A L BA N Y, BA H A M A S
U I S
OOSTHUIZEN Born in a small country village in South Africa, Louis Oosthuizen grew up on a modest farm in a tennis-playing family. But it was golf that ultimately won his heart. At the age of nine, he decided golf was his future, often spending his time at nearby Mossel Bay Golf Club. Excelling as an amateur player on provincial and national levels, Oosthuizen caught the eye of Ernie Els, and through the generous support of Els and the Fancourt Foundation from 2000-2002, his game took off after shooting a record 15-under 57 at Mossell Bay in 2002. Of course, Oosthuizen never looked back from there, eventually winning his first European Tour event in March 2010 (the Open de Golf de Andalucia) and the 139th Open Championship at the Old Course at St. Andrews that summer. At St. Andrews, the Ernie Els Foundation graduate lapped the field and beat Lee Westwood by seven strokes at 16-under 272 – one week after his native South Africa concluded a wildly popular World Cup. Today, Oosthuizen continues to pay his golf success forward after reaching the finals of this year’s World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play at Austin (Tex.) Country Club where he lost to fellow 2015 Presidents Cup teammate Jason Day, 5 and 4. “My dad is a farmer, and in the early years things weren’t great on the farm,” Oosthuizen says of his South African roots and ties to Albany co-founder and golf course designer Ernie Els. “When I was 17, I managed to become a member of Ernie’s Foundation in South Africa and it was unbelievable what he did for me.” Golfers helping other golfers. It is a beautiful game.
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HERO WORLD CHALLENGE MAGAZINE