Sport : Golf

OOSTHUIZEN GETS HIS WIN

15th April 2012, 11:04am

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Louis Oosthuizen: Sealed victory

Louis Oosthuizen: Sealed victory

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen produced the perfect response to his play-off defeat at the Masters last Sunday by claiming the Malaysian Open title today.

The 29-year-old former Open champion, who missed out on a second major at Augusta when he lost a play-off to American Bubba Watson, finished 17 under par at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club - three shots ahead of Scotland's Stephen Gallacher.

Oosthuizen admitted yesterday that the 30-hour journey from Georgia had made things tough, but he coped admirably with the jet-lag this week and carded four sub-70 rounds.

He completed his third round (69) earlier today after storms prevented him from doing so yesterday before keeping his cool to post a final-round four-under 68.

"I thought I was going to be a lot more tired," he said on Sky Sports 1 after clinching his fifth European Tour crown.

"I played well. The game was there so it makes it a lot easier. I had a good week.

"This morning probably was a bit up and down - not going too well - but then I settled in a bit for the second 18."

Oosthuizen held a one-shot lead overnight and began the day by producing a steady level-par end to his third round - bogeying 13 before gaining the shot back on 16.

Gallacher briefly joined the leader with birdies on 15 and 16 but a bogey on 17 ensured it was Oosthuizen who led going into the final round.

Birdies on three and five gave the South African daylight over Gallacher and, after his third bogey of the week at the par-four sixth set him back, he responded superbly. He held his nerve to sink testing putts for birdie on seven and 13 and then made the most of a slice of luck in narrowly avoiding the water on 16 to pick up another shot there and open up a comfortable cushion.

Oosthuizen acknowledged the birdie on 13 had been crucial.

"I knew I just needed to get two ahead and just attack it a little bit more and then I made another good one on 16," he said.

Reflecting on the improvements in his game since his 2010 Open triumph at St Andrews, Oosthuizen said: "I think (winning the major) helped me a lot to get my game where it is at the moment. I've just been working quite a bit with my coach Pete Cowen and my game is getting where I want it to be."

Asked if 2012 could turn out to be a "monster year" for him, he replied: "It probably would have been if I had the green jacket! But I had a good week last week and I'm looking forward to the next major, the US Open, and to the Players Championship in three weeks."

The victory lifted Oosthuizen to second place in the European Tour Race to Dubai behind US Open champion Rory McIlroy.

Gallacher remained the nearest challenger throughout and signed off with a bogey-free final round of 70, but could not close the gap.

The 37-year-old, who marked a four rather than birdie three on his third-round card, was nevertheless more than content with his week's work.

"I'm pleased with myself," he said on www.europeantour.com.

"Only a couple of bogeys throughout the whole week I and even threw in a shot which wasn't there, I signed for a wrong score this morning. Apart from that, I kept my head. I'm quite proud of myself for that.

"I thought I signed it properly. I signed for a 69 when I shot a 68 - I only found out when I was at the first tee. I thought I was tied for the lead, and then was one behind but luckily it didn't affect me that much. It's one of those things that you learn. It didn't cost me much.

"It was a phenomenal performance [by Oosthuizen] after last week. I thought he may get tired today and obviously he didn't. Fair play to him - he played great."

England's Danny Willett (71), Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello (71) and American David Lipsky (70) were tied for third on 12 under.

Collated final round scores & totals in the European Tour Maybank Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

271 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 66 68 69 68

274 Stephen Gallacher 67 68 69 70

276 David Lipsky (USA) 70 67 69 70, Danny Willett 69 69 67 71, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 67 72 66 71

277 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 64 75 70 68

279 Hennie Otto (Rsa) 71 64 72 72, Romain Wattel (Fra) 68 68 72 71, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 70 72 68 69, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 70 67 71 71

280 Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 65 73 70 72, Scott Hend (Aus) 70 71 73 66, Jbe Kruger (Rsa) 70 65 77 68, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 72 68 69 71, Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 66 72 68 74

281 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 68 72 71 70, Ben Fox (USA) 70 68 70 73, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 73 69 71 68, Joong Kyung Mo (Kor) 71 71 70 69

282 Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 69 73 68, Chapchai Nirat (Tha) 71 73 69 69, Antonio Lascuna (Phi) 67 74 72 69, Julien Quesne (Fra) 69 72 73 68

283 Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 68 71 66 78, Prom Meesawat (Tha) 68 75 70 70, Rhys Davies 70 68 72 73, Simon Dyson 69 70 70 74, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 69 73 67 74

284 Marcel Siem (Ger) 69 73 70 72, Wen-chong Liang (Chn) 72 68 70 74, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 72 68 73 71, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 72 68 73 71

285 Steve Webster 73 70 69 73, Gary Boyd 75 67 68 75, Scott Barr (Aus) 73 70 70 72, David Howell 71 71 75 68, Berry Henson (USA) 72 72 70 71, Richard Green (Aus) 69 74 71 71, Mardan Mamat (Sin) 73 71 70 71

286 Gaurav Ghei (Ind) 68 74 73 71, David Drysdale 72 69 74 71, Panupol Pittayarat (Tha) 69 74 73 70, Branden Grace (Rsa) 69 72 72 73, Tom Lewis 70 70 72 74, Daisuke Kataoka (Jpn) 70 71 72 73, Joonas Granberg (Fin) 68 73 71 74

287 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned) 71 73 74 69, Marcus Both (Aus) 72 72 73 70, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 75 69 74 69, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 69 71 74 73, Jason Knutzon (USA) 66 75 71 75

288 Mohd. Siddikur (Ban) 72 71 73 72, Shiv Kapur (Ind) 69 72 72 75, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 72 71 75 70, Simon Khan 72 71 73 72

289 Peter Karmis (Rsa) 72 70 74 73

290 Anthony Kang (USA) 69 75 76 70, Steve Lewton 70 71 77 72, Prayad Marksaeng (Tha) 73 70 69 78, Shaaban Hussin (Mal) 70 72 75 73, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 73 71 75 71

291 Thanyakorn Khrongpha (Tha) 73 68 72 78

292 Michael Campbell (Nzl) 72 71 71 78, Zaw Moe (Kor) 72 71 74 75, Alastair Forsyth 71 72 70 79

293 Sung Lee (Kor) 69 75 75 74, Richard McEvoy 72 71 75 75, Lian-Wei Zhang (Chn) 70 74 72 77

294 Pariya Junhasavasdikul (Tha) 76 68 72 78

295 Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 71 69 80 75

296 Keith Horne (Rsa) 72 72 78 74

311 Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 71 70 81 89

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