All smiles: Louis Oosthuizen celebrates his victory at the SA Open on Sunday. Picture: SHAUN ROY/SUNSHINE TOUR/GALLO IMAGES
All smiles: Louis Oosthuizen celebrates his victory at the SA Open on Sunday. Picture: SHAUN ROY/SUNSHINE TOUR/GALLO IMAGES

Louis Oosthuizen put a final-round wobble behind him before emphatically charging to a maiden SA Open title at Randpark Golf Course on Sunday.

He obliterated the field to finish 18-under for a six-shot winning margin‚ the biggest since Tim Clarke in Durban in 2005.

He became only the sixth player after Bobby Locke‚ Gary Player‚ Bob Charles (New Zealand)‚ Ernie Els and Henrik Stenson (Sweden) to win The Open and South African Open, golf’s two oldest tournaments.

A tearful Oosthuizen was hugely relieved afterwards.

"When the last putt dropped it was such a relief knowing I put my name up with greats that have won it. Any South African wants to win the SA Open‚" said Oosthuizen, who had not played in this event since 2011.

France’s Romain Langasque, whose 66 was the joint lowest round of the day, finished second‚ and Charl Schwartzel‚ Bryce Easton‚ Thomas Aiken and England’s Oliver Wilson were two shots further back.

There was heartbreak for Zambia’s Madalitso Muthiya who narrowly missed a spot in the 2019 Open Championship.

He finished on nine-under.

The win is likely to propel Oosthuizen‚ SA’s highest ranked golfer‚ into the world top 30.

It was far from a breeze early in the final round, however.

Oosthuizen made an underwhelming start but his mood, like the cloud cover‚ eased as the day wore on.

"I drove poorly on one and two and was a little unlucky on three." Bogeys at the second and third must have enthused the chasing pack but those closest to him failed to capitalise.

Oosthuizen instead turned on the heat with four birdies over the next six holes leading into the turn.

Even when he had things firmly under control Oosthuizen would not let up.

He missed the fairway to the left just short of the water on the 16th but he hit a delightful approach that led to a birdie.

The big movers on the day, Langasque‚ Wilson and Easton, made proper headway but they started from too far back to genuinely trouble Oosthuizen. The men who initially were in a position to pounce faded.

Despite consistent iron play on the front nine‚ Schwartzel’s putter was cold.

Muthiya, three shots back at the start of the day, was staging a recovery by the turn but a double-bogey six on the 10th put paid to his prospects. Branden Grace had played himself into contention by going four-under for the day by the time he reached the eighth. He was just two behind Oosthuizen then but three consecutive bogeys scuppered his ambitions.

Jovan Rebula won the Freddie Tait Cup as leading amateur.