Open Championship

Hayes: Miss on 17th cost Louis

2015-07-21 13:17
Louis Oosthuizen (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Louis Oosthuizen will look back at his Open Championship loss to American Zach Johnson with a few regrets over some of his missed putts, says five-time European Tour winner and respected golf analyst, Dale Hayes. 

Oosthuizen had made par and then birdie on 17 and 18 respectively to get himself into a four-hole playoff alongside Johnson and Australian Marc Leishman, but he then missed makeable putts on the same holes in the playoff as Johnson was crowned champion at St Andrews on Monday. 

"When Louis looks back on it I think he's going to obviously regret some of the putts. He three-putted a few times in that last round and the really expensive one was at 17 (in the playoff)," said Hayes.

"Although he putted well throughout the week, he really did putt well, in the final day his putting did let him down."

Hayes believes that Oosthuizen is now managing the back problem that has plagued his career for so long and that is why his form has improved.

"With Louis it has been about his health. He has struggled with a bad back and that has been since he was a kid that he's had a back problem," said Hayes.

"When Louis is healthy he plays well, when he's not healthy he struggles and it's pretty much as simple as that. When his back is giving him trouble it restricts how much he can practice and how much he can play.

"He found a doctor a little while ago that seems to have gotten him back into a healthy position and since then he's started to play really well.

"There's no doubt that Louis and Charl (Schwartzel) and Branden Grace ... these guys are some of the best golfers in the world.

"They haven't performed over the last couple of years, but there have been specific reasons as far as Louis goes for that happening. And now that has been sorted out I think we're going to see Louis at the top of leaderboards in pretty much every tournament he plays."

Hayes, who became the youngest ever winner on the European Tour when he won the Spanish Open in 1971 (he was 18), added that he did not expect Oosthuizen to take the loss too badly.

"I don't think this is going to bother him at all. It's not like he blew it," said Hayes. 

"You're playing against a guy like Zach Johnson who is one of the toughest competitors in the game. He's not a Jordan Spieth in terms of playing, but in terms of being a competitor he is really, really tough and a hard guy to beat.

"Louis got beaten fair and square so I don't think it's going to take any getting over at all. I think Louis needs to look at it as a positive. He's now been second in two Major championships in a row and there are not a lot of guys that can boast that."


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