Skip to content

Looking back at Oosthuizen's 6 close calls in major championships

Augusta National / Masters Historic Imagery / Getty

For the third time this year, Louis Oosthuizen enters the final round of a major championship with a good shot at securing the hardware.

He played in the penultimate pairing at Kiawah Island during the PGA Championship but was unable to reel in Phil Mickelson, and Oosthuizen couldn't fend off Jon Rahm after co-leading following 54 holes at the U.S. Open.

But even prior to this season, Oosthuizen already held the "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" reputation. He's finished as the runner-up in all four majors, with two of those results coming after a playoff, and two others by one shot.

And it's not like he's played poorly during final rounds either. His closing-round scoring average over Oosthuizen's six runner-up finishes in majors is 69.8.

The sweet-swinging South African's 2010 Open Championship title remains the only PGA TOUR victory of his career, so you can't help but wonder what could have been.

Let's revisit Oosthuizen's previous heart-breaking finishes ahead of Sunday's final round from Royal St. George's, when he'll look to finally seal the deal on major No. 2 and forget about all of his previous close calls.

2012 Masters

Scott Halleran / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Oosthuizen entered the final round of the 2012 Masters trailing 54-hole leader Peter Hanson by two, and Mickelson was also one shot ahead.

When Oosthuizen famously made an albatross on the second hole to vault into the outright lead at 10-under par, he became the clear favorite to win the green jacket. However, he didn't gain another stroke the rest of the way, and Oosthuizen's playing partner Bubba Watson birdied four of his final six holes to force a playoff.

On the first extra hole, Oosthuizen grazed the edge with a birdie putt that would have won him the tournament. Then on the second extra hole, Watson executed one of the most miraculous recovery shots in Masters history from the right trees on No. 10, and that wound up sealing Oosthuizen's fate.

The 2012 Masters is easily Oosthuizen's most crushing disappointment in a major.

2015 U.S. Open

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The 2015 U.S. Open from Chambers Bay will always be remembered for Dustin Johnson's late collapse that handed Jordan Spieth his second straight major. But many will forget about Oosthuizen's incredible charge that gave him a chance.

After opening the tournament with a 7-over 77, Oosthuizen figured Chambers Bay out while recording back-to-back rounds of 66 to put him within three of the lead heading into Round 4. He then started Sunday with three bogeys over his first four holes. That eventually decided his fate, but he battled back with six birdies over his closing seven holes to finish one shot out of a playoff.

2015 Open Championship

David Cannon/R&A / R & A / Getty

In The Open's first trip back to the Old Course since Oosthuizen's 2010 victory there, the South African once again displayed his love for the historic venue.

He entered the final round in a three-way tie for first atop a congested leaderboard. But Oosthuizen didn't pick up ground as other contenders began making a charge. He played the front nine at 2-under and in a tie with Zach Johnson and Marc Leishman, a trio that would later face each other in a playoff with the Claret Jug on the line.

During the four-hole aggregate playoff, Oosthuizen lipped out on the fourth extra hole to extend the proceedings before walking away empty-handed again.

2017 PGA Championship

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport / Getty

When the PGA Championship was held at Quail Hollow in 2017, Oosthuizen had already recorded a runner-up result at the Players Championship that season, which many would argue is the fifth major. So why not add another close call to his resume?

However, this major was probably Oosthuizen's worst chance of his runner-up results. He started the final day two behind Kevin Kisner and only briefly held a share of the lead. The closest he ever came in his pursuit of eventual champ Justin Thomas on the back nine was two strokes.

But the finish did produce this hilarious video from Oosthuizen after he completed his career grand slam of seconds.

2021 PGA Championship

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images Sport / Getty

That brings us to this year, when Oosthuizen has been a staple atop leaderboards for the past three majors.

The 38-year-old co-led with Mickelson heading into PGA Championship weekend, but he dropped into third after Saturday's round. The closest Oosthuizen would ever get to Lefty on Sunday was one shot, and a double-bogey on No. 13 at Kiawah ended up being the difference-maker as he fell two shots short of a playoff.

2021 U.S. Open

Donald Miralle / Sports Illustrated / Getty

Oosthuizen co-led with Russell Henley and Mackenzie Hughes going into Sunday during the most recent major championship contested.

He held strong at the tough Torrey Pines layout and was even par through 16 holes, but Rahm had just poured in clutch birdies on 17 and 18 to take the clubhouse lead at 6-under par.

Oosthuizen needed to go 1-under on the two closing holes, and since No. 18 was a par 5, he just had to avoid disaster on the 17th to give himself a chance. However, he yanked his drive left into the canyon and was forced to take a penalty stroke. He barely missed his putt for par, then birdied 18 to finish one shot short of a playoff.

So will Oosthuizen add another story to his growing list of near-misses at majors on Sunday? Or will he emerge victorious at Royal St. George's and finally get the giant monkey off his back?

Looking back at Oosthuizen's 6 close calls in major championships
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox