'Shrek is OK but do not call me Lodewicus'

Louis Oosthuizen answers to most things except Lodewicus Theodorus, which he was named, after his grandfather. "Not even my family can call me that," he said. "I won't talk to them if they call me that. That's a passport name. I've always been Louis, right from the beginning."

But more recently he has become "Shrek", after the animated ogre. The relaxed 27-year-old South African has a dazzling smile, which ironically he displayed liberally when explaining the nickname. "It's the gap in my teeth," he said. "My friends say I look like Shrek – some of my friends. You can't choose your friends, so what can I say?"

He used to have a Shrek headcover but his caddie threw it out of the bag because he thought it was bad luck. Oosthuizen did not want to offend the caddie so went along with it. How laid-back is Oosthuizen? When he picked up a new sports car from the sponsors at the BMW PGA Championship and drove it home to Manchester, only to find it was too wide for the garage doors, he simply bought new doors.

As the world No 54, his name is hardly unknown, just unpronounceable. A number of low rounds and high finishes on the European Tour have meant the cognoscenti have had to get used to mangling the Oosthuizen name – it's Wuhst-hy-zen, apparently.

But when you are leading the Open Championship and have equalled the St Andrews halfway record of 12 under par, you might expect to be introduced correctly in the media centre. But the "Well done, Peter!" greeting he was not expecting, since he has rarely been confused with the giant Englishman Peter Oosterhuis, the former Ryder Cup player. Graciously, Oosthuizen just laughed it off.

"It's probably the position anyone wants to be in, playing a major on the weekend," he said, sticking to the real matter at hand. "It's what we work to achieve and I'm just happy with the two rounds I've put together." He was even happier as his 67, impressive in the tricky morning conditions, became even more valuable as Rory McIlroy and the other later starters headed into the afternoon gales.

Though Oosthuizen has shown a particular liking for the desert swing on the European Tour in the Middle East, where conditions are far removed from those buffeting St Andrews this week, he grew up playing at Mossel Bay club, on the Garden Route, where you can see the sea from every hole and where it can also get pretty windy. Eight years ago he knocked it round there in 57, with two eagles and 11 birdies, so he is not afraid of the wind or the mental challenge of "going low", as the professionals say.

For three years before turning professional Oosthuizen was in the Els Foundation, based at Fancourt. "It was unbelievable what he did for me," he said. "He helped with expenses and travelling round the country but mainly he was just a great mentor. Probably without him, I wouldn't be here now."

Up to the age of 10 Oosthuizen played a lot of tennis – it runs in the family – but as soon as he picked up a golf club he was hooked. He has won five times on the Sunshine Tour at home but his first win in Europe did not come until the Andalucian Open in March, when not even the naturist beach next door distracted him.

Returning to Manchester, his base over here, he had to leave the trophy at Malaga airport because Monarch Airlines deemed it a "dangerous object" and refused to accept it as hand baggage. What Oosthuizen did bring home was a bundle of confidence.

"I've been playing well all year but the win got my confidence going," he said. "I had been a bit frustrated on the golf course for a few years because I knew I could win tournaments, I'd done it at home, but it never happened in Europe. But I set my head to have fun, to make sure I enjoy myself. You know, life is not just about golf."

With more than 24 hours to kill before teeing off in the third round, Oosthuizen went back to his rented house with his wife, Nel-Mare, and their seven-month-old daughter, Jana. "She will definitely occupy me for the rest of the day," he said. Oosthuizen is not the first golfer to find his best form now that he is called "Daddy".

sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballArsenal vs QPR match report
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all