The six South Africans to look out for at the US Open

A South African hasn’t won golf’s traditional second major since 2004. There’s always hope but that drought looks set to continue at Shinnecock Hills.

Six South Africans will be participating in the US Open, starting on Thursday at Shinnecock Hills.

The drought in world golf’s second major for our local golfers has been pronounced.

Retief Goosen is the last South African to have claimed the title, triumphing all the way back in 2004.

In fact, South Africa’s best finish for 15 years was Louis Oosthuizen’s second-placed finish at Chambers Bay in 2015.

However, if you believe in omens, then Shinnecock Hills – located in the town of Southampton in New York – is a good one.

It’s the venue where Goosen won…

Here are the South Africans in action.


The 34-year-old from Mossel Bay hasn’t exactly set the world alight but is still considered South Africa’s best bet.

After a distinctly lukewarm start to the year, Oosthuizen has been solid, with three top 10 finishes to date.

There was a third-placed finish with Charl Schwartzel at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and a tied for fifth at the Fort Worth Invitational recently.

The pundits also believe he’ll enjoy Shinnecock Hills’ links-type course layout.


Charl Schwartzel of South Africa plays a shot from a bunker during a practice round prior to the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on June 12, 2018 in Southampton, New York. Andrew Redington/Getty Images/AFP

Schwartzel looked in poor shape initially, at one stage missing three out of four cuts, before rallying and finding form.

The 33-year-old displayed rare consistency with a superb second at The Players Championship, a top 10 finish at the Wells Fargo Championship and clearly enjoyed New Orleans with Oosthuizen.

He’s undoubtedly a dark horse.


Branden Grace of South Africa tees off during day four and the final round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 27, 2018 in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

When this man is on song, he clearly is brilliant.

The golfing world saw that last year when he carded a magnificent, history-making 62 in the second round of the Open Championship (British Open).

But those moments of inspiration are simply too isolated.

A case in point is the 30-year-old’s tied for third at the Byron Nelson, where a final round 62 saw him shoot up the leaderboard.

It’s been only one of two top 10 finishes this year for him.


Dylan Frittelli of South Africa plays a shot during a practice round prior to the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on June 12, 2018 in Southampton, New York. Andrew Redington/Getty Images/AFP

Finally, a winner this season!

That said, the 28-year-old’s victory came way back in December when he won the Mauritius Open.

Frittelli carried that form into the new year with fifth- and sixth-placed finishes at the Maybank Championship and Dubai Desert Classic respectively.

But his struggled to assert himself on the PGA Tour, a best finish being 11th at the Honda Classic.


Dean Burmester. Photo: Gallo Images.

It’s been a hard slog for the man from Harare – who now calls Bloemfontein home – without much reward.

His qualification for a first major is arguably his highlight of 2018, where he finished seventh at an international sectional qualifier.


Ernie Els of South Africa catches a ball during practice rounds prior to the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on June 11, 2018 in Southampton, New York. Warren Little/Getty Images/AFP

The veteran nowadays relies on cameos and nostalgia to entertain us.

Els has missed five cuts in the 12 events he’s played and can only boast a tied for 30th at the Texas Open as his best display in 2018.

He received a special exemption this year to play at Shinnecock Hills.

today in print

today in print