MIKE WOODCOCK: We’d like to welcome clubhouse leader and former Open Champion, Louis Oosthuizen into the interview room. Louis, great round of 64 today, 6-under par. You got into a great rhythm there in seemed, obviously played very well. What are your thoughts on today’s round?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, probably in my mind the perfect round I could have played. I didn’t make many mistakes. When I had good opportunities for birdie, I made the putts. So yeah, just a very good solid round.
Q. Since you won The Open in 2010 you’ve had a remarkable record of nearly winning other majors. Except when a person like me mentioned it, does that play on your mind at all?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It gives me confidence going into majors knowing that I’m still competing in them and I’ve still got chances of winning. But yeah, once the week starts, I need to get that out of my mind and just focus on every round and every shot.
But it definitely puts me in a better frame of mind going into the week.
Q. Given that, how long does it take you to get past a near miss like you had at the PGA a couple months ago?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it depends if you lost it or someone else beat you. I think in both of those I was beaten by better golf at the end there. It takes a little while, but it’s sort of — you have to get over it quickly, otherwise it’s going to hold you back to perform again.
But yeah, I tried to take a few days and just try and forget about it and see if I can get myself ready for the next one.
Q. You’ve got an uncanny ability to bounce back, whether it’s bouncing back from a bogey with a birdie afterwards or whether it’s bouncing back from a tough loss at a tournament with another excellent showing and another run at the title. What do you feel is the secret to your resiliency and your ability to not let those prior things frustrate you?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I don’t know. No, I don’t know. I feel if you do the work that you feel you should have done to get ready for a tournament and you left everything sort of out on the course, then there’s not much more that you can do.
I always try and — I do get upset on shots if I hit bad shots and things like that, but I try and always be at the best mindset for the next golf shot and the next tournament or the next round.
I try and not think too much of mistakes that you make on the golf course. I try and focus on every time hitting the best shot that I can hit, and I feel that’s the only way you can sort of go forward in this game.
Louis Oosthuizen is questioned on the strategy of the course and how his experienced caddie can be beneficial.
Q. Just wondering, can you talk a little bit about the strategy of playing this golf course? Obviously there’s quite a lot of strategy involved in playing it well, and the role your caddie is playing in formulating that strategy, being the experienced man there in Colin Byrne.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I think number one, on this golf course it’s hit the fairway. You’re not going to be able to do much from the rough here or the fairway bunkers. Coming into this week driving the ball good is key. If you aren’t comfortable with a driver around this golf course, then don’t be scared laying further back, as long as you can get in the fairway.
Colin has been great on the bag. He’s got so much experience and helps me to be focused on what I want to do and take the shot on, the shot that I see.
I think out here in windy conditions like this, you need to be — you need to go on what you feel the whole time. It is difficult for the caddie to see what you think you want to do, so it’s great that he gives me a lot of confidence in trying to play the shot I want to play.
Q. I know it’s a tough start there, but you had seven straight pars to begin your round. How were you feeling at that point standing on the eighth tee and did you feel like there was any chance you were going to shoot 64?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, seven pars, I think I probably would have taken seven pars again. I’ve learnt over the years playing major championships that patience is the key thing, and even if you make bogeys, know that a lot of people are going to make bogeys.
I was just very patient. I was trying to just hit my shots and didn’t really hit anything close enough to make birdies those first few holes, and then all of a sudden just made two good putts on 8 and 9 and got the ball rolling. It happened quickly, but you still need to put yourself in those positions, and I felt definitely the last 10, 11 holes I gave myself a lot of opportunities.
Q. You said earlier in the season how you’ve been working on your putting game, that that’s something you wanted to sharpen up and obviously it’s been paying huge dividends. We’ve seen you make some insanely great putts over the past few months. I was wondering what specifically you worked on or what you did to get that game up to the level that it’s at right now.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, most of the work I’ve done was on routine, going back to a few things that I’ve done early in my career. I think the main thing is sticking to the putter — I’ve been with that putter for a long time now, and just try and — every time I go out and do a bit of work on the putting green to just do the same work and the same drills and the same things and get into a really good routine on practice and when I get on the golf course.
You know, it’s paid off for me.
Q. You had two guys that are well known playing links golf in your pairing and they didn’t really have a very good day. Does that distract in any way, shape or form from how you’re trying to get around your 18 holes?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No, it didn’t. Playing with them, I didn’t really feel like they played poorly. They just — again, around this golf course, if you’re just out of position off the tee, you’re going to find it difficult to give yourself opportunities for birdies.
I just think it’s so marginal to be good off the tee and have opportunities to try and get close to the holes for your second shots. But no, it doesn’t distract me at all.
Looking at their score afterwards, I didn’t feel like they played — I thought they both were maybe level or 1-under par, and I saw they were just over par, but I didn’t really feel like they played poorly.
Q. You mentioned that you’ve stuck with the same putter now for a while. Were you previously changing every week, and if so, what happens to the naughty putters? Where do they go?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I’ve got a bag there at home that I might just throw in a river someday.
Yeah, I went through a stage where I changed a lot of putters. Every week we were trying something. I realised quickly that there’s no way to find any consistency in putting if you do that.
Yeah, I found one that I really like the look of, and I sort of worked on it. There were tournaments where I felt my stroke wasn’t great, and I felt like I was working on a few things, and I would actually change that putter then for just on the round. I didn’t want to have any bad memories of that putter being not good on the day.
You know, going through all of that and sticking with it has really helped me a lot.
Q. Going back to when you say you take a few days off after something has gone wrong and you forget about it, what is your secret to forgetting a bad round?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I don’t know. Just forget about it. You can’t be thinking about bad rounds when you start the next one. You’ve got to shake that off quickly.
I think anyone playing professional sport can tell you that you’ve got to have a really short memory. You’ve got to just go on and work hard again and see if you can do better the next time you go out.
Q. Do you go fishing?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No, just spend time on the farm with the family, with the kids, and just get my head away from golf completely.
Q. Do you get on your tractor?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Always. I’m always on the tractor, don’t worry. I don’t need to play good or bad to be on the tractor.
Q. Do you try to remember good rounds tomorrow, or do you try to put that aside, as well?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No, good rounds you always try and remember. I mean, I think when you’re going through a spell where you want to try and figure a few things out, I would always go back and look at videos of when I played really well, look at good rounds I’ve played or when I know I’ve done good things on the golf course. That really helps you to see yourself play well again and to look at a few certain things, whether it’s a movement in your swing on something you were doing on the greens.
But I love going back and watching good rounds and just get some confidence from that.
Q. What model putter is it that you’re so in love with right now?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Man, I hope I don’t get this wrong. I think it’s the Voss — it’s the Ping. Obviously Ping, and it’s the Voss. Yeah.
Q. If you were to win a second major title, do you think that would accelerate your decision to retire and head back to the farm, or do you think it would push you to try to get a third and fourth and maybe keep playing for much longer?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No. While I’m playing, while I’m competing in the game of golf, I will be playing.
MIKE WOODCOCK: Louis, very well played today and best of luck the rest of the week.
Interview transcript by asapsports.com