Forget Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and (probably/maybe) Martin Kaymer. Reigning British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen has decided to play on the PGA Tour next season. Ranked 23rd in the world, Oosthuizen earned the privilege of playing on the PGA Tour with his major win at St. Andrews, where he dominated and captured the Claret Jug in a decisive seven-shot victory over current world’s No. 1 Westwood.
Wait, there’s more good news!
Fellow South African Charl Schwartzel, the No. 37-ranked golfer, will also call the PGA Tour his home next season. Schwartzel won twice on the European Tour in 2010 and finished second to Ernie Els at the WGC-CA Championship earlier this year.
Since Oosthuizen’s dominating major victory, he faded from public consciousness (at least in America), mostly due to an ankle injury that sidelined him this fall.
Now who needs the World’s No. 1, the Northern Irish Wunderkind or The Next Real Deal when you’ve got a recent major champ whose nickname is Shrek and Schwartzel (to bring to the table in TV network negotiations)?!
While I kid, I don’t have to tell you that Oosthuizen and Schwartzel are premier players and great additions to the PGA Tour. Oosty is also a thoughtful champion — he sent boxes of champagne to the media room. For some reason, sipping bubbly as I wrote my final piece made it feel more like a festive celebration. And Oosty basically won me and the entire press corps over with that gesture. (I’m know, I’m a cheap date.)
Still, Shrek and Charl don’t dazzle audiences and sponsors like some of the Euros that snubbed the US Tour.
Meanwhile, Jim Nantz and Johnny Miller have less than two months to figure out how to correctly pronounce “Oosthuizen.”