WELL-KNOWN tractor lover – and former British Open winner – Louis Oosthuizen will make his first ever professional appearance in Australia at the Perth International in February 2016.
The popular South African golfer is the first notable announced for the event, to be played at Lake Karrinyup Country Club from 25 to 28 February 2016.
The 33 year old first prised his way into our affections after his 2010 Open Championship win at St Andrews when, instead of saying he might rush out for a crate of champagne and a Ferrari (as some might) suggested he couldn’t wait to get home and buy a shiny new tractor for his farm.
No doubt organisers over in Perth are already trying to work out how to get Louis, a tractor, and a Koala (Bear) together in one spot for some publicity shots next year.
Oosthuizen’s St Andews win was so resounding and his golf swing so acclaimed it was easy to think he would be sitting on that tractor plotting world golfing domination ever after. But injury and other issues intervened, as they do, and the now world No.17 is still battling for his second Major victory.
He has gone close a number of times, most recently in 2015 when he was runner up at both the US Open and The Open on its St Andrews return, when he lost in three way playoff.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to play in Perth. I have played tournaments all over the world but this will be the first Tour event I have ever played in Australia” Oosthuizen said this week.
“Gary Player, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els have all won tournaments at Lake Karrinyup Country Club and hopefully I can continue their success in February.”
Western Australia Tourism Minister Dr Kim Hames welcomed the announcement and said it was a coup for Perth to have Oosthuizen play his first tournament on Australian soil in Perth.
“It is terrific that Perth will welcome one of the finest players in the game and hopefully Louis will add to the growing list of international advocates for our city and State,“ Dr Hames said.
“The Perth International promises to be a hallmark weekend of golf when it shifts to its new date in February and it will afford the opportunity to showcase Perth and Western Australia to more than 400 million homes around the world through broadcast coverage.”
The 2016 Perth International will mark the fourth staging of the tournament and will see the Asian Tour join the European Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia in the only tri-sanctioned event in Australia.
Tickets for the Perth International start from $22 and are available now at www.perthinternational.com or directly at Ticketmaster. Children under 16 will gain free entry with a paying adult ticket holder.