The Joburg Open at the Randpark Golf Club suffered the withdrawal of the biggest drawcard in the field when the world number 23, Louis Oosthuizen, suffered a freak accident at the airport and was forced to pull out of the tri-sanctioned tournament on Wednesday morning.
The 2010 Open champion jammed his fingers in the trolley bay at the O.R. Tambo International Airport and was unable to hold his clubs properly when he arrived at the Randpark Golf Club on Wednesday.
“I was really looking forward to playing in the Joburg Open for the first time so I’m very frustrated. I was all set to go but I don’t want to tee off on Thursday and play one hole, hit a few shots and then withdraw and take someone’s else spot, I just don’t want to do that,” Oosthuizen said on Wednesday morning.
The Sunshine Tour, who co-sanction the tournament along with the European and Asian tours, posted a photo on social media on Wednesday of Oosthuizen’s bruised and swollen fingers.
Oosthuizen, who was coming off successive top-10 finishes at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and Mauritius Open, was understandably one of the favourites to win the R16.5 million event, but he proposed compatriot Dylan Frittelli, the winner of the Indian Ocean island tournament last weekend, as a strong contender for the title at Randpark.
“Dylan Frittelli has been playing great for a while, George Coetzee too, and it’s nice to see the local boys coming through. I’ll be surprised if a South African doesn’t win the tournament and having played with Dylan in Mauritius last weekend, he’s definitely one of the favourites,” Oosthuizen said.