JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Local favorite Louis Oosthuizen has pulled out of the Johannesburg Open starting on Thursday after a freak accident that will go down as one of sport’s more unusual injuries.
The 2010 British Open champion hurt his fingers when they were caught between two airport trollies as he returned to South Africa from competing at the Mauritius Open this past weekend.
Oosthuizen, who is in severe pain and unable to grip his clubs, said he did not want to risk starting a tournament he could not finish and deny another player the chance to compete.
“This morning is even worse than it was yesterday, so I tried to grip a golf club but there’s no way I can go to my grip position,” he said in a news conference on Wednesday.
“It’s a bit of an unfortunate one, but I don’t want to tee off Thursday and play one hole or a few shots and then withdraw after taking someone’s spot. You know, I just can’t do that. So, I’m going to have to withdraw from this one.”
Cody Martin of the United States has been drafted into Oosthuizen’s three-ball that also includes last week’s winner in Mauritius, Dylan Frittelli, and Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand.
The Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club is part of the European Tour’s International Schedule, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and South Africa’s Sunshine Tour.
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)