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August 4, 2012

Louis Oosthuizen


MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Louis, thanks for joining us.  Just start us off with your assessment of the day, a round of two halves.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, front nine was rough.  I just had to try to make pars, and made a silly bogey on 8, got the lie completely wrong, ended up 20 yards short of the green.  I did the same on the 10th.
Yeah, but I felt like I hung in there pretty well, and a few opportunities for birdies I didn't make, but I started hitting the ball really well on the back nine.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  You're right in the tournament, aren't you, going into tomorrow?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, it's a great position to be in.  It'll be a lot of fun playing with Jim and Keegan, I think, so yeah, it'll be a lot of fun.  Hopefully there's a bit of wind again tomorrow.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  For a 431‑yard drive?

Q.  What was different about the course today?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  There was a few greens I played yesterday morning, the greens spun quite a bit still.  Today there were a few greens that took huge bounces, 13, 18.  There was a few of them; they just dried out quite a bit.  So it made it difficult, even though you're going in with a short iron.  You know, it was just‑‑ it made it a bit difficult to judge, I felt.
But the wind was all over the place.  It's difficult to judge the wind out there.  Some holes was into off the right side.  You get to the next one, it should be off the left, it's actually in off the right again or down off the right.  It was a bit all over the place, and you needed to manage your shot to the green quite well to almost miss the wind.

Q.  How much have you played with Jim Furyk, and how well do you know him, and what do you expect from him as the leader tomorrow?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I'm not sure how many times I've played with him.  I played earlier this year with him at Colonial.  Really nice guy to play with.  I don't know him that well, but he's not going to go away at the leaderboard.  It's going to be tough.  I know the weather is coming in a bit.  I think it's going to be a tough day.  You've got to catch him.  I just want to try and get my ball in the fairway and not struggle like I did the front nine and just give myself as many birdie opportunities as I can.

Q.  I know it's been a long time now, and you did win the week after the Masters, but was there ever any hangover after that, any letdown?  You went to the next tournament so quickly, maybe there wasn't the time.  I was just wondering if there was any downside to that whole thing.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  No, it's‑‑ I think the win the next week eased the pain quite a bit.  You know, obviously I was disappointed not getting the win, but you get those tournaments where you're on the bad end of it.
But you know, I didn't mind the way I finished second at the Masters.  I got outplayed by a brilliant shot in the Playoffs, and I did really well the last round.  I hung in there, so I was very pleased with the way I played.

Q.  Have you seen that shot a lot since?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I don't want to watch that shot.  (Laughter.)
No, I've seen it once, and that was enough for me.

Q.  Just curious, though, if it comes on, do you look away or‑‑
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  No, no, if it comes on, I'll have a look.  But I won't surf the internet for it.

Q.  Wouldn't that sort of ease the pain in a way, though, just because it's like a one in a million shot there?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  No.  The thing is, you know, I felt like if I won it, my second shot on the second hole would have been probably the shot of the tournament.  But he hit the shot of the tournament by hitting the second on the 10th.
No, I mean, it was hard.  It was a hard few days afterwards, but once the next tournament started off, I was focused on that.  It's a great thing that I went to play and didn't sit down and just think about it.
But yeah, the win the next week, I took a lot out of it.

Q.  Clarify for me, did you say you missed a lot of fairways on the front today?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, I felt like‑‑ I probably on the card‑‑ I'm not sure even how many I missed.  I didn't hit the ball very well on the front nine, especially off the tee.  I hit it left on 2, left on 6, right on 8.  So you know, there was a few shots that I just‑‑ I was a bit all over it.
And once I got to the back nine, I just found my rhythm a bit more, I hit a few 3‑woods off the tee, and then all of a sudden I got my driver on the swing that I wanted it.
But yeah, you need to play this golf course out of the fairway.  The greens are very difficult, and out of the fairway you can manage your ball to get it at least within 20 feet for birdie.

Q.  That being said, you still only made one bogey on the front, so you must have been playing pretty well from the rough.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah.  Well, I don't want to up‑and‑down the whole time for par.  I actually hit quite a few greens out of the rough.  But you're always just two‑putting for pars, and that's not the way I want to play.  I want to give myself a good opportunity for birdie.
I really hung in there.  The bogey on 8 was a stupid bogey from‑‑ I hit sand wedge out of the rough, and I just tried to do too much with it and left myself with an impossible chip.  But you know, all the other shots I managed well.  If I couldn't hit the shot I wanted to, I left myself in a position where I felt that I could make an up‑and‑down for par.  And some days that works.  Other days you struggle making up‑and‑downs.

Q.  Did you have your eye on Furyk at all, like what he was doing, or looking at the board?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I always look at the scoreboard.  I like to know where I am.  I didn't think that he was going to go away.  I always knew he was just going to stay there, maybe even make a few more birdies.  I was just focused on my game to try and give myself a lot of opportunities.

Q.  After winning the Open and getting so close to winning the Masters, do you sort of expect to be more in contention in these bigger tournaments now?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, definitely.  That's what I work for.  That's what I practice for, to give myself good chances in these events, majors.  After Malaysia there was quite a bit of a slump, just not finding any rhythm in my game, and since Colonial, Scottish Open, I started hitting the ball better and working on a few different things with Pete.  And yeah, I'm getting there.  I feel like I'm swinging it really well now.

Q.  Are your expectations higher as you go into these bigger tournaments?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, I think the more I play them, the more you want to‑‑ the better I want to do in them.  Tomorrow is a great opportunity for me, a great spot to be in and to test myself in these events.  I mean, this is as big as‑‑ almost as big as a major.  You know, it's a great track, and just going to try and do my best tomorrow.

Q.  What inspiration, if any, did you take from Ernie's win?  Did that do anything for you or give you any boost?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Well, I think the one thing, it showed that you never give up.  You never know what's going to happen in this game.  I would have loved to have stayed, but afterwards I had to leave.  I didn't really think that he was going to win it.  I think no one did.
But you know, just showed you he didn't give up at all.  He played really well that back nine, made birdies where all of us made bogeys.  He just hung in there, and he putted beautifully.  You know, what he did with the belly was really good, and I'm just glad he putted really well.  I think a few people has probably seen that, and hopefully they leave him alone now.

Q.  When did you find out that he won?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I was on my way home.  I had the radio on, so I was listening the whole way around.  I was sad to have that kind of ending.  Scotty played really well the whole week.  Everyone was rooting for him to win.  But just shows you that golf course, I think, had 80 bunkers the last four holes or something, and I found a few of them, as well, the last round.  It's just one of those things.

Q.  Can you just take us through 16?  Obviously the monster drive, and then I believe you flew the green on your second shot; is that right?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, I was never going to hold that second shot, hold the green.  It was a tough pin to go for with that wind, but I felt I could chip from the back.  I had a lot of green to work with.  It wasn't going to be that difficult.  But it was a big 6‑iron for me to get probably middle green.  It was never going to be a 7‑iron.  I think it's a pin that you're never going to take on.  So yeah, the drive just went a lot farther than I thought it would.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Louis, thanks very much.

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