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Louis Oosthuizen gets close, shows he's no one-major wonder

By Shane Bacon | Blogger

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Louis Oosthuizen has done most things in his life quietly, letting his golf game bring the noise. He did it at St. Andrews in 2010, when one of the world's best golf swings stormed the home of golf to give us one of the more dominating performances of the past decade.

But he isn't a star the way we think of stars. He's a man nicknamed "Shrek" who always seems to wear pants a little too baggy and a smile a little too normal, and he does all this while making golf a simple sport.

On Sunday at in the 76th Masters at Augusta National, Oosthuizen's second shot on the par-5 2nd hole forced him out of character. The South African's double-eagle vaulted him to the top of the Masters leaderboard and out of his comfort zone.

2012 Masters
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"You know, it was tough after that double-eagle. I mean, you know, when something like that happens early in your round, you think that this is it. That was my first double-eagle ever. So it was tough; it was tough the next five holes to just get my head around it and just play the course," Oosthuizen said after finishing second to Bubba Watson in a playoff.

In fact, it did take Louis time to bounce back. He made bogey on No. 4 and another on the 10th. It took him until the par-5 13th to make another score in red figures, but when he did that, it seemed everything was going his way.

Frankly, it never looked like Oosthuizen was going to lose this Masters. His clutch putts on Nos. 14 and 15 went in dead center, and Bubba looked shaky coming down the street, but alas, when Bubba is pulling off those types of shots, it's tough to compete.

"I have no idea where he was. I just -- where I stood from when the ball came out, it looked like a curveball going to the right," Oosthuizen said. "So I knew he had to hit a big hook. But an unbelievable shot ... that shot he hit definitely won him the tournament."

What does this week tell us of Oosthuizen? First, that this guy is for real. His golf swing is nearly perfect and he can play just about any golf course. There have been a lot of guys who have won one major championship, but it seems Oosthuizen is the type of player that could sneak three or four out of his career. Also, it shows that when things started getting tough, Oosthuizen steps up. Sure, that putt on the first playoff hole didn't go in, but it sure looked like he hit it exactly where he wanted, and you can't get upset about that.

Oosthuizen's game isn't going to get the big cheers. He's a steady guy that makes golf look easy and his laid-back approach seemed to fit perfectly in that pairing with Bubba.

If nothing else, this was a perfect case of a golf tournament where you really didn't want either player to lose. Fortunately, Oosthuizen won't fade away.

 
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