Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

Oosthuizen enjoys first night as Open champion

July 19, 2010

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland--Perhaps it says something about the newly crowned British Open champion Louie Oosthuizen. Upon returning to the Old Course Monday morning for a post-tournament news conference, the 27-year-old South African admitted to drinking nothing out of the claret jug all night.

"It's too special," claimed Oosthuizen. "I've got to keep it away from my friends, though. They might want to do something with it."

With his agent, Chubby Chandler, having already rented out The Jigger Inn bar adjacent to the 17th hole for the week, Oosthuizen enjoyed a victory celebration with several of his acquaintances from South African among the many in attendance before eventually going to bed at 3 a.m.

"I put it next to my bed last night," Oosthuizen said of the winner's trophy. "When I woke up in the morning, and looked at it, I immediately texted Chubby, 'I have this funny old jug near my bed. Can't believe it.' "

Among the few indulgences Oosthuizen made with the claret jug was to take a few pictures with his seven-month-old daughter, Jana, next to it. "She grabbed on to it," he said, "and tried to put it in her mouth."

Among the well wishers Oosthuizen heard from Sunday night was Ernie Els, whose foundation helped give him the start he needed to turn professional and make it on the European Tour.

While Oosthuizen knows his life had changed with his seven-stroke victory over Lee Westwood, he hopes to be able to live up to the title of major champion, if not build on it.

"I want a few more of these," Oosthuizen said. "Winning one, now you want to get a second one, and a third one. I want to get as many majors as I can."

*-- Ryan HerringtonĀ *