We break down the South African contingent playing at the Augusta National this week as we look for a player to break the country’s drought in golf’s elite events.
World Ranking: 172
Masters appearances: 12
Best Masters finish: Win, 2011
The former Masters champion arrives this week on the back of six straight missed cuts. So while the comforts of his win – all the way back in 2011 – may bring some optimism, the brutal reality is that it would take a minor miracle for this South African to be playing golf at Augusta National on Saturday.
World Ranking: 85
Masters appearances: Debut
The young lefty appeared to be working his way into some sort of form before three straight missed cuts. T21 at the Phoenix Open and a cut made at the Honda Classic preceded this little wobble as Higgo attempts to play his way into some form in his second season on the biggest tour. Expectations will be low this week but his famous bond with Gary Player could see him learn the ropes quickly.
World Ranking: 63
Masters appearances: 2
Best Masters finish: T-38, 2020
T25 and T20 at the Honda Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational show you the calibre of Bezuidenhout’s game. Those good results were backed up by a cut made at the Valspar Championship before a forgettable WGC Dell Matchplay. Often enjoys the sterner test and there is none more so than Augusta National. If the scoring is single figures come Sunday, then expect Bezuidenhout to be lurking. As a shorter hitter, the odds are against him.
Erik van Rooyen
World Ranking: 64
Masters appearances: 1
Best Masters finish: WD, 2020
T13 at the Players Championship and a top-five at the Saudi International has Van Rooyen arriving in some decent form. Has already proven himself as a steady fighter in Major golf and will be looking to enjoy his experience down Magnolia Lane a lot more than his first visit when he withdrew due to a back injury. Potential to make the cut but unlikely to be hunting the first page of the leaderboard although will take some confidence from past visits from the likes of Justin Harding and Dylan Frittelli, who both fared well in previous events.
World Ranking: 14
Masters appearances: 13
Best Masters finish: 2, 2012
Ah, what to make of King Louis. There’s this perception that Oosthuizen always plays well in Majors and he does, but the Masters hasn’t been his most happy hunting ground. His average finish at The Masters is 26th which is where he finished last year. A string of cuts made here bodes well but questions remain whether he has the firepower to down the best players in the world. He played well at the Matchplay but was knocked out in the group stages which means his top 20 at the Phoenix Open is his best result in his five starts in 2022. There’s a lot to suggest he will make the cut this week and even more so to tip another top 20 but that’s probably as far as it goes
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