South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen has won the 139th Open Championship at St Andrews by a stunning seven shots on a day when many expected to see a charge from a host of European star names queuing up to make their move.

It proved too hard to make up any ground on the confident 27-year-old who started the day four shots clear and rarely looked in danger of surrendering his healthy advantage.

An emotional Oosthuizen said, after lifting the Claret Jug: “To win The British Open is something you dream about. To win at St Andrews is something very special.”

One moment of hope for Paul Casey, chasing hard in second and playing alongside Oosthuizen, came on the par-3 8th when the latter made bogey. But, any doubts about the South African’s nerves were put to bed a hole later when he made eagle on the par-4 9th.

And when the Englishman made a seven on 12 it became a battle for second spot, which Casey’s fellow countryman, Lee Westwood eventually claimed.

Earlier in the day world number one, Tiger Woods birdied two of the first three holes, but his charge was short lived when he took two to get out of a bunker on the 4th and made double-bogey.

It was a day of few roars, although there was Rory McIlroy’s final-round 68 which gave his adoring fans something to cheer about.

But the day belonged to one man, who despite a bogey on 17, walked up the famous 18th knowing that he was just minutes away from claiming golf’s biggest prize.

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