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August 23, 2017

Louis Oosthuizen

Old Westbury, New York

MARK WILLIAMS: Welcome to the media center and the interview room for The Northern Trust this week, the first FedExCup Playoff event.

You're No. 35 in the rankings coming in. Just talk about the Playoffs and how meaningful they are to you in your career on the PGA TOUR.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I think that's what the whole year is about to try and get into the Playoffs, and obviously make it to Atlanta, you know, try and win this.

Yeah, I think every week now is stressful and a lot of excitement at the same time because you're always playing to get to that top 30. And this week there will be a few guys on the bubble; the same with next week and I think it creates a little bit more pressure. But it's also good pressure. It gives you something to play for each week to try and make it to the next.

Yeah, I think for me, it's also the next five weeks is to get some really good form to go into The Presidents Cup and try and get the trophy.

MARK WILLIAMS: And you've had some good form this year, and recently, second obviously at the PGA Championship and another runner-up finish at THE PLAYERS, two big events this year. What do you feel you need to do just to get over that line and win one of these FedExCup Playoff events?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, the PGA, I was always a little behind trailing. It was sort of -- Justin played really well. It was going to be difficult to catch him. But I did really well to get to the second spot at the end there.

PLAYERS, I didn't have a great final round. Probably tried a little too hard. Sometimes you just need to play and don't really think about it, which is the most difficult thing.

But yeah, I feel when I get in that situation, I love the spot to be there to try and win the event. I just need to let things go and play a little bit of golf and not think about the outcome.

Q. Do you remember in the early days of the FedExCup, was there a moment or a tournament that kind of told you that, you know, there is some traction here and these are going to be really significant, and what this could grow into?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think in the beginning everyone probably didn't really know how it's going to work, how it's going to go. I think it's fun and it's a lot of entertainment to play these events.

From the outside, I think it's difficult to follow if you don't really know what it's all about. But that Sunday back nine for a lot of players, you know, I think it's really exciting to watch it on TV, to see the guys that's on the bubble, to see the guys that could make a big move, and to try to get to Atlanta and try to have a chance to win the Cup.

I think it's definitely a great thing to play -- to get into the Playoffs. As a player, these are massive weeks for us. These are weeks where if you have one or two great weeks, you can jump right up there and you've got a chance to win it.

So everyone will put a little more effort in over the next five weeks.

Q. This being a course that is not on the regular PGA TOUR rota, how does your preparation differ and what do you try to accomplish on a week when you are playing a new venue?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I still need to go and see it in two hours in the Pro-Am. I've been working on a few things in my game and I thought it was more important, just working on a few issues that I still have on the range. So probably spent a little bit more time there than on the golf course.

But I've heard from a few guys, it's long, which is normally an every-week thing now. So need to drive it well. But yeah, it looks great. I can't really say a lot more than that. I haven't been out there but it's fun to play new courses that's not on the schedule every year.

Q. You lip sync better than some pop stars and actors. Were you surprised at how much attention that clip got, and can you tell us how it all came into existence?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I was very surprised on how much attention it got. But I was just more trying to entertain the kids to sit still in the plane really (laughing).

So the song came up, and we had a little speaker there. My wife had the phone out, and she asked me, "Should I put this out on Twitter?"

And I said, "Well, I never really do anything. So why not? Go ahead."

So yeah, it was just one of those moments that happened. Nothing planned, really, and at least the kids sat still and listened to it.

Q. Was it coincidence, the song?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It was a coincidence that it was that song, and then she said, "Maybe we should put something that will rise up after the second."

I said, "Sure. Go ahead." It was really an at-the-moment thing.

Q. You said in Phoenix this year that after trying a different putter for a week you went back to your old one and played well with it. Have you stayed with that old one all year since, or have you kept tinkering?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No, I've stayed with that one whole year. I might have a different one this week just because my putter, the insert that I've got, is really hot off the face. I've known in previous times playing on the type of greens we play this week that I struggle a little with my speed with that putter.

So went back to, I might go back to a putter I've used before on similar greens which work better. We'll see. Final decision probably after the Pro-Am, but I've been working with both.

Q. Was there a lesson there in terms of something new not necessarily always being better?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I mean, these days, I think we get a lot more technical with a lot of things. Since I've been working with my putting coach, we've looked at a few numbers, which things, which one I line up better, which one I aim better. All the numbers are better with my old one that I've used over a lot of years.

You know, PING is trying to build me one that's got different inserts in, a little fast off the face, low off the face, and I think once we get that right, you won't see me change that look of that putter. But for now, you know, I'm going to probably try something different this week.

Q. Another lip sync question. Are there other songs you actually lip sync to?

Q. Justin Bieber?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No. No. It was just that one -- I knew the words. It was easy to do it then.

Q. How often do you look at the standings during the regular season, and how often will you look at them throughout the Playoffs now?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I look at them quite often. After every week, really. Just see where you're at, what you need to do. Like I say, you want to get to Atlanta and to have a chance to win. And I think from this week on, you'll probably be looking at a little bit more, just especially if you're one of the guys that's close to the 100 spot to get into the next one.

It's fun to watch all the projected standings, just to see, you know, what's going on, how you're playing, what's happening. It's really a fun thing to watch.

Q. Are you surprised that only one FedExCup champ has started the Playoffs outside the Top-50, or is that not really a surprise?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I don't even know that. So yeah, you know, I think of the next -- even this week, anything can happen. I think it might change completely how things will move around.

But yeah, especially with the ranking system, a lot can happen quickly.

Q. At what point were you aware that you had completed the career Grand Slam of second places?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I didn't. A friend text my caddie, which was also on the plane, and he said -- he read the text saying, "Congratulations, you finished the career Grand Slam seconds," which really isn't something I should be very proud of; you wonder, where are the wins.

At that stage, you know, that felt a little bit more -- it hurt a little bit more because especially two of them was in playoffs. But it just gives me a little bit more drive to go and get the ones.

Q. So did you absorb it, as, Oh, that's disappointing? Because you could look at it that it's -- not very many people have got that close to one, much less all of them.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think it's a little disappointing in the way that two were that close to getting the wins. But it's also, I take a lot from that to have done that. But you know, at the end of the day, they are going to remember the guys that won the majors and not who finished second.

Q. This will be an interesting week for Justin Thomas. Thinking back for you, what's it like, your first start after you have won a major championship? What's the adrenaline like and how do you get it going again?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: To me, I played The European Tour and really not done anything before The Open. It was a massive change and a massive step, and I was for a whole year out of sync completely. I didn't play great, at all, the rest of 2010, and 2011 I struggled. It was only the end of 2011 I found my feet again, and had a really good season in 2012.

Yeah, it takes a bit of time, but Justin is a world-class player. He's won so many times. Just this year, he started the year awesome and then throughout the year has been playing great. I won't be surprised if he gets another one soon.

Q. I know the Masters and The Opens give you something for finishing second. Did you get something at the PGA, and where do you keep that stuff?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I don't know if I got anything for the PGA yet. I didn't receive anything (laughter). I got a little display in the house where I keep a few things that, you know, that I've won over the years.

But yeah, the actual trophies is a lot better to have.

Q. And then a Presidents Cup-related question. You've had kind of a cool window in the weeks you've played into Hideki and seeing behind the curtain. What are your impressions of him on the course, off the course, and the player he's developed into?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Hideki, he's a world-class player. I've played with him, HSBC last year, I played with him in Tiger's event. And I called it on the Friday after we walked off the course, that if he just putts half-decent, he's going to win. Because the iron play that I've seen off him was, you know, close to spectacular.

I think if he is really on song, especially in that part of his game, I would say he's as good as Tiger was with that part of the game. You know, he gets in such a zone that nothing really puts him off, and we've seen it at Firestone where he would hit a bad shot, according to him, drop the club, and it's ten foot away. He gets really into a mode where he can get unstoppable. He's just a great player.

And off the course, he's a lovely guy and we enjoy spending time with him. It will be great, a fun week at New York and Liberty National again.

Q. A quick follow to that. He seemed to be in that zone from Sunday at Akron through Friday, and then had a tough weekend. What do you think happened there?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: You know, a lot of times, you probably just -- something goes wrong on one or two shots and you start thinking a little bit too much on it. You know, a major can do that to you quickly. You need to sort of -- it's so difficult to every time stay in the moment, in the shot, and not think ahead.

I think it will be such a massive thing for him to be the first Japanese player to win a major; that sometimes, you know, without you knowing, you're thinking a little ahead of that, and that can happen. Whether that was the situation with him, I don't know.

He's young. He's going to have so many more opportunities to be able to win a major, and I definitely think he'll win more than one, anyway.

Q. And just a quick question about your schedule. Some players have talked about the difficulty of playing the European and PGA TOURs. You also have your home tour that you support. How do you make your schedule work?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: That's normally the most difficult thing the whole season, to plan your schedule. This year I decided not to do European Tour. I'm just PGA TOUR, and I'm going to play one tournament back in South Africa, the Joburg Open. It's difficult. It's not easy. Especially we being based on this side down in Palm Beach, you can't really travel match anymore. I have young kids that I don't really want to go away from. I want to see them as often as possible.

But yeah, it takes you about -- we already are starting to look at next year's schedule and how I'm going to do it and what I'm going to do, and it takes at least two, three months to just plan ahead to think what you're going to do.

Q. I know some guys have played Shinnecock, some have played Liberty National. Do you get a chance to play any place else this week or will you after this event?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No, I'm just going week-to-week.

MARK WILLIAMS: Thanks for your time. Appreciate it and good luck in your fourth start at The Northern Trust this week.

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