3 African Stars Who Could Win a Golf Major in 2022
But it's the majors which, of course, attract the most interest, and while Scottie Scheffler has already donned the natty green jacket for his victory at The Masters, there are still three big tournaments to be played in 2022.
Masters champ Scottie Scheffler threw out the first pitch Wednesday night at the Rangers vs. Astros game.pic.twitter.com/hKmJXFePH6— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) April 28, 2022
First up is the PGA Championship in May, a tournament played at the Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma where Scheffler and Jon Rahm are vying for favoritism in the PGA betting odds.
The US Open will be played at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, from June 16-19, before the year's major rotation is completed by the Open Championship and a trip to the home of golf, St Andrews, in July.
Louis Oosthuizen won The Open at St Andrews in 2010, but it's now a full decade since Ernie Els prevailed in the 2012 edition of the event – the last time an African got his hands on a golf major.
So could 2022 be the year that hoodoo ends? Here are three players with, arguably, the best chances of achieving exactly that.
The smooth-swinging veteran is still ranked 15th in the world, and while he isn't as prolific as he should be there's no doubt that 'Oost' is still one of the best players on the planet.
In 2021 alone he finished second in the PGA Championship and US Open and joint third in the Open Championship, so the South African is a player who saves his best for the big occasion.
A 14-time winner worldwide, Oosthuizen knows how to take care of business.
Erik van Rooyen
One of the most impressive South Africans to break through from the Sunshine Tour in recent years, Erik van Rooyen is shaping up for a big career in the US and beyond.
A winner of the Barracuda Championship on the PGA TOUR, the world number 61 has finished inside the top 10 of the PGA Championship, third in a high-quality WGC renewal in Mexico and posted a handy T13 return at the classy PLAYERS Championship earlier this year.
A dream come true! Still buzzing from everything that happened on Sunday!— Erik van Rooyen (@FredVR_) August 10, 2021
This one goes to my amazing wife Rose and our baby daughter Valerie. What an incredible month it's been!
Thanks for everyone's support! pic.twitter.com/XiLRRZxnxR
Van Rooyen ranks 28th on the PGA TOUR this term for strokes gained on approach, and that shows how pure he hits his iron shots – a crucial element of any potential major winner's armory.
The saying 'horses for courses' emanates from, unsurprisingly, horse racing.
But it applies to golf too, with certain players favoring unique conditions, and Branden Grace is definitely a player to have in mind when it comes to shortlisting potential Open Championship winners.
The South African was the first player in history to shoot a round of 62 in a major, and that came at the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale. It should come as no surprise, as Grace's low trajectory ball-striking is perfect for when the wind gets up at exposed golf courses – wins in the coastal RBC Heritage and Puerto Rico Open and in the desert for the Qatar Masters are proof of that.
Could Grace, Oosthuizen or van Rooyen finally end Africa's long wait for a major champion in golf?