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July 9, 2013

Nick Alberts

Louis Oosthuizen

Piet Oosthuizen


Q.  How long have you been buying John Deere equipment?
PIET OOSTHUIZEN:  My father bought the first one in 1947 and then we grew up with everyone in our family, now you buy a tractor, you buy a John Deere.

Q.  That just gets handed down family to family, father to son?
PIET OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, I don't know, everybody loves the John Deere.  They grew up with the John Deere.  So I don't think there will be anything else on our farm.

Q.  Do you love John Deere equipment, is it kind of similar to your favorite rugby team?
PIET OOSTHUIZEN:  That's right.

Q.  The same team that you grew up rooting for?

Q.  Who would that be?  We have baseball teams and my father taught me to be a Cubs fan.  You taught Louis to be a fan of what team?
PIET OOSTHUIZEN:  The Stormers Rugby team, is that what you mean?

Q.  Is the love for John Deere, is that a little bit stronger than even the love for the Stormers?
PIET OOSTHUIZEN:  You can ask him everything about the John Deere; he's on the computer every day, and he knows every spec of this harvester, so he loves it.

Q.  I read somewhere that he would rather ride a tractor than milk a cow; is that right?
PIET OOSTHUIZEN:  That's right.  Everybody loved when he bought a tractor after the British Open.  He loves the tractor.  He loves John Deere and the tractor, every machine, the harvesting machine, the harvester.

Q.  How old was he when he got on his first John Deere?
PIET OOSTHUIZEN:  That was three or four years.  Every time he was with me on the tractor.

Q.¬† When you wanted help on the farm, it wasn't so much‑‑ I read a story, he wasn't so much for milking the cows, but he would be up on the tractor.
PIET OOSTHUIZEN:  If you see him, he loves animals, but in his spare time, he's on a machine.  Don't like milking.

Q.  Had your family always been in farming?
PIET OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, always.  Always.  I'm on the farm for I think the fourth generation.  He's the fifth one.

Q.  In the Midwest here, do you grow it as tall as it grows here?
NICK ALBERTS:  No, it's much bigger.  There are really big farms in South Africa, but you can't compare it.  You have got a very nice, flat country.  It makes it difficult.  We have mountains and hills and so on.

Q.  You're on the Indian Ocean coast, too.
NICK ALBERTS:  No, no.  Inland.  We are, say, 500 Ks from the Indian coast.

Q.  What city are you near?
NICK ALBERTS:  The Northern Cape.  As I said, we irrigate out of the Orange River.  The Orange River is one of the more consistent and biggest rivers in South Africa.  But electricity is pumping directly out of the river, and, well, you need water rights to do that.  You can't just pump.

Q.  You have to irrigate.

Q.  You don't get a lot of rain.
NICK ALBERTS:  No, our rain fall is around about 200, 250 millimeters a year.  Ten inches.

Q.  You might see that this week.
NICK ALBERTS:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, near that, I can see (laughing).  No, no, we are mainly dependent on irrigation.  The rest of the area is sheep.

Q.  Now, have you always been a John Deere farm family?
NICK ALBERTS:  Yeah.  We do have John Deere parts, but like I said yesterday to one of your big guys, he was sort of introducing to us.  I said, no, Case and Landini  ...  (laughing).

Q.  You have a little mix of the equipment?
NICK ALBERTS:¬† No, not talking about me (laughing).¬† There are areas, I'm going to say, it depends quite a lot on the salesman, then you'll get areas‑‑ mainly John Deere, other areas are more of Case.

Q.  Not quite so strong inland, the John Deere presence?
NICK ALBERTS:¬† No, no, very strong in South Africa.¬† No, John Deere is‑‑ there's a saying that we used to say is that if you can't afford a John Deere, then you use a Case.¬† And if you can't afford a Mercedes, then you use a DMV (phonetic) (Laughing).

Q.  So the John Deere is the Mercedes?
NICK ALBERTS:  Is the Mercedes of the harvesters, that's for sure.  It's nice equipment, there's no doubt about it.  No doubt about it.  But I see your Wheatdale (phonetic) on the other side, I don't think it will make the first grade.

Q.  You obviously had a really good time here.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:¬† I've been here two years ago.¬† So I was looking forward to this, showing my parents, my in‑laws, the factory.¬† It's always fun coming here.
Just, you know, appreciate all the time they spend going into these machines.  When you purchase one, you just think you're just buying one and it's going to work and it should be fine and everything.  It's easy to probably do it, but seeing the amount of work that goes into it is amazing.

Q.  Why were you so eager to bring your family out here?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Well, they are both farmers.  All of us are big John Deere fans, and wanted them to come and see where it's made.  The next time probably we'll try and go down the road to Waterloo to see the tractors, and, you know, I'm more the tractor guy.  I don't really have the land to have the harvester, but it's still good fun to come.

Q.  How big of a spread do you have back in South Africa?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:¬† I have a small‑‑ I just have 150 acres which I play on, and then my dad and them has got a bit more.

Q.  Now, when you were a kid, I understand talking to your dad that you were not much for milking the cows, but you loved to get up on that tractor.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  No, I would never be a dairy farmer.  I loved getting on the tractor to help him plow a few fields or put something in the ground, and it's always good fun.

Q.  And the brand loyalty to John Deere, I was talking to your dad, it's almost like it's a bigger passion, I guess, than maybe the father handing down a love of a rugby team.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:¬† Yeah, I think there's‑‑ I don't drive it if it's not green farm equipment.¬† So if you have a look at my place back home in South Africa, it's pretty green.¬† So, yeah, I'm a big fan.

Q.  It's a family inheritance?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, it was.

Q.  Fourth generation of John Deere?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, my grand dad had it, and I remember the first old 3120 John Deere that my dad had that I was on it all the time.  And really, it was never any other make.

Q.  Now I understand talking to Nick that he's not all John Deere.  Was that an issue when you asked for his daughter's hand?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  No, but I'm getting him there.  I'm getting him there.  I think that they have got a few John Deere products now.  But I'm still trying to get them into one of these.

Q.  How did it happen that you married a farm girl?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Well, I was probably always going to marry a farm girl being a farm boy myself.  You know, it was just my parents and their parents were good friends, and we met up very early when we were young, and saw each other again later in our lives, and just worked out.

Q.  Now, your dad said that you will spend a lot of time on a computer, just looking at John Deere stuff.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, I don't spend a lot of time back home on the farm, which is not nice.
So I always try and keep up with the new products that come out, and whenever I see something that I like, you know, I'll try and find out a bit more about it, do some research on it, and it's just good fun being up to speed with everything.

Q.  Now, it's got to be one of the really unique kind of passions on the PGA TOUR.  You probably don't have a lot of guys out there that you talk tractors with, right?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  No, none.  I've got probably none.  But that's why this week is very special to me.

Q.  What is it about John Deere that interests you so much?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Just probably that it's been in our generation for a while.

Q.  And you decided to bring family and friends to the Quad Cities this week because you wanted them to experience this tour; is that right?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:¬† Yeah, my parents and in‑laws are both farmers, grew up on the farms and I wanted them to see the Combines, where it's all been built.

Q.  And your dad's been just as curious as you were.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:¬† Yeah, especially my father‑in‑law has got a lot to do with Combines all the time, and I think it was amazing for him to see just how deep they go into all the little things building a Combine.

Q.  Now what's a bigger passion, golf or John Deere?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I've still got quite a bit of passion for golf.  But John Deere and farming is not far off.

Q.  How have the people at John Deere responded to you, being such a big fan of their equipment?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I mean, it's been a really fun day, and you know, just looking at the employees, going past them and everyone just saying thank you and giving you actually a wave, it really means a lot to the customers, and you can see why the company is doing so well and why it's a great brand to be a part of.

Q.  What do you harvest back home?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I'm just making hay for my cows, for my cattle.  I think I've just purchased the wind rover, the R450 Windrower, so can't wait for that to get to my farm and have a bit of fun with it.

Q.  How many head do you have back there?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I've got about 120.  Like I say, I've just got a small little place to do what I do, and it's just for me.  It's a great hobby.

Q.  And it's not a dairy farm, right?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  No, it's not a dairy farm at all.

Q.  You came back last week and you feel pretty good obviously?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, I think I feel a bit better than I did two years ago with my game, so, yeah, I'm looking forward to the week.  Yeah, hopefully I'll have a good week.

Q.  And the issues at the U.S. Open?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, I mean, I'm still struggling a bit with my left hip.  But it's more on walking, not on the golf, not on the hitting the ball itself.  But got the physio with me so we'll do a bit of work on it.
Lucky enough I have him here and we do work in the mornings and afternoons, and it's worked out so far.

Q.  You played here two years ago, how do you feel about the golf course?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I love the track.  It's a really nice track.  Make a lot of birdies, I feel, and good holes.  But you've still got to be on your game.  You've still got to make putts, and that's where the key is.  Hopefully it will all come together this week.

Q.¬† And the issue of being ready for the British Open‑‑ you feel like this is a place you can get ready?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  My game really felt okay the last few months, but the injuries has been really keeping me back and couldn't really get going, but played really well last week.  Just struggled a bit on the greens and looking forward to this week and next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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