SA’s army of six at golf’s final major of the year

SA’s army of six at golf’s final major of the year

Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa plays his shot from the third tee during the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Final Round at Firestone Country Club South Course on August 5, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. Sam Greenwood/Getty Images/AFP

Familiar faces headline local golf’s challenge at this weekend’s PGA Championship.

Louis Oosthuizen will lead the six-strong South African contingent at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club starting on Thursday.

Oosthuizen, who completed the unwanted feat of a career Slam of second-place finishes in golf’s four elite events last year, is the highest-ranked of the half dozen golfers carrying the South African flag this week.

The 34-year-old will start his quest for a second Major and his first win on US soil alongside Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and American Bill Haas.

Shortly before Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel takes to the parkland layout with Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) and Patrick Cantlay (USA) for company.

Schwartzel’s enjoyed something of a hit-and-miss season as he looks to continue this week where he left off at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

A Sunday 63 at Firestone, inspired by a red-hot putter, was the perfect way to arrest an otherwise forgettable event for the one-time Major winner, who has a solid record of advancing to the weekend at the PGA.

Branden Grace, who ran Jordan Spieth close three years ago, enters the week under the radar after seeing his season tail off after a strong start.

The 2017 Nedbank Golf Challenge champion arrives this week as one of a number of world stars looking to join the Major winner’s circle.

The Fancourt star will be hoping that his misbehaving putter reacts positively when he starts the championship with US duo Stewart Cink and Ryan Moore.

The remaining South Africans – Brandon Stone, Dylan Frittelli and Justin Harding – all enter the week with low expectations from outside observers but each have displayed enough potential to raise a few eyebrows.

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