They say statistics never lie and here’s hoping they stay true for South African Louis Oosthuizen heading to the final round of the 149th Open.
The affable South African with Irish-born caddy Colin Byrne calling the shots with take a one stroke lead at 12-under par into the last day’s play at Royal St. George’s. Here’s how the statistics hopefully line-up for a second Oosthuizen major triumph:
- Louis has held the lead after each of the first three rounds at Royal St. George’s (1 stroke/R1, 2 strokes/R2, 1 stroke/R3)
- The last wire-to-wire winner in a major championship was Brooks Koepka, 2019 PGA Championship
- Rory McIlroy was the last wire-to-wire winner at 2014 Open Championship.
- Louis captured the 2010 Open Championship which is also his only PGA TOUR title; also lost in a playoff in 2015
- Sunday July 18th marks exactly 11 years since Louis’ win in 2010
- Only one player has gone more than 11 years between first and second major championship victories and that was American Julius Boros (11 years, 9 days between 1952 U.S. Open and 1963 U.S. Open)
- Fellow South African Ernie Els holds the record for the longest period between Open wins which is 10-years between first win in 2002 and a second wins at The 2012 Open.
- The longest time between wins at The Open is 11 years (Henry Cotton, 1937 to 1948; tournament not played 1940-45)
- The last player to go 11 years or longer between first and second wins on the PGA TOUR is Lee Westwood (12 years, 2 months, 8 days from 1998 Zurich Classic of New Orleans to 2010 FedEx St. Jude Classic
- Louis finished runner-up at each of the last two majors (T2/PGA Championship, 2nd/U.S. Open) and has six runner-up finishes in 50 majors in his career (T9 all-time)
- Louis’ also had six top-10s in 16 starts during the 2020-21 season, including three runner-up results (P2/Zurich Classic of New Orleans with partner Charl Schwartzel, T2/PGA Championship, 2nd/U.S. Open)
And let’s look at Collin Morikawa, just a shot behind Oosthuizen on 11-under and staring at an historic first should he capture golf’s oldest major.
- Collin now lying at a career-best 54-hole position in a major championship (2nd); entered the final round of the 2020 PGA Championship T4 before going on to win
- It is a fourth time Collin will be playing in the final pairing in the final round on TOUR this season
- He made his tournament debut and won the PGA Championship in his first appearance (2020); no player has ever won two different majors in his first attempt.
- Six players have won The Open in tournament debut since 1900: Jock Hutchison (1921), Denny Shute (1933), Ben Hogan (1953), Tony Lema (1964), Tom Watson (1975), Ben Curtis (2003)
- With Collin making an eighth career major championship appearance; no player has ever won two majors in his first eight attempts
- The four-time PGA Tour winner (2019 Barracuda Championship, 2020 Workday Charity Open, 2020 PGA Championship, 2021 World Golf Championships-Workday Championship)
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