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May 12, 2017

Louis Oosthuizen

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

ALEX URBAN: We'd like to welcom Louis Oosthuizen here to the interview room at THE PLAYERS Championship. Talk about where you sit heading into the weekend.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, we're in a pretty good spot going into this weekend. A lot of golf to be played around this golf course as we've seen the last two days, you can easily make mistake around this track. It's a great golf course. You need to keep it in the fairway, and I think by tomorrow the greens are going to be nice and firm. Today it was a lot firmer than yesterday, but yeah, it should be good. I've been playing well for a while now, and just putting four good rounds together.

Q. How do you come into the week with a positive mindset at a place where you might not have the best record?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think, you know, the history about the tournament, the golf course, everything about it, you see it as another major week of golf or for being a professional, and this is definitely one of the courses that you try and up your game and just give it that little bit more for the week and try and win the championship. I think that enough is a lot of motivation. Doesn't matter what your golf game looks like.

Q. Did you do any special preparation before this week, work on any part of your game in particular?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No, I've been doing the same things. I've been probably working a little bit more on my putting at home in Palm Beach, try and every day just do a bit of half an hour work when I can, and you know, I think it's paid off. I'm rolling the ball really nicely and feel really confident on the greens. Other than that, you know, doing the normal stuff, and yeah, like I said, I feel I've been playing really well for a while, it's just trying to put four rounds together.

Q. How important in your opinion was that birdie at 9 to get to 9-under?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I mean, it's nice being tied for the lead any tournament off two rounds. I think it was just -- it was more just giving myself that little bit more confidence of that I'm stroking it well and saw the line perfect and the speed perfect.

You know, you never know, that putt might be the one to do it for you in the championship. But I think it was more just making sure I hit a good putt and gave it a good effort.

Q. Have you ever struck it well and scored badly around here?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Oh, yes. This course can do it. You know, you can get one or two awkward bounces or lies and get a flier out of the rough and quickly make a big number, you know, double bogey, triple bogey, whatever it might be. And I think that's where over the years you sort of learn to be patient around this golf course, and you know, don't try the hero shot all the time. A few times maybe take the bogey. Don't try and do the brave thing. But it's a proper golf course. You need to be on top of your game mentally and out on the course.

Q. Is it best to come to this tournament no matter what kind of form you're in, with zero expectations?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Well, I think it's always great coming in with good form and knowing you're hitting the ball well. You know, it's tough around here if you know you're struggling with your game. It's going to be a tough week. I just think it's a week where, like a major week, it's all on how you mentally go about it and just stay in the moment and try your best every shot.

Q. Just wondering what you make of seeing Vijay Singh's name up there on the leaderboard this week?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Well, I mean, that's brilliant to see his name up there. I don't think there's many people that work more than Vijay hitting golf balls more than him. He's still a hard worker, and if he starts making a few putts, you know, he's always going to be up there. He's always been one of the best ball strikers there is, and even at his age, he's always going to be someone to look at.

Q. There's been a lot of talk this week about the new FedEx deal and being grandfathered in. What were your thoughts when you heard that?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: You know, I think it's great for us to be grandfathered on the deal, and you know, I've got a great relationship with UPS, and I think it's an awkward spot for me and Westwood because FedEx is great for all of us players, as well. You know, I think we were very happy with being grandfathered into the old procedures.

Q. Did you come close to a bogey today?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: A few times. I came close to one on 15. I made about a 20-footer for par. And I think I made a few five-, six-footers for par today, too.

Q. Halfway home is there a score you think will win this tournament?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I don't know. I don't like thinking of numbers to get to. But you know, it all depends. We saw it last year on Saturday, how brutal the golf course was. So it all depends on what the wind and the greens would be tomorrow.

Q. How do you explain how you haven't won yet in the U.S.?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I don't know. If you can help me there, it would be great. I've come close a few times, and I've felt I've played really well. You know, so it's something I don't really want to think about, but you do now and then think about it. You know, like I say, I've played well, and it's odd not to think about that I haven't won on U.S. soil.

Hopefully I can change all that this week.

Q. Your back cost you a really good chance in Boston a few years ago that final round. What's the status of your health and how do you keep on top of it?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I mean, I've been great for the last year and a half. I've been really good, two years. And you know, I do my stuff that I have to do. I work out with my physio to get everything every week where I want it to be body-wise. I still have the niggles every now and then that I think every golfer has with lower back stuff, tightening up during a round, and some mornings you wake up and it's not great. But the stuff that I struggled with is something of the past. I mean, I've worked really hard to get rid of it, and I'm happy in the place where my body is now.

Q. Pretty much everyone in golf thinks you have the best swing out here; do you ever hear that, and what's that make you think or feel? Do you fall in love with your swing, too?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I don't know. I mean, it's a tough one to -- I have a lot of things in my swing that I work on, and if I don't get it right, it might look good, but there's a few things that can go horribly wrong and I can hit it all over the place. It might, I think, on the eye always look like it's really good, but it still takes some work to keep it there. It's nice to hear, but it's also something that I don't really worry about. I've got my things I'm trying to work at tempo-wise and playing-wise, and other than that, I just try and make it better every time I play.

Q. When was the last time you weren't happy with your swing?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Well, I wasn't very happy yesterday. (Laughter.) I was hitting my irons all over the place, and I couldn't hit the greens. Yeah, that's exactly -- I think that'll give you a good idea.

Q. Is there any other player whose swing you really admire?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, there's a few. I love watching Adam Scott hit the ball. You know, things that he does that I would love to be able to do. I love seeing Charl hit a long iron. You know, it's little things that I look at in swings that I really admire, and then just watching, I think, Rory and Dustin hit drivers would drive anyone crazy, even me as a professional, because the speed they can do it at is unbelievable to watch.

Q. Being settled with your family in Florida now, what's been the best part of being here and what's been the most difficult?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, the best part is going back Sunday nights to the family and seeing the kids and going out Tuesdays again to a tournament, just to be able to do that. You know, the bad thing for us is all our family and friends are back in South Africa, and as you know, it's a 16-, 17-hour flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg just to get there, so it's not like you're just going to go for a week when you go. You've got to really work on your schedule to make time to go back and see the family, and to us it's important that grandfather and grandmothers are there for my kids to spend time with them while they can, and I think that's the hard part, to fit it into a schedule to take some weeks off where you probably wanted to play, but you need to make those sacrifices.

ALEX URBAN: Thank you for your time, Louis. Good luck the rest of the weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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