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June 13, 2019

Louis Oosthuizen

Pebble Beach, California

MIKE TROSTEL: Ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to welcome Louis Oosthuizen into the Media Center. 5-under 66 in the first round, currently tied for the lead. Let's go through the card. You started off on the 10th hole, routine par there, and tell us about 11.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, 11, I'm not even sure anymore what the distance, I think it was about 110 yards or something. And hit a decent line and couldn't really -- you can't see the second shot where it lands. I just went on the reaction of the crowd that it was a good shot and obviously saw that they went nuts.

MIKE TROSTEL: You make another birdie on 14, the par 5.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I had a good tee shot on 14, and it was just a big, solid 3-wood for me to get to the front. And could have probably hit a better eagle putt. But Johnny gave me a good line. He was behind me, and I got a good read off his putt. And I think I made a 10-footer for birdie.

MIKE TROSTEL: You bogey 16, but a nice par save on 17.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, yeah, 17, 3-iron is too much club for me there, for one. It was sort of always just maybe getting to the green, probably not, but short is not a bad thing. But ended up being plugged in the bunker and didn't make that great a shot out of it. But I think I made like a 25-footer for par which just stopped back-to-back bogeys.

MIKE TROSTEL: Good par save on 3 and back-to-back birdies on 4 and 5.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I could see the crowd really going crazy and end up being a foot from the hole. And then on 5, yesterday I played late yesterday afternoon, and I probably hit around 7 shots on that hole. I couldn't figure out with that wind the type of shot I wanted to hit.

And it was quite nerve-wracking standing there today because I didn't hit one good shot yesterday. And ended up hitting a really good 6-iron to probably 10, 12 feet and made the putt.

MIKE TROSTEL: Another nice par save on 8, and close it with a nice chip on 9.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, that first cut, I don't get the compression on the ball, and it wasn't a good line, but didn't get the distance on the second shot. And I was fortunate with the uphill lie in the bunker, I could get some height on the ball and just try to get it within four or five feet right of the hole to have an uphill putt. And it came out perfect.

Q. You have already won a major championship. If you were to win here, this place is so special to American golf, would that mean any more to you to kind of knock off majors at such iconic venues?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think just winning a major is already to me sacred enough. To be able to win a U.S. Open would be very magical to me. It would be I think something that anyone can dream of winning an Open and the U.S. Open. I think Pebble to me is probably one of my favorite, if not the -- my favorite venue for a U.S. Open. You're not going to beat the scenery and everything about this golf course, and it's just the weather we're having at the moment, it makes this week really special.

Q. Did the setup the USGA provided give you any surprises today? Sometimes between Wednesday and Thursday things happen. Do you feel like you were prepared?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I thought they did a really good job. The greens were receptive. It was running nicely. I think the golf course was set up really good for good scoring in the morning and probably get a little bumpy in the afternoon and firm up a little bit.

But nothing unexpected from what it was like Tuesday and Wednesday. I think today was definitely the round I could be a little more aggressive with those iron shots. But afternoon, if the wind picks up a little bit and dries out, you need to be careful because the rough around the greens are almost impossible to control the ball.

Q. I was interested in what you said about the scenery and everything. I know this is your office and this is what you do for a living, but can you savor it? Can you savor the scenery and the way things lookout there?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think Tuesday was the day to do that. Tuesday and Wednesday. Yesterday the weather was obviously not great. But Tuesday was probably -- I don't think you can ever get a better golf day than it was on Tuesday.

And I was out there, probably looked like a tourist taking all the pictures on my phone and forgot I was playing a practice round. But, yeah, that's what this place does to you. When you get around holes like 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and then you finish off with 17 and 18, it's just different to any other venue that you really ever play.

Q. I've been all over the world and I've traveled courses that are ocean side courses, including South Africa. I always thought the second shot on 8 is one of the greatest shots. Jack Nicklaus called it once the best shot second shot in golf. How do you play it, how do you view it, and fears and aspirations, if you get it in the fairway, and what do you do?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it got me today, but the players pitch it three or four yards on the green to the left and let the ball just go up on the left side to the center of the green. Doesn't matter where the pin is.

And I just -- I thought the wind was going to push it a little bit more from the right, and it didn't and ended up going in the bunker. And I was fortunate enough to hit a good shot, and again had a good read off Patrick's ball on that one.

And it's just a hole you need to, first of all, hit the 4- or 3-iron good off the tee. You've got to hit that fairway. And then don't take it on, don't be brave. Just go down the left. Give yourself any type of birdie putt. And I think, if you speak to anyone, they'll take 4 there and off you go.

Q. I can think of one other hole-out, sort of famous hole-out, from another fairway at a major. How rare is it, away from those two that we're now aware of, for you to hole out from the fairway?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I can't remember the last time I holed a shot from the fairway. I mean, it's -- when you have a sand wedge in your hand, you're thinking you'll really close. But to actually hole it, there's a lot of things that have to be right, the bounce on the green and everything. So there's obviously a little bit of luck involved. But I think we want to see it more as the perfect shot.

Q. How does your game fit this golf course? What is it that you feel are the aspects of your game that make this golf course one that you can shoot a number like this today?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Well, if you think of Bethpage, to me they give my driver the extra, but every single hole to try to get more distance. It's such a tough golf course. You don't have that over here. There's a lot of holes you don't need driver, you just need to get it in play. And from there if you're basically in all the middle parts of the greens, you're going to have not a ridiculous long putt for birdie.

So I feel I'm really a good driver of the golf ball and I can give myself good opportunities, and my iron play is pretty decent. It's all on if I'm making putts on the week or not. And I really like next to the coast being -- can be a little windy, as well.

Q. How many times did you hit driver today? Unrelated, how many times since then have you heard about the shot at Augusta? Do you still hear about it?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I can't remember how many drivers I hit. I think I hit 6. I think I hit about 6 drivers today. And the rest was irons. One 3-wood, I think.

But, yeah, I do hear about that shot a lot. Funny thing about that shot is I struggled to hit that green now. Whenever I have that lie again with being downhill and the ball below my feet, I've been trying to hit that green ever since and I think I've probably done it once after holing out in 2012.

Q. What kind of comments do you get from people when they do bring it up?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Just great double eagle at Augusta. And best shot I've ever seen, things like that. Yeah, I mean, it's -- I think it was probably because it was a rare thing to see on television at Augusta. So that's what makes going back to Augusta great, because you remember all the things that happened over the years.

MIKE TROSTEL: Louis Oosthuizen, 5-under, 66, great round today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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