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August 25, 2021

Louis Oosthuizen

Owings Mills, Maryland, USA

Caves Valley Golf Club

Press Conference

DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Louis Oosthuizen to the pressroom here at the 2021 BMW Championship. Coming in safely inside the top 30, No. 11 in the FedExCup, No. 7 in the World Ranking. A lot of that has been just your incredible play of late. You've had top-3 finishes in five of your last eight starts on TOUR. If I can just kind of pick your brain on what's been going right and what you've been most comfortable with lately that's produced those good results.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I mean, I think a lot has got to do with the difference I did in my putting and then by leading strokes gained and just feeling a lot more comfortable on the greens. Yeah, I've been doing the same things.

I think the only thing changed with a little bit more work on the putting green really, and other than that, just had some good chances this year to play some good golf.

Fell short on a few occasions, so hopefully can finish strong the last two events.

DOUG MILNE: I know the courses rotate, but you're making your eighth start in the BMW Championship with some good finishes inside the top 25 I think in five, in all but two of your previous seven starts here. Is there something about the FedExCup Playoffs, the BMW Championship that kind of takes it up another notch for you?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think everyone sort of pushes themselves a little bit more in these last events to get into next week and just to -- if you're already into, even have a better spot for next week.

I think it's not that stressful in the sense you know you're playing four rounds of golf and you can have that one maybe round that's not great, but it's just a good week to really propel yourself up there.

Q. As one of the more senior players in South African golf, how pleased are you to see the rise of these youngsters and guys like Erik van Rooyen, et cetera, starting to rise through the ranks and also seeing a lot more South Africans included in major events? And then secondly, just last week sad news about Gary Player's late wife Vivienne, what did that mean for you guys on TOUR?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, look, it's great seeing the guys coming through, and it's been a while. Not a while, it's been the last I would say three, four, five years we have some great young talent in the country coming through.

Obviously this year guys like Erik and Garrick really stepping it up and we have Christiaan trying to get his card in the next few events playing Korn Ferry. Great bunch of guys. I think Erik showed a lot with the type of player he was with -- he had everything to lose with the tournament when he won that tournament, and last week even with a bad stumble on the par-3 he came back really strong and secured his spot in this tournament.

It's great to see our golf really in a good spot. I know there's more youngsters that's going to come through that's really good. So yeah, I'm definitely one of the senior guys out here now, so it's -- I've got to try and fill that role that Ernie and Retief did for when me and Charl came on to the scene and see whenever I can help the youngsters in some way. If they ask me questions, I can see if I can give them a little bit of advice. But at the moment everyone is playing really good golf.

Yeah, I mean, look, for any professional, playing on TOUR full-time, your person right next to you, your wife is the one that's really standing by you at all times, and it was very sad to hear the news of Mrs. Player and know what she meant to Mr. Player and the relationship they had. It's a sad day for everyone, and just wish him good luck and all the best through this time.

Q. How much of it was a neck issue and how much of it was a fatigue issue for not playing last week?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it was a bit of both. I'm not great yet. I'm struggling with a bad neck. I walked the last four holes today in the pro-am. I couldn't finish. It's not a good spot to be with my last few events. I tweaked it a little bit there at Wyndham and took most of the two weeks off and didn't play. Played one round, hit a few balls. I didn't really want to push it a lot.

I played yesterday, felt okay. This morning woke up, the same thing again.

So it's not a great spot where I'm at. Hopefully I can sort a few things out with my physio the next 24 hours, but I was able to manage my way around the golf course yesterday. It's fine when -- I have my physio here this week, so I should be able to get through the week, but I want to be as good as possible for next week. I don't want any niggles in the neck or anything.

Sort of came out of the blue. My body felt for the last year or two really good, and it's just one of those things.

Q. I wanted to backtrack on the Olympics. There was a little bit of confusion on whether you would have gone but there was some miscommunication on physios being able to go or whether you weren't going to go in the first place. Can you fill us in on that?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, look, the information that I had was there was no place to work with my physio at the golf course. He couldn't come to me if I was in the village. It's not like you were really allowed outside of the village to go to other places.

Unfortunately that's the stage I sort of am in my career with my body, that I'm dependent on those guys to travel with me. If I want to play the best golf that I can play I need him with me and make sure that I feel the way I would feel every day the same playing a golf tournament.

I was excited to go, to be honest with you, up until the U.S. Open when I had to make the call. I didn't want to leave it too late and then decide on the brink not to go.

You know, hopefully down the line I can still have a shot to go.

Q. Your record of close calls has been talked about a lot, especially this year. I wonder if there's anything you can relate to with Tony Finau, who had gone all those years, so many close calls, and having to answer to it time and time again. How difficult is that to get that question over and over again?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it just keeps reminding you that you fell short again. You know, Tony is a class player, and he's played so well for so long. I think it's going to happen when you least expect it. I'm not sure how far back he was starting the last round and obviously had a great round and sort of got into that playoff and won. Same with, I think, a lot of times I'll put the pressure on myself to really make it happen on that last day and push a little too much and then on a few occasions not giving myself opportunities that I should normally have.

I just need to keep on doing what I'm doing and hopefully I can change that sort of going into the Sunday, just let it happen and not force it.

Q. Everyone seemed pretty happy for Tony. Were you?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, we all are. He's such a good guy, and to have the success that he had, it was just a matter of time, and he's definitely not done winning.

Q. How is the farm coming along?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It's all good. It's all good. But it's still golfing.

Q. Will you watch the Ryder Cup?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I like to watch it. I like to watch it. I've watched it, I think, every year, and it's always -- I mean, look, I'm a massive fan of Presidents Cup and what that tournament means for me to play in, and I love seeing the guys being -- their passion for playing a tournament, and the Ryder Cup is probably the biggest event, team event in golf that you can watch.

Q. Following up on what you and Doug were talking about with Tony earlier, when he was in, he talked about the importance of losing with class. You've had a lot of great wins but you've also come close. How important do you think it is as a professional golfer to behave well and to lose with dignity?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, look, it's not great when you finish second. I remember the feeling I had losing in 2012 against Bubba in a playoff. It's one of the worst feelings as a golfer that you experience, but in the same, I saw how much it was for him to win, what it meant for him, and sort of encourages me to even try more to have that moment to experience that. It keeps you going.

You know, the game can be cruel sometimes, but when it happens, when something good happens for the other guy and he deserves to win, you just need to praise that, praise him for what he's done, and then try next time to come up on top.

Q. Can you take us through your swing thoughts when you approach a shot to help you execute the best potential shot?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Don't hit it in the trouble. That's my first one. (Laughing.)

Yeah, I think the main thing is figuring out what shot you want to hit and what you want to do and then you stand on the range and practice those little cut shots and the little draw shots and things like that. Once you've figured out what you want to do, then last swing thought probably goes through your mind, first what I want to do, where I want to start it, where I want to finish it, and then execution. It's always with the intention of hitting the best shot possible. And last sort of thought, stand there, make a good swing, take the shot and hit your shot. Never think a negative thought of what not to do; that's the last thing you want to think of.

DOUG MILNE: Thank you for your time. We appreciate it. Good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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