Charl Schwartzel did not get to help his friend Louis Oosthuizen into a Masters green jacket on Sunday night, but they will be spending a lot of time together this week.
The top South Africans in the world now that Ernie Els and Retief Goosen have slipped down the rankings will be playing partners in the first two rounds of this week's Maybank Malaysian Open.
An Augusta tradition is that the previous year's winner welcomes the new champion into the club, but it was the American Bubba Watson whom Schwartzel was congratulating, after he beat Oosthuizen at the second hole of a sudden death play-off.
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The Masters will not forget Oosthuizen in a hurry, though. His albatross 2 – or double eagle as it is known in the States – on the second hole in the final round had never been achieved there before, and it was only the fourth on the entire course. Gene Sarazen had the first at the 15th in 1935 – it was dubbed "the shot heard 'round the world" – then Bruce Devlin made a 2 on the eighth in 1967 and Jeff Maggert matched that on the 13th in 1994.
"Welcome to Masters history," an Augusta National official said at the end of Oosthuizen's press conference, but the 29-year-old would have preferred it to be for winning, of course. "It was tough after that double eagle," said the 2010 Open champion. "When something like that happens early in your round you think that this is it – that was my first double eagle ever – so it was tough the next five holes to just get my head around it and just play the course. I don't feel like I could have hit two better putts in the play-off, but congratulations to Bubba. He did brilliantly."
Oosthuizen had not even made the cut in three previous trips and his lowest round was 73, but he finally showed he has the game for the one course to host a major every year. "It's just an unbelievable place," he added.
Finishing second took Oosthuizen back into the world's top 20, while Schwartzel's disappointing 50th place in his defence dropped him from eighth to 12th. Sixth-ranked Martin Kaymer, who made the cut at Augusta for the first time in five attempts, is also in Malaysia, while Simon Dyson and Alvaro Quiros were able to get there earlier after bowing out at halfway in the Masters in a blow to their hopes of a Ryder Cup debut.