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April 5, 2012

Louis Oosthuizen


GEORGE DAVIS:  Pleased to introduce Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open Champion, who shot a fine round of 68 today.  First question.

Q.  Can you just talk in general about the day and how you feel about the round, just a comment to start out?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, you know, I felt it was a really good round.  Probably a bit bumpy in the beginning, but you know, kept going.  This golf course, you've got to be very patient, and you know, played really well at the end.  Hit a lot of fairways and hit it pretty close and made a few putts.
You know, it was a good round, and very happy.

Q.  A lot of guys are talking about dealing with mud on the ball.  Did you have to deal with that, and what was the course like?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  A few mud balls.  Got lucky with the way it came out on 18.  On 1, it went left on me.  We knew beforehand that you are going to have to deal with this.  It's just one of those things.  It's for everyone the same, and you know, it might not be fair sometimes, but it's just one of those.

Q.  Does being best friends with the defending Masters Champion give you some insight and some advice that he might give you when you're playing practice rounds?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  We play together a lot, and I think it's more just watching videos of him winning over and over, and seeing the way he handled himself under the pressure which was brilliant, finishing with four birdies.  The main thing was he put himself in a position to win.
You play every week to put yourself in a position on the back nine the Sunday to win, so, you know, that's a big aim, getting to No. 12, 13 on Sunday and maybe having a chance to win.

Q.  Which is interesting, because he basically said the same thing but last year.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Well, that's nice.  (Laughing).  I think the two of us know our games so well, because we play together quite a bit, yeah.

Q.  When Alister Mackenzie and Bobby Jones designed this course, they took a lot of inspiration from the Old Course.  Is there any sense of that to you today?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  You know, I don't think today; they have had so much rain the whole week.  It's a pity to play the course this way with the fairways being so wet.  But they have done a great job.  I expected to have more mud balls today.
But, yeah, I mean, you're saying that; it's nice knowing that I played the Open at St. Andrews, and to me, it's a completely different golf course.  But you know, the greens are just so severe when it gets really firm.

Q.¬† You talked about the four‑birdie finish last year for Charl.¬† You had a pretty strong finish there on your back nine, too.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I tried to, to get the four, but I missed the one.
Yeah, you know, the whole back nine, I was disappointed with the 13th, hitting in the water my second.¬† But I had an opportunity to save par and just missed an 8‑footer.¬† But then, you know, from there on, I still felt very confident.¬† I knew I was hitting it well, and especially my irons, and you know, I made a few nice putts coming in.

Q.  At what point did you notice less and less mud on your ball as your round progressed, and did that perhaps contribute to your finish down the stretch?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:¬† It was pretty even the whole way.¬† I'm saying now I had two mud balls which was 1 and 18.¬† Maybe on a few occasions, just a little bit, but nothing‑‑ nothing much.
I think‑‑ well, I expected it to be a lot worse than it was, which is nice.¬† You know, you want to play the ball down.¬† It's always nice in a major.¬† But you know, you know in the back of your head now and then you can get that unlucky break.¬† But it's for everyone the same way.

Q.  You birdied 18 with a mud ball?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Well, I'm saying mud ball.  I had a little mud on the ball.  What I said was it just came out different.  I was very lucky that it stuck at the top there.  I expected it to come down that left side, and you know, just stuck there.
So, yeah, it was‑‑

Q.  Lucky and good.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Probably a bit more luck on that occasion.  When I walked up there and I saw it stayed there, it's always nice.

Q.  What do you take away from last week coming into this week?  Sunday was not the day you wanted last week.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:¬† Well, I played well the whole week last week.¬† I felt like I played well on the Sunday.¬† Hit a few bad shots which cost me the front nine.¬† But you know, I had a strong finish, and I think it was important to have that finish on the back nine to just come in here with a positive mind‑set.
Yeah, I felt confident Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday practicing out here, and just hitting the ball well.  There's still a long way to go, but feel good.

Q.  How long were your putts on 15, 17 and 18?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  15 was probably five feet.
17 was probably ten, 12 foot.
18 was probably 20 foot.

Q.  How long was your birdie putt on 16, or did you have a birdie putt on 16?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I had about a 30 foot, just right, short of the pin.  I gave it a good chance but just didn't read enough on it.

Q.  If the choice was yours, would you have given Ernie an exemption to play this week?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  (Smiling).  You know, that's a tough question.  It would have been great seeing Ernie here.
I'm a good friend of Ernie's, so I would have loved to see him here.  If it was me, I would have given him one, because he's a good friend of mine, yeah.  (Laughter).
GEORGE DAVIS:  Louis, thank you for your time, and great round today.

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