News & Opinion

Oosty beats bureaucrats but bows to injury

GULLANE, Scotland – Louis Oosthuizen successfully fought the U.S. government to gain permission to leave the country and visit Scotland to play in the Scottish Open and British Open, but he withdrew Thursday from the Scottish Open, citing a pinched nerve in his right shoulder.

Oosthuizen, a South African who is based in Florida, applied last summer for a green card, which grants permanent residency to non-U.S. citizens, only to be told by officials that two of his documents had been misplaced.

Oosthuizen eventually was able to resubmit the documents in April, believing that he would have the proper travel documentation to visit Scotland for both Opens. Last Friday, he finally received the necessary documents to travel outside of the U.S.

“If I didn’t get the OK by Saturday, I was not coming to the play in the Scottish,” Oosthuizen said. 

As fate would have it, with documents in hand, Oosthuizen tweaked his right shoulder at the airport, causing pain and muscle spasms.

Oosthuizen hit balls early in the week and said that he felt good, but the second-to-last practice ball caused a recurrence of the spasms, prompting him to withdraw from Wednesday’s pro-am. 

Oosthuizen visited the onsite physical therapist and took some prescribed anti-inflammatories, but the progress wasn’t enough to keep him in the field. Now, Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, turns his attention toward next week’s British Open at Carnoustie.

“I had this before and feel good about my chances of playing next week,” Oosthuizen said.

Oosthuizen plans to stay in the Gullane area, just east of Edinburgh, on Scotland’s east coast, through Saturday to work with the European Tour’s physical therapists on his shoulder and then drive two hours north to Carnoustie on Sunday.

Alex Miceli is the founder and publisher of Morning Read. Email:; Twitter: @AlexMiceli