A freak injury incurred at the airport has forced Louis Oosthuizen to withdraw from the Joburg Open in his home country, which begins tomorrow.

The South African jammed his fingers between luggage trolleys and is left unable to effectively grip a club.

After a strong tied seventh finish at the AfrAsia Mauritius Open last week, he may have felt he was coming into form at the perfect time.

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“I’m here and I was ready to do everything this week. I was actually relieved there wasn’t a pro-am because I thought the rest would help but this morning is even worse than it was yesterday,” Oosthuizen told europeantour.com.

It’s a sad thing but you know I have had my struggles with a couple of things. My body actually feels great but when something like this happens the Monday when I travel, it’s a bit of an unfortunate one.
“I don’t want to tee off Thursday and play one hole or a few shots and then withdraw after taking someone’s spot, I just can’t do that. So I’m going to have to withdraw from this one.
Sitting 23rd in the world currently, and with no significant other events this week, the 35-year-old had a great chance of completing a season-long aim at this event.
“I was really looking forward to playing this week. I had a goal of getting back in the top 20 by the end if the season, I needed a good week this week so, unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.”
Oosthuizen has not played this event since 2010 and has never won it, with a best finish of tied 10th in 2009, so will be disappointed he’s unable to try and end his drought this week.

“I haven’t played in Joburg in a while so I was really excited for playing,” he said.

“I felt really ready for this week, the game felt good, I didn’t make a lot of putts last week so I was eager to get going this week.”

After being forced to the sidelines, Oosthuzien is hoping the injury is only a minor setback.

“I’m probably going to go do an X-ray today.

“I hope I didn’t crack the middle finger there somehow but it’s swollen quite a bit and it’s right on that pressure point where you hold your grip.

“I’ll have someone check it out back home and hopefully it’s nothing much.”

Oosthuizen will now take a winter break over Christmas with the goal of breaking into the world’s top 20 having to be postponed until the new year.