Laureus nomination for Louis
Abu Dhabi – Louis Oosthuizen’s Open Championship victory at St Andrews in July has earned him a Nomination for the 2011 Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award, following a ballot by the world’s media.
The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2010, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.
The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a televised Awards Ceremony staged in Abu Dhabi on Monday, February 7.
Oosthuizen, who became the fourth South African after Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els to win the Open Championship, went into St Andrews ranked just 54th in the world and having made only one cut in eight major championship appearances.
He shot 65 on the first day, putting him in second place, but it was his 67 in the second round – the low round of the day - which gave him a lead that he would not relinquish. His 36-hole total of 132 tied the record for the Open Championship at St Andrews. A third round 69 put Oosthuizen on 15-under-par and four shots clear of second-place Paul Casey with one round to play. After resisting a final round fightback from Casey, Oosthuizen eventually won by seven shots with a score of 272, the second lowest in St Andrews history. In March 2010, Oosthuizen had also won his first European Tour event at the Open de Andalucia Golf.
Also nominated with Oosthuizen for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award are golfers Martin Kaymer from Germany and Italy’s Matteo Manassero, Germany’s Thomas Müller, winner of the Golden Boot and the Best Young Player Award at the World Cup, and French athletes Christophe Lemaitre and Teddy Tamgho.
After Oosthuizen’s victory, South African golf legend and Laureus Academy Member Gary Player said: “This was a phenomenal performance by Louis and a great success for him and for South African golf. I can’t tell you how excited I am for him. He showed throughout the championship that he had a fantastic golf game, but to go out in the last round as a front-runner and not only hold on, but actually to extend his lead, showed remarkable mental strength. This was a truly great golfing feat by an extraordinary young man which shows the strength of South African golf at the moment.” The full list of nominees for the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards is: Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Kobe Bryant (US) Basketball – won fifth NBA Finals and second Finals MVP award with LA Lakers
Andres Iniesta (Spain) Football – Barcelona star, scored winning goal for Spain in World Cup Final
Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football – scored 47 goals for Barcelona in the 2009/10 season
Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis – won French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the same year
Manny Pacquiao (Philippines) Boxing – first boxer to win world titles in eight different divisions
Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing – youngest F1 World Champion at 23 years 134 days Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Kim Clijsters (Belgium) Tennis – won second straight US Open and four other events in 2010
Jessica Ennis (UK) Athletics – won European heptathlon title and World Indoor pentathlon gold
Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) Athletics – IAAF athlete of year, won European and World Indoor high jump gold
Lindsey Vonn (US) Alpine Skiing – won third straight overall World Cup and Olympic Downhill gold
Serena Williams (US) Tennis – won Australian Open and Wimbledon to take her Grand Slam wins to 13
Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) Tennis – became world No 1, at 20, without having won a Grand Slam Laureus World Team of the Year
All Blacks (New Zealand) Rugby – won Tri-Nations Series and completed a northern Grand Slam
European Ryder Cup Team – under Colin Montgomerie, Europe’s golfers beat the US 14½-13½
Inter Milan (Italy) Football – won Italian treble of Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia
Los Angeles Lakers (US) Basketball – beat arch-rivals Boston Celtics for their 16th NBA title
Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria) – won constructors’ and drivers’ world titles in 2010
Spain World Cup Team – won their first FIFA World Cup in 2010; also current European champions Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Martin Kaymer (Germany) Golf – won PGA Championship and finished year as Europe’s No 1
Christophe Lemaitre (France) Athletics – won European Championships 100m, 200m and 4x100m treble
Matteo Manassero (Italy) Golf – youngest ever winner on European Tour at 17 years, 188 days
Thomas Müller (Germany) Football – winner of Golden Boot and Best Young Player Award at World Cup
Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) Golf – ranked 54th in world, he won the Open Championship at St Andrews
Teddy Tamgho (France) Athletics – triple jump winner of Diamond League and World Indoor gold medal Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Paula Creamer (US) Golf – came back from injury to win the women's US Open by four strokes
Tyson Gay (US) Athletics – beat Usain Bolt in Stockholm and finished year ranked No 1 in 100 metres
Justine Henin (Belgium) Tennis – after 16 months out, returned to reach Australian Open final
Carolina Kluft (Sweden) Athletics – returned after ruptured hamstring, to reach Euro long jump final
Merlene Ottey (Slovenia) Athletics – became oldest woman to compete in Euro Champs at 50
Valentino Rossi (Italy) Motor Cycling – came back in 41 days after broken leg and later won in Sepang Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Verena Bentele (Germany) Skiing / Biathlon – won five gold medals in the Winter Paralympics
Matt Cowdrey (Australia) Swimming – won six golds and a silver medal in IPC World Championships
Daniel Dias (Brazil) Swimming – broke five world records and won eight titles at World Championships
Jakub Krako (Slovakia) Alpine Skiing – visually impaired, won three gold medals in Winter Paralympics
Esther Vergeer (Netherlands) Wheelchair Tennis – unbeaten run in singles dates back eight years
Lauren Woolstencroft (Canada) Alpine Skiing – won five Paralympic golds in front of her home crowd Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Jamie Bestwick (UK) BMX – seventh gold medal in BMX Vert at X Games, with first-ever four-peat
Victor Fernandez (Spain) Windsurfing – won PWA Wave Tour and led ranking throughout season
Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing – won her fourth consecutive world championship
Levi Sherwood (New Zealand) Freestyle Moto-Cross – at 18, won two events on X-Fighters Tour
Kelly Slater (US) Surfing – won an unprecedented record tenth World Surfing Championship.
Shaun White (US) Snowboarding – won second straight Olympic gold in Halfpipe, with 48.4 out of 50
For more detailed biographies of Nominees go to www.laureus.com/Awards/2011/Nominees