Louis Oosthuizen has ensured South African representation in the Tour Championship for the first time since 2016.
The country’s No 1, who last made the finale in 2015, helped snap an unwanted streak following Charl Schwartzel’s participation in the showpiece three years ago.
Oosthuizen began Sunday on the ‘bubble’ and needed to finish in solo 21 or better to make to the final playoff event. A quartet of pars to start was the perfect foil to his back-nine flurry that began on the fifth with a 8-foot birdie. He sandwiched a bogey at seven with two birdies before holing out for eagle on the ninth from 160 yards.
The 2010 Open champion then gave local fans a bit of a fright by playing the next five holes in two over par. He quickly ensured his place among the leading 30 players on tour this season with a birdie at the 15th and closed with a birdie putt from 17 feet on the last to bank a T11 finish.
Oosthuizen will start 10 shots back of Justin Thomas under the new format and has never finished better than T23 at East Lake. Americans Charles Howell III, Lucas Glover, Jason Kokrak and Bryson DeChambeau all join the South African on level par starting the week.
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