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July 16, 2021

Louis Oosthuizen

Sandwich, Kent, England, UK

Press Conference

MIKE WOODCOCK: Louis, another fantastic round today. You're leading by two going into the third round of The Open. You must be delighted.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, played really solid today and in good position for the weekend.

MIKE WOODCOCK: Can you talk us through that run you went on from 12, fantastic birdie-birdie-eagle run, 12, 13, 14.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, on 12 I hit 3-wood off the tee and I had just a perfect distance for a spinny little lob wedge for that pin, and I got it really good on that one.

13, a good drive. It looked like it didn't want to come off those traps and ended up just missing the traps on the left. Good 8-iron to about 12, 15 feet, I think. Made the putt.

On 14, hit 3-wood off the tee and was just a good solid 4-iron. I didn't think I was going to get to the green. We just wanted to play it to somewhere short there, and it took a nice hop getting on to the green and rolled a really nice putt.

Q. How much will you lean on 2010 and what you did then and that feeling of winning it? And secondly, how do you view this series of runners-up finishes in majors? Is that a source of inspiration or frustration for you?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No, more inspiration I would say, knowing that I can still compete in majors. I just need to pull it through and see if I can go one better on this weekend.

The game is good, but I know it's a really good leaderboard. I have to play good golf this weekend if I want to come out first.

Q. I'm just wondering how big that putt on 17 was given the momentum had suddenly shifted a little bit in the wrong direction.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it was. I mean, I made a horrible mistake on 16. I wasn't ready to hit that shot. I wanted to sort of know one more thing in my head, and that happens. It was a mental mistake. I nearly made the putt but made bogey there.

17, probably it was such a good number and such a shot that I liked that I just went too aggressive, way too aggressive at that pin. It wasn't the time to go aggressive at the pin, so I had a lot of hard work to do to make the par at the end.

But yeah, that was a big putt sort of to just get over those two holes.

Q. As much as you obviously saved par but you also kept a little bit of distance between everybody else and yourself, if you take two bogeys in a row you're kind of letting them back in a little bit?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it's still early ages, but you want to save any shot you can. The right play there would have been 10, 15 foot right of the hole and see if you can make the putt and gain another shot on the field. But obviously sometimes the better gets you where it's such a nice little number and a shot you see, and you need to sort of -- it's difficult backing off then.

That was just a bit of a mental error there.

Q. How do you feel about breaking the halfway scoring record for The Open, and do you think that's reflective of the golf that you played?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I only heard that when I walked in, so I wasn't aware of what it even was before. Yeah, to have any record at the Open or part of any record at the Open is always very special. I think I've played really good the last two days. I probably played a bit better yesterday in the conditions we were playing in, but today we got really -- I would say lucky sort of the last nine holes. It was as good a weather as you can get playing this golf course.

All of us took advantage of that. I think in our three-ball we had a 64 and two 65s, which you don't really see around a links golf course.

Q. What's the value of having someone experienced like Colin Byrne on the bag and how long have you been together and can you tell me how the arrangement came about?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it's great having Colin on the bag. Obviously he had all the experience, he's caddied for so many great players and won a U.S. Open being on Retief's bag.

When COVID happened and everything, it affected obviously everyone and travelling and things, and I always bag share, and I have two caddies. One is in South Africa and my other caddie lives down in Australia.

With everything that went on, you couldn't really do all the travelling from Australia here, so I had to look for another caddie, and my caddie from South Africa had Visa issues. I went through a little bit of a run where every week I had someone else on the bag or close to every week someone else on the bag and then got on to Colin and was grateful that he could help me out. He's been great on the bag and really enjoyed him.

Q. If you guys do win The Open, and I hope you do, is it a full-time job with him or is it just for this week?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Come on, Bernie, don't put me on the spot. Look, I'm very happy with Colin. Hopefully we can have a good relationship.

Q. When you look back at the six runners-up, I know they're all different stories, but is there any common denominator that's prevented you from getting over the line on those as you've kind of analyzed them after the tournaments?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I don't know. I think in a few of them I needed to play just that little bit better coming down the stretch. U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, that wasn't the easiest golf course to go the last five, six holes trying to get a birdie. You were sort of just playing making pars, and obviously Jon finished with those two unbelievable putts he made, and all of a sudden now I'm chasing. So that was difficult to find birdies to try and win the championship.

Having said, I played well enough where I could have probably been a little bit more aggressive on a few occasions. It's just I don't think I would have done a lot different in a lot of them.

Right now I think where my game is at, I just need to put myself in position, and this year is the best I've been putting, and I just need to hit greens and give myself any opportunities for birdies.

Q. I know we're just 36 holes in right now, but at what point in a tournament when you're playing as well as you are right now and you have the lead do you start thinking about hoisting the trophy and winning the thing?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: You try not to think of it until you've done it. I remember looking back at 2010, and I know I had a big lead, but the first time I really thought about I can win this tournament was after my tee shot on 17. There was a lot of things that could go wrong at St Andrews coming in, especially the tee shot on 14 and 16 and 17.

Around this golf course, a lot of things can happen. I don't think you want to think too much of it on a links course until you get to that 18th green, and hopefully you have a lead.

MIKE WOODCOCK: Louis, thank you for your time tonight and best of luck on the weekend.

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