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June 20, 2015

Louis Oosthuizen


Q. Tell us about your round.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Being 9 over through 20 holes, it looked like I would have been back in Florida today. But, yeah, just I made a few putts yesterday and started hitting the ball really well. And a few little things this morning on the range, found a bit of a swing with my driver and seemed to sort of go from there on the rest of my game. And today I hit it really close on a lot of holes, could have been probably a lot lower.

Q. You had the two best rounds in the tournament, in the last two days you've had the best rounds. What are the chances you think you can do it for a third day, the way you're striking the ball?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: If I hit it the way I did today I think I've got a pretty good chance of putting a good number out there again. I gave myself loads of birdie opportunities, which is what you want to try to do around here. I think ball-striking is keen to really pinpoint where you want to pitch it on the greens. The greens are so firm now, and it's pretty dead, the grass, so you need to work the slopes on the greens to get it close. And I did that today. But still it's a challenge to make a lot of putts on these greens.

Q. Does it feel like if you had shot this round on an average course the score would have been 61, 62?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It's tough to say, because you play quite a bit different golf here, pitching it up, taking more club, running it onto the green. If I gave myself all the opportunities I did on a different course with better greens, you probably would make more putts. But I made a good few putts today. I think this afternoon it's going to really be fast. We teed off at 11:50 and the greens were very slick. So you can just expect it to even firm up more. And it's definitely going to get tougher and tougher out there.

Q. Are these conditions kind of made for you? Are you really comfortable here, even though the elevation is different from a real links course?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It might look like an Open golf course, but it's definitely not. Yeah, I like type of shot-making golf courses where you need to use a lot of little different shots, but you need to be hitting it well to do that. And unfortunately, the first day I just hit it so poorly that I didn't really put myself in any position of making birdies or trying to have birdie opportunities. So luckily I got it together and started hitting the ball the way I know I can hit it.

Q. Did you think you had a prayer Thursday night?

Q. Did you think you had a prayer coming back after Thursday night?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No. Like I said, 9 over through 20 holes I didn't give myself much chance, but I never gave up. I always want to give myself chances, and even if you're playing badly, you want to work on something those last or second round or last few holes just to take it into next week. I started hitting the ball better and better and better as I went through the second round and hit it really well today. So it just shows you to never give up, especially on a golf course like this. If you play well and you shoot 1 or 2-under you can really climb the leaderboard.

Q. How much were you affected by all the stuff going on around Tiger and Rickie that first round?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I played as bad as them that first round. I think we just pulled each other down quite a bit. It's tough when all three players like that, you don't really get into it. So when that happens -- but, yeah, when you're out there you're doing your own thing. I don't think it affects you that much when you're playing well, when you're hitting it well.

Q. You missed several short putts. Could this have really been a special round?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It could have been. 7, 8, 9 I missed shortest length, 10 I missed a short one, 18 I missed a short one. But you can't really look at that. I made a few good ones, as well. So the big key is you have to give yourself those putts. If you have a day where a lot of them go in, you can shoot 64. But, you know, I played well. I mean on putting stats I would probably have had quite a few putts today. I know I putted well. I hit the ball well. I'm very happy with this round.

Q. Is there a point either yesterday or today where you switched your focus from trying to come back from a slow start to where I'm in contention here?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Turning yesterday I made that bogey on 18 and then that eagle on 1 really set my target to get another one to get it to 4 over and see where the cut goes. I had no idea what to expect off the cut line. I made another one on 6 and then one on 8 and I got it to 3-over, and actually made a 4-footer for par on 9, which I thought was probably going to be to make the cut. And ended up being two inside. I was really proud of myself the way I came back, and this morning sort of just worked on a few things. I wasn't happy with the way I drove the ball yesterday and found something and felt really comfortable out there today on the tee.

Q. You were playing for the cut line yesterday. Today you come out and put yourself in a position. Tomorrow you could go out and be playing for this championship. It's going to be a different mindset tomorrow, yeah?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It's going to be exciting from where I came back from. So, yeah, I guess I'm probably going to be five or six behind, unless one of the guys have a really low round. But around this golf course I think if I can go out and shoot 1 or 2-under on the front nine and just put yourself out there on the back nine, anything can happen. There's a lot of dangerous holes out there and if you're not on your game ball-striking-wise, you're going to struggle. You're going to have 10- to 15-footers for par all day. I need to just try to go out and sort of try and play the same game plan as I did today.

Q. Follow-up on the putting, can you make an observation about how they're different from other greens, subtle things you've noticed?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: There's no grass on a few of them. So it's just dead. There's a few holes where it doesn't look really, really good. But it's the same for everyone. You've got to stand out there and try and knock it in. I feel there's a few greens that look really good. The 7th, the 13th, the 14th, they look fine. But they just are really tricky. It's such big slopes on them and they're so firm that you need to be careful. I had a shot on 18 where I probably would have putted it 50 yards down the fairway if I end up going with a putter, and decided on chipping it off the green. So you've got to really work your way around the greens, where you want to put your second shot. That's why I always say ball-striking is so important because you've got to pinpoint where you want to pitch it, otherwise you're going to end up way off the green.

Q. Any particular ones that you thought were dead that stood out for you?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: The first hole doesn't look too good. Yeah, I mean, I think everyone probably expected it to be a bit better, the greens. But at the end of the day we all need to play and make putts or try and make putts or fight with yourself. That's what makes this game really good.

Q. You said earlier that because of the elevation changes it's not really a links-type golf course. Does this offer you a better preparation as previous U.S. Opens going to St. Andrews?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: You know, the turf is pretty similar to Open golf, being really firm, iron shots and pitching around greens when you pitch. And that seems definitely the same. But still three weeks to go to The Open, playing two tournaments before that, with just different golf course types than this. But, yeah, I think there's a lot of people that really want to forget this week the way they played and the way they struggled around the golf course. But I was probably one of those on Thursday evening, but just kept my head down and told myself to really stick out there and try and do something on Friday.

Q. Do you think St. Andrews represents lower -- obviously the scores here aren't going to be --
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: St. Andrews should be lower scoring than this, yeah.
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