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August 25, 2020

Louis Oosthuizen

Olympia Fields, Illinois, USA

Olympia Fields Country Club

Press Conference

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Louis Oosthuizen into the interview room here at the BMW Championship. Thanks for joining us for a few minutes. While there was not a lot of drama for Dustin Johnson on the 72nd hole last week at the Northern Trust, there was for you. Congratulations on birdieing that hole for the fourth time during the week, and it was an important one, giving you the last spot in the BMW Championship this week. If we can get some comments on that last hole and your thoughts on the upcoming week.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it was such an awful day for me the way I was playing. Everything I was trying was going backwards and making bogeys and making a lot of mistakes. So yeah, it was good to have that few minutes' break really and sort of see what was going on. I wasn't sure if 4 or 3 was needed to get through. I knew anywhere close to 15th or better would get me into this week, so I walked off the golf course, eventually got into caddie dining and told me birdie will make it on the number.

So yeah, at least I knew -- I'm in the fairway, let's just hit the green or get it close up there and make a 4. So I knew it could be done. I just needed to pull the shot off.

It was pretty dark when we went out there and I couldn't really see much, but yeah, it ended up being a good last hole for me.

JOHN BUSH: You're now at the BMW Championship for the sixth straight season. Just talk a little bit about your goals for this week.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I mean, I worked hard to get through last week really, and I knew I had to play well. I feel like I'm playing really good at the moment, just need to get four rounds together. I've seen nine holes of this golf course today. Really good golf course, long. Can't afford to miss the fairways around here. So yeah, it's going to be a good week. I need a really good week to go to Atlanta.

I think with everything that's happened this season and the little I really played before starting this year, I think I would be very, very happy to go to Atlanta if I can get it done.

Q. Louis, what could you see when you were standing over your ball in the fairway with 3-iron, right?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I couldn't really see the pin. I knew where the pin was. It was in line with the TV tower. I think that made it really difficult seeing, as well. When the ball took off, I just looked around to see the response from everyone, and I looked over and Mark Immelman was walking with us and he gave me a thumbs up. Only when I walked down and got to probably about 110 yards or so away from the green I could see my ball being about 30 feet, or 25, 30 feet away from the hole. It was dark. The last thing you really wanted was having a chip around that green, so I knew it was a very important second shot.

Q. How difficult was it reading the putt?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: You know, luckily I was using the books the whole week, so it gave me a good idea. And I know the green. I knew the first one was going to turn quite a bit. Obviously the speed was the main thing. I hit it a little lower than I wanted to, and it picked up a little speed, and the short one was a difficult one to trust myself to hit it just outside the hole. It was probably three and a half feet or so, and that's always -- you want to see the break to hit it outside the hole, but I just trusted it. I knew it was going to turn. I saw Scottie's chip and saw the book again, looked at it, and I just needed to trust it and make a good stroke.

Q. You got done what you needed to get done on the last hole last week. Do you know what you have to do this week? Do you know exactly what you have to do this week?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I don't know exactly. I think -- my caddie told me 4th might get it done, but 3rd definitely. I just need to have a really good week. That's all I know.

Q. I have a question about your strategy off the tee this week. Here at the North Course the landing zones in the fairways are guarded by a number of bunkers providing a challenge off the tee. What's your strategy this week to avoid a difficult approach in so you can attack the greens at this course?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: You know, I've seen the front nine. I haven't been out on the back yet. But yeah, I think I'd rather be in the bunkers, I think, than be in the rough. It's really thick and it's going to be difficult controlling the golf ball out of there, if you can get it to the green on some holes.

Yeah, there's a few holes where on the front where you can go with less club off the tee and then make sure you hit the fairway, but I'm feeling very good with the way I'm hitting the driver. I think I'll be hitting a lot of drivers again this week and probably taking on a few bunkers, and like I say, I'd rather be in the bunker than missing it just into the rough.

Q. Who's the best fairway bunker player you ever saw?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: What's the best fairway bunker -- I don't know. I don't know. I've never been asked that.

Q. I tried to give you something new to keep things livened up. The second question is can you think of a time when you've had something at stake and really played rubbish for the first nine or so holes and were able to turn it around when you had to, kind of what you did last week? Can you think of any other occasions when you've done that, and is it difficult?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I mean, I remember starting the S.A. Open two years ago when I was leading and I started 2-over through three holes, which wasn't that difficult a holes, and everyone was making birdies. That sort you puts you a little bit out of sorts. But I got it back. I knew I was playing good enough to just keep on going, and I know there was a lot of birdies out on the golf course.

But last week, Sunday was -- the 2nd hole caught me by surprise. I hit a beautiful second shot and it landed a yard short into the water into a plugged lie and I thought I could play it out and actually hit too good a shot over into the water and then all of a sudden I'm making a 7, and looking back, I felt like, man, I don't feel like I deserved a 7 after the second shot. Then just missed a putt on 3 for birdie and then it sort of just -- the harder I tried, the more it went the wrong way.

But knowing that I had a number in my mind, I thought 14-under -- this was after all the bad holes that I had. I thought, if I can get it to 14-under, I'll probably get through. I don't know if 13-under will get there. So standing on No. 12, that was sort of my -- the way I was playing, that was my goal. Just try and get it to 14-under, don't try and push too much, and then I bogeyed 11, 12 and 13.

Q. Nice.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, nice. That doesn't help. And then standing on 16, I was right in between clubs and I backed myself to take the shot on, be it an aggressive line and made a beautiful shot and a great putt, and then on 18 that happened. Luckily the 3-iron is one of my favorite clubs in my bag and it was a perfect number, so it was nothing in between shots. I just needed to put a good swing on it.

Q. I don't know that you've ever been asked this, but it's such a weird dynamic to the season of pushing to East Lake, and then when it's over with, we have the U.S. Open in like two weeks. Is that odd to you? And how do you think that'll be different?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It is. It is strange. I think almost if you don't play Atlanta, you might have that little bit more edge of resting up before the U.S. Open, but also if you're playing Atlanta it means you're playing good golf and you'll take a lot of momentum going into the U.S. Open. Normally after Atlanta a lot of guys put the clubs away, need to normally at least have like a four-week break and don't do a lot of golf, but this season you're not going to do that, you're still going to play a lot of golf. You sort of just have to keep grinding and know that your time off is going to be around Christmas, and you just need to buckle up and keep playing.

Q. Who is the best fairway bunker player you've ever seen?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: There you go again with the fairway bunker player. I don't know. I've never been asked that question. I wouldn't even -- I wouldn't know. Sorry.

Q. Who's the best bunker player you've ever seen?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: There's a -- well, not a few, but I always, playing a long time in Europe, I loved watching Brett Rumford playing bunker shots. I could stand there watching him all day just hitting bunker shots. I thought it was unbelievable skill that he had around the greens in general. But watching him hit bunker shots was always good to see.

JOHN BUSH: Louis, we appreciate you joining us today and best of luck this week.

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