Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Jun 09 2024
- 4 MIN
Charl Stingers Houston recap STORY image

HUMBLE, Texas - Stinger GC endured a frustrating week at LIV Golf Houston where their bid for a first team victory this year was severely undermined when in-form captain Louis Oosthuizen withdrew before the second round due to a lower back injury.

Oosthuizen's spot for the final two rounds at the Golf Club of Houston was filled by reserve player Wade Ormsby and the all-Southern Hemisphere combination ended the tournament in a disappointing 11th place out of 13.

Charl Schwartzel was their best performer on day three, firing a 3-under 69 to finish in a tie for 18th place at 5-under, level with the long-hitting Dean Burmester, who closed with a 70.

Branden Grace wound up well down the leaderboard in 52nd spot after signing off with a 74 while Australian Ormsby returned scores of 73 and 71 in his two outings.

"Louis has been playing so good for the last eight months, so losing a guy like that that's so consistent and plays well, that's always a setback," Schwartzel said of Oosthuizen, who ranked fourth in this season's Individual standings heading into Houston and was runner-up in both Jeddah and Adelaide.

"But I've known him for 30 years. He's always had that little thing with his back. It's not the first time it's happened. It's not serious. The good thing with him is he knows what it is, and when it comes, he doesn't push it. It pinches way down low in his back and it swells up, and it takes like three days for it to subside, and then he's better. For Nashville, he'll be perfect again."

The next LIV Golf event on the schedule is LIV Golf Nashville, which takes place from June 21-23.

Schwartzel had mixed feelings over his own form at the Golf Club of Houston. He made red-hot starts to all three rounds but, overall, he failed to capitalize over the closing stretches.

"You know, I'm very frustrated," said the 39-year-old from Johannesburg. "My game is extremely good. It feels fantastic. Swing is in a great place.

"Every day I got off to a really good start. 4-under on the first day, 3-under on the second day and I was 4-under today, and I now shoot 2-under, level and 3-under. The last seven holes each day I kept coming backwards. I feel good about my game. I've just got to get these finishes better."

Stinger GC had been hit-or-miss in the LIV Golf League this season with three podium finishes and three results of ninth or worse in seven tournaments prior to this week

However, they failed to make a fast start at the Golf Club of Houston where Oosthuizen fared the best with a bogey-free 3-under 69, Schwartzel carded a 70 and Burmester a 72 to leave the Stingers in a tie for 11th after the opening round.

Worse was to follow the following day when Oosthuizen withdrew before the start of the second round.

"Woke up today and wasn't feeling great," said Oosthuizen, who plans to return to action for LIV Golf Nashville. "Tried everything. Won't be able to walk around and swing today."

In Oosthuizen's absence, the Stingers struggled on day two. Burmester was their best player, shooting a four-birdie 69 to end the round in a tie for 28th place. However, with Schwartzel returning a 72 and Ormsby a 73, the team plummeted to the bottom of the team standings with a 5-under aggregate.

Schwartzel made the best start for Stinger GC in the final round, reeling off four birdies in his first seven holes to get to 6-under for the tournament. However, he failed to maintain that momentum, mixing two more birdies with three bogeys on the way to a 69.

"We had a good go this week, but I'm sure everybody just didn't have their 'A' games, either," said Schwartzel. "Losing Louis was a bummer, but then none of us that played had our 'A' games."