12 Jul 2011

Defending champion relieved to be handing back claret jug

12:57 pm on 12 July 2011

The South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen says he felt a sense of relief as he prepared to hand back the British Open trophy he won 12 months ago.

28 year old Oosthuizen shocked the golfing world when he stormed to a 7-shot win last year at St Andrews, and he says it's been an unreal experience as the Open champion.

But he always knew it was going to be a tough year and his game has suffered, although he won the Africa Open at the start of this year and tied for 9th at last month's US Open.

Oosthuizen's playing partners for the first two rounds at Royal St George's this week will be the German Martin Kaymer and American Phil Mickelson.