-putted for par for the second time in his round.

A good approach from inside 100 yards on the 12th resulted in a birdie for Oosthuizen to get to 15 under.

On the par four 13th, Oosthuizen drove it way left and had no option but to lay up with his second to miss his first green in regulation of the round.

He made a mess of the pitch, and needed a brilliant flop shot for his fourth to drop just the one shot.

Four pars followed for Oosthuizen, before the crucial birdie on the last.

The 32-year-old was aiming to become the first South African to win a major since Ernie Els won The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012.