Oosthuizen makes a winning start his own La Reserve course in AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open -
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Oosthuizen makes a winning start his own La Reserve course in AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open  

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Khel Today Bureau 

 Bel Ombre, Mauritius: Louis Oosthuizen won his second straight DP World Tour title in a matter of six days. A birdie on the 18th extended his 54-hole one-shot lead to two at the finish of the 2023 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

The win at the newly opened La Reserve Golf Links, of which he is a co-designer with Peter Matkovich, took Oosthuizen’s tally of wins on the DP World Tour to 11.

Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open winner at St. Andrews, won the weather-hit Alfred Dunhill Championships which finished this Monday at Leopard Creek.

Oosthuizen, who had three eagles a day earlier, was unable to produce similar magic but was gritty enough to card 3-under 69 and win by two.  Oosthuizen aggregated 17-under and Laurie Canter (68) finished second at 15-under.

The 36-hole leader, Sebastian Soderberg (63) who had the best round of the final day, was tied third alongside Daniel Brown (65) and Jacques P De Villiers (71), who at various stages seemed to challenge the eventual winner.

Oosthuizen said, “Golf is the strangest thing,” he said. “The last five weeks I’ve not done a lot with golf, I’ve played a few rounds and when I got to Leopard Creek I was working on a small little thing. I started hitting it really good and I know I’m putting well and then I just carried on with that momentum.”
On the final round, he said, “I started off very poorly and that errant second shot on 16 (bogey) made it interesting but I hit a few good shots coming in… I’m glad I held onto it.”

Oosthuizen, who had his family here for the week, was elated at his daughters being around. He added, “This the first event my daughters have been to where I won, this is very special.”

There were occasions when Oosthuizen’s lead seemed to be in danger, but the 41-year-old veteran kept one hand on the trophy and did not allow others to get more than a sniff at it.

Despite three bogeys, two of them quite early in the day, he rallied with six birdies and just one more bogey in the last 14 holes.

The Heritage Brand Ambassador Marcel Siem (71) finished T-16, while the Defending champion Antoine Rozner (73) finished T-29 at 6-under,

On the final day, Oosthuizen wobbled with back-to-back bogeys on the fourth and the fifth but the birdie on the sixth steadied him. Oosthuizen was back on track with a birdie on the ninth as he turned in even par 36.

There were threats from Laurie Canter (68) who reached 15-under and Sebastian Soderberg (63), who tried to make up for his third round 77, and Daniel Brown (65), who had five birdies in last seven holes.

Yet Oosthuizen stayed in control as he birdied 10th, 12th and 15th and finally the 18th despite some challenge from his playing partner, Jacques P De Villiers, the World’s 984th ranked player.

De Villiers bogeyed the fourth but birdies on the fifth and sixth kept him in the race. De Villiers bogeyed the ninth and stayed one behind Oosthuizen.

On the back nine, De Villiers made a big charge with three birdies in a row11th to 13th to push Oosthuizen. De Villiers reached 16-under after the birdie on 13th. Once again, Oosthuizen, also at 16-under, birdied 15th to stay ahead.

When De Villiers bogeyed the 15th there was a two-shot swing as Oosthuizen picked a birdie. It seemed Oosthuizen was home and dry, literally, as the rains, which had been forecast for the day, too, stayed away.

The lead was again cut to one after Oosthuizen’s tee-shot and second shot at the 16th led to a bogey. De Villiers’ parred.

Then De Villiers chance was gone after he missed the green at the par-three 17th and took a bogey.

Canter, at 15-under, could not take advantage of the par-five 18th as he signed for a bogey-free 68 to hand Oosthuizen a one-shot lead coming down the last. Oosthuizen took a two-putt birdie and extended the winning margin to two.

De Villiers (71) parred the 18th and finished in a tie for third.

Söderberg twice held the lead and set the clubhouse target earlier in the day before the later groups came into the picture. Soderberg recovering from an opening bogey had ten birdies, including seven on the back nine.

Brown was bogey-free in his 65, and had five of his birdies on the back nine.

Schaper had five birdies between bogeys on the fourth and 17th to finish sole sixth.

Three players Lyle Rowe (69), former champion Darren Fichardt (68) and Thomas Aiken (66) were tied for seventh at 12-under. John Catlin (66) finished 10th at 11-under.

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