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Prior to the start of his round-one tee time, Louis Oosthuizen has withdrawn from this week's PGA Championship. There was no injury cited but he has struggled with back injuries throughout his career. First alternate Kelly Kraft has taken his spot in the field. UPDATE: PGA TOUR Communications confirmed that it was a back injury that caused this 11th-hour WD. He returned to action two weeks later with a T28 at THE NORTHERN TRUST (71-66-68-73).

Oosthuizen has a long history of pre-tournament (and mid-tournament) WDs. Most have been due to back troubles. There wasn't any major concerns over the last year but in hindsight, Jonathan Wall of PGATOUR.com may have dropped a hint that his back was bothering him when he tweeted, "Louis Oosthuizen is going back to a 46-inch shaft (PX T1100 HZRDUS Smoke) in his PING G400 LST driver. Was at 45 inches. Length and shaft provided better feel and stability. Also going to 38-inch putter due to back bothering him at 35." As for Oosthuizen himself, he entered the week ranked 70th in the FedExCup standings so we should see him in a few weeks when the FEC Playoffs begin.
Aug 9 - 3:33 PM

Scott Jamieson endured a rollercoaster third round in Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC, but he ended it with a 4-under-par lap of 34-34=68 and a one-shot lead over David Lipsky on 11-under 205 heading into the final round.

The Scot has always enjoyed his visits to Malelane, South Africa. Indeed he has two top fours from his seven course visits and seven top tens from 25 starts in South Africa. Coming into this week he had held or shared the 54-hole lead in two of his last four starts in the country so his vibes about the country were strong. After a quiet 71 to open the week he has burst into life with 66-68 and on Saturday it was quite the ride. The front nine not so much: two birdies, one bogey. But on the back nine he made an eagle-2 at the 348-yard par-4 11th and a double bogey-4 at the 414-yard par-4 14th. However either side of that poor effort he ticked 13, 15 and 16. He has twice held the solo 54-hole lead and twice shared it; on neither occasion did he complete the win. He did, however, complete his only European Tour success in South Africa, at the 2013 Nelson Mandela Championship.
Dec 15 - 10:01 AM

Charl Schwartzel has four wins and four second places at Leopard Creek but the course horse didn't take to the renovated par 72 this week, shooting 2-over-par 36-38=74 in round two to finish 36 holes at 3-over 147, a shot outside the cut line.

Who saw that coming? Despite the alterations, past course form seems to be holding up fairly well this week and Schwartzel returned to his favorite track on the back of T3 in the South African Open. All seemed okay when he birdied two of his first four holes today but a bogey at 14 and a double at 3 left him in a precarious position. A birdie at 6 seemed to have allayed the fears but the agony hit late as he bogeyed the final two holes to fall the wrong side of the cut line. Others to miss out included: 147- Matthieu Pavon ... 149- Kurt Kitayama 150- Haydn Porteous ... 152- Trevor Immelman, Dean Burmester ... 153- Shaun Norris.
Dec 14 - 12:00 PM

World No. 4 amateur Braden Thornberry has announced his intentions to officially become a professional golfer, foregoing the rest of the 2019 NCAA season to start his new career.

Thornberry shared the news via social media saying, "A dream that I had as a kid is now reality. I am a professional golfer." He provided a link to a letter he wrote which explained his thought process of making the decision. Thornberry first made a splash with a T4 finish at the 2017 St. Jude Classic, a hometown event for him. More recently the Ole Miss product stormed to a R1 co-lead at the Final Stage of Web.com Tour Q-School with a 10-under 62. He ultimately finished T74 that week which means he'll start the Web.com Tour season with conditional status only. His college pedigree should help him earn a few sponsor's invites along the way to aide in his goal of earning full-time status on the Web or even better, the PGA TOUR. Thornberry reached as high as No. 1 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings during his time at Ole Miss and should be one to watch as soon as he starts to pick up some PGA TOUR starts.
Dec 14 - 11:41 AM

Scott Jamieson has played some of his best golf in South Africa and the's thriving there again after posting a 6-under-par 32-34=66 in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship, his morning lap lifting him to T2 on 7-under 137 and just one shot shy of David Lipsky's 36-hole lead.

The Scot secured his only European Tour title when winning the 2013 Nelson Mandela Championship while he's had six other top sevens on SA soil, including second places at the 2013 Volvo Golf Champions and 2017 Nedbank Golf Challenge. Also T3 at this venue in 2012 and T4 in 2016, the changes to the course this year don't seem to have made a difference and he's in position for another big finish. The World No. 233, who only just did enough last season to retain his card, started at the 10th today and enjoyed a brilliant burst of scoring with five birdies in six holes from Nos. 13-18. A bogey-6 at No. 2 halted his momentum a little but he responded with two more birdies at 3 and 6.
Dec 14 - 7:15 AM

David Lipsky twirled a 6-under-par 33=33=66 in Friday's second round at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa, jumping 12 spots up the leaderboard to post the 36-hole clubhouse lead of 8-under 136. UPDATE: Lipsky ended R2 with his one-shot lead still intact.

Right now, with the afternoon session in play, the American is a shot clear of Scottish duo Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson. This is Lipsky's first look at Leopard Creek and he made a solid job of it on day one, handing in a 70. He did even better today, playing his four holes in 4-under after a birdie at 11 followed by eagle-3 at 13. The World No. 340 picked up further shots at 16, 2 and 3. Lipsky made the top 100 on the Race to Dubai for the fifth straight time last season although 95th was his worst finish in that run and included just a single top ten. He's just 1-for-3 this time around and has never had a top 40 in South Africa from three starts. The 30-year-old has played 132 European Tour events but, if it holds, this would be his first 36-hole lead.
Dec 14 - 7:06 AM

Oliver Bekker thrashed a superb 6-under-par 33-33=66 to take the first round lead by one shot from Dimitrios Papadatos in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa.

The 34-year-old South African has never previously owned a first round lead on the European Tour so it is rare territory for him although he has quietly managed 11 top ten positions after 18 holes, the last three all in the Mauritius Open. His previous best was T2 in this event in 2012 although he will hope for a better 54 holes to follow his opening lap. Six years ago he shot 67-77-72–72 for T47 by the end of the week. He started on the back nine and ticked 11, 12, 13 and 14 for a superb start. His front nine witnessed ticks at 4, 6 and 8 with a bogey at the seventh. "Definitely a great afternoon on the golf course," he said. "The wind died a little bit on us so I’m glad to have been able to take advantage of that. The greens are really firm but I drove it well so I was in fairway most of the time so I could control my ball. I think the changes on this golf course are good for my game."
Dec 13 - 1:13 PM

Brandon Stone won the last edition of the Alfred Dunhill Championship to be held at Leopard Creek and he showed his liking for the course again with an opening 3-under-par 34-35=69 to finish his morning lap in T2, two back from leader Dimitris Papadatos.

Stone won by six shots in 2016 but the tournament wasn't played last year due to renovations taking place at the Gary Player-designed par 72. Despite the changes, South African Stone still looked at home and started with an opening birdie at the par-5 10th. He added two more red circles at 13 and 14 before a run of pars was broken with another gain at 6. Stone dropped his only shot of the day at 7 but, with scoring far from easy, that's a fine start. The University of Texas grad was a popular pick this week due to his course form and T7 in last week's South African Open.
Dec 13 - 6:21 AM

Playing on a tournament invite, Dimitrios Papadatos crafted a bogey-free 5-under-par 32-35=67 in round one of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek in South Africa, good enough for a two-shot lead over fellow morning starters David Drysdale, Pablo Larrazabal, Liam Johnston, Robert Karlsson and defending champion Brandon Stone.

The World No. 154 finished runner-up in the Australian Open last month and just missed out on gaining his card via the PGA Tour of Australasia. He also finished in 21st spot on the Challenge Tour last season, taking second place at the Bridgestone Challenge in September when opening with twin 63s. Today, he started fast with birdies at 1 and 3 before adding another par-breaker at 9 to turn in just 32. Coming home, the Aussie picked up shots at 11 and 16 although, looking at this card, he'll feel he left some shots out there after failing to birdie any of the four par 5s.
Dec 13 - 6:09 AM

Charl Schwartzel led the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg after 36 holes but his hopes of winning the event for the first time were vanquished as he completed a stuttering weekend with a closing 1-over-par 36-36=72 to finish at 10-under 274, eight back from runaway winner Louis Oosthuizen and in a four-way tie for third.

Schwartzel managed the consolation prize of securing a place in next year's Open but he would have expected to make the field for Portush anyway so today was about the disappointment of letting a good chance to win his home Open slip away. Three back after 54 holes, the writing was on the wall early as Schwartzel swallowed double bogey-6 at No. 2 and he also took six swipes at the par-4 13th. There were birdies at 4, 12 and 17 but a second successive round of 72 at Firethorn when leading the way at the midpoint shows that Schwartzel is still battling to get it done on the course despite saying he's been striping it on the range. The good news? He'll have another opportunity in next week's Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, a venue where he's won four times (2005, 2013, 2014, 2016).
Dec 9 - 7:58 AM

There were three Open spots up for grabs at this week's South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg and England's Oliver Wilson banked one of the golden tickets for Portrush after twirling a final-round 4-under-par 31-36=67 at Firethorn to finish in a four-way tie for third spot on 10-under 274.

That was eight behind winner Louis Oosthuizen. Wilson's higher world ranking (273rd) meant he edged out Thomas Aiken and Bryce Easton, who also finished T3. That wouldn't have been the case until very recently and after last year's Open he was ranked outside the world's top 2000. The former World No. 35, who played in the 2008 Ryder Cup, has surged back up with two wins on the Challenge Tour in the last four months and showed plenty of that form and confidence this week. The Englishman opened with 73 but fired 66-68-67 over the final 54 holes, outpacing two bogeys with six birdies (all in the first 14 holes) in today's closer. Wilson is certainly worth keeping an eye on in 2019 after this impressive finish to 2018.
Dec 9 - 7:45 AM

Louis Oosthuizen's ninth European Tour win was one from the bucket list, a stunning six-shot victory at Randpark GC to secure his long-awaited first win at the South African Open thanks to a 4-under-par 33-34=67 in round four which saw the World No. 36 triumph with 18-under 266 (62-70-67-67).

Romain Langasque was runner-up at 12-under while Bryce Easton, Thomas Aiken, Oliver Wilson and Charl Schwartzel were T3 a further two shots back. Three clear at start of play, the prospect of trying to get over the line in an event he'd been trying to win since 2002 seemed to weigh on the 36-year-old South African as he bogeyed 2 and 3. But he got the motor running with birdie at Firethorn's 4th hole and kicked clear of the field with red circles at 6, 7 and 9 before eagle-3 at 14. He traded a birdie at 16 with a bogey 17 and a par at 18 meant he matched the highest winning margin since the SA Open became a European Tour event in 1997. "This feels very special," said an emotional Oosthuizen. "It's been a great ride. I've been very patient this week." Next target? Perhaps a first win on American soil in 2019. Before that, he'll also line up in next week's Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Dec 9 - 7:29 AM




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