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Open champion Louis Oosthuizen buys tractor

Open champion Louis Oosthuizen has shunned the glamour of a new Ferrari or Porsche and instead spent some of his £850,000 haul on a custom-built tractor.

The South African sealed a seven-shot win at St Andrews on Sunday, as his potential challengers fell by the wayside.

“Being a farm boy it was one of my big dreams and I bought myself a nice John Deere tractor for my farm back in South Africa,” said the 27-year-old.

“John Deere is very close to my heart. It is for me to drive around on and I made sure that there was enough space for my little daughter Jana to sit beside me. We're going to have a lot of fun.”

Oosthuizen is now in Stockholm for the Scandinavian Masters and the fact he flew from Manchester by private jet underlined his status as a new star.

“The last two days have been hectic and it will be nice knowing my phone is switched off and put away in the bag — I'm looking forward to it,” he said.

Alongside him still is caddie Zack Rasego who, not surprisingly, has kept his job a week after being told the British Open could be his last event with Oosthuizen.

The player's manager Chubby Chandler said: “It was a possibility, but it is not going to happen now. There was a feeling Louis needed a more experienced caddie. Now Zack has proved his worth. It would not look too clever to sack your caddie after you have just won a Major.”

While Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, and Darren Clarke have been focusing on the Lough Erne challenge, several of their compatriots are competing in Sweden — among them Damien McGrane, Peter Lawrie, Michael Hoey, Simon Thornton, and Gary Murphy.

l Des Smyth hopes he can jump on the bandwagon of Irish success when he tees up in today's British Seniors Open championship at Carnoustie.

“Irish golf is the best it's ever been and it would be tremendous if we could add a senior title this year,” said Smyth.

“But when I was starting out I wouldn't have seen that Irish golf was going to be this strong so you have got to take your hat off to the GUI and the Irish PGA because they have made sure that boys and girls get access to finance that gets into the group training session while they are always on the lookout for new talent.

“Graeme, Rory and Shane Lowry have all come through that same system.

“I watched every shot of Graeme winning the U.S. Open and it can only get better as young golfers will look up to players like him, Rory and Shane Lowry and that's all a reflection of the work that the GUI is undertaking.”

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