Oosthuizen Sets his Sights on Second Open Title
Louis Oosthuizen is planning on taking a page out of Jordan Spieth’s book as he sets out to win his second Open title at St Andrews.
The South African changed his putting style after a disastrous 77 in the first round of last month’s US Open at Chambers Bay and it worked so well that he went on to card rounds of 66, 66 and 67 to climb into a share of second place just one shot behind his American rival.
“It’s something I have been working on for a while,” he said. “I tried it once early in the first round (at Chambers Bay) and I hit the worst putt you can imagine but I kept on doing it because it felt good on the practice putting green.
“It puts my stroke into the position I want it and I got more and more confident with it,” he added. “I don’t do it on every putt but I did on clutch putts I felt I had to make and it worked.”
One man who saw Oosthuizen’s new technique up close at Chambers Bay was playing partner Tiger Woods and he confirmed it made a massive difference. “He was struggling a lot on the first day but the second day he made everything. I’d never seen him look at the hole before but they were going in from all sorts of distances so it obviously worked. Forget all the birdie putts from 20-30 feet, it was the par putts from 10 feet that made the difference. They kept the momentum going so it was no surprise he contended in the end.”
Oosthuizen is finally free from a catalogue of injuries that have plagued him since he won his first Open title at St Andrews back in 2010 and has high hopes of emulating that previous success. “I feel very confident going into this week,” he admitted. “It gives me a lot of confidence knowing what I’ve done here and that I can play this golf course. I just need to hit the shots I want to off the tee and putt myself in good position.
“I’m here with my family and we’re having a good time. My wife loves this town and my kids are having a great time. I’m just feeding off the memories. I think the biggest was on Monday walking down the 18TH and seeing all the grandstands. I was playing with Branden (Grace) whose caddie, Zach, worked for me then. We just smiled at each other and said it was great just to do the walk and feel that bit of magic again.”