May 21, 2021
Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA
The Ocean Course at Kiawah
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by Louis Oosthuizen who posted a second-round 4-under par 68 today. He is currently 5-under for the championship and tied for the lead atop the leaderboard.
Louis, that's a terrifically clean scorecard. Without dwelling on the 18th hole, you couldn't have played much better, could you have?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No, probably not. Drove it as good as I can drive it, and ball-striking was pretty good with the irons. With really windy conditions, you need that ball-striking to be on song. Probably gave myself, I don't know -- I think I hit 14 or 13 greens around this golf course in today's conditions is pretty good.
Q. On 17, what is your thought process over that shot? It looked like you hit it exactly where you were aiming but it's quite left of where most people --
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Well, hit it yesterday in the water, so I wasn't going right. It was a good number for me with a 4-iron. That was exactly how -- our line, we went just right of that first trap, and hopefully it stopped short of the second one, but if it goes in that bunker, you can just pop it out, and there's a little bit of a slope down there towards the hole, and was fortunate to make the par for putt, as well.
Q. Would you ever hit at that pin depending on the wind?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Not on a Friday. If I have to on a Sunday.
Q. You've been so close so many times in the majors. You could easily have had half a dozen or a handful at this point. Why do you think it's been so difficult to win a second major tournament?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I mean, two of them I was really close, was in playoffs, but I don't know. I don't think it's a case of not being able to or thinking that I can't get the second. It's just both times I was outplayed.
Look, it'll be great to get a second major. There's a lot of golf left, and I just feel whenever I get to a major, I sort of have my game where I want to have it, and mentally I feel very strong at a major week.
Q. When you look at the leaderboard, how does it feel to have so many South African players in contention?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It's great. I think we're 11 South African players here this week. We have a great program with youngsters coming through, and it's great seeing them up there. I watched a bit this morning and seeing Branden and Christian at this stage being 1 and 2, they're good friends and great players, and they'll definitely be up there this weekend.
Q. How long were you waiting on the 17th tee, and what's going through your mind?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, probably just waited like eight, nine minutes probably or close to ten. Just sat around there a bit, and then my caddie when they started putting, he said to me, make a few swings and just warm up so that I'm not rushed into anything.
Yeah, I mean, it's not the ideal hole to sit and wait and seeing the other guys hit, but I was pretty -- in every shot today, I was really focused, and it was fine having that few seconds' rest.
Q. I'm curious how you maintain your focus when the round may be going a little slower than ordinary. How do you stay focused and sharp?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think just walking in between, not really thinking about your round and just maybe talk to your caddie about something else. Just be relaxed. When it gets to your ball and ready for you to hit, get back into it. That's why it's very important to have someone on the bag where you can just chat about anything, something else.
Q. The scorecard is going to show 5 at 18, but it looks like you hit a pretty nice shot in there from a good ways out. Was it relatively stress-free out there for you?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: You know, I felt I struck it really well, so I could really sort of take on my shots, what I wanted to do, and felt comfortable trying to hit the right shot.
I put that 3-iron in this morning. I probably haven't had it in my bag for about a year and a half. I've been playing a 7-wood for a long time, and this wind is just too strong for a 7-wood. I've hit the 3-iron a few times, and it's one of my -- used to be one of my favorite clubs. It was a perfect number with the wind on 18 to hit that, but probably a little bit more adrenaline and it pitched a little further and just went over that hump.
I struck it really well all day, and it was nice to sort of not worry about distance but more about the shot you want to hit.
Q. Do you have a different comfort level now playing in majors than maybe you did when you won in St. Andrews?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I mean, look, anyone playing last group or second to last group, I don't know where I will be tomorrow, it'll be nervous. You'll be a little nervous. But I know that, and I know how to deal with it or know what I have to do.
I am definitely comfortable playing in majors now than before. Hitting it well and knowing your game is there, it makes it a little less stress, but you still need to hit the shots and play in the moment and play well.
Q. Everyone has been talking today obviously about how difficult the golf course is, but you're one of the guys in the field that played in 2012. How would you compare today to maybe the Friday back then?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: You know, I knew it was very difficult on that Friday, but I can't remember even what I shot.
Q. By design you're going to forget the bad one?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I mean, you normally try and forget the bad rounds.
Looking at the scoring average, I don't know what it was today, but I think it had to be a lot more difficult than in 2012.
But yeah, it was tough. Look, it was really tough today, but I think they did a good job again with moving some of those tees up, especially into-the-wind holes, and just like I say, I think if you get your ball flight under control, you could do something. It was just a good solid round for me.
Q. The thought is that the weather may change, the wind may change to a different direction, almost 180 degrees. If it does, how does that affect the way you'd approach this golf course?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think it's sort of when you get out there, you see what you're going to do because every single round we've played since Monday was east, or east-northeast. It's going to be completely opposite.
You know, I think it's going to be weird, but you have to handle it. I wouldn't have a clue even what to think of it, but I think when the moment comes and it changes completely, we need to be ready for it.
Q. You actually shot 79 that Friday, but it was only one shot over the average.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Thank you. It's a good thing I forgot about it.
Q. You've been on a nice run of play it seems. Was there something that sparked this?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No. I did a bit of work last week with my coach and just sort of got a feeling in my swing back from a long time ago and started driving it again this week like the way I know I can hit a driver. That made my longer irons and my ball-striking a lot better.
I've worked really hard on my putting especially and feel like that's probably the best I've rolled it in a long time, so it's great to know that the driver swing and the long iron swing is back, especially in these conditions. I just need to stay in it this weekend and try not to play myself out of it tomorrow.
Q. Can you remind us who your coach is?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Justin Parsons.
THE MODERATOR: Louis, thanks so much. Rest up tonight and have a great weekend.
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