Refreshed Oosthuizen ready for rebound

By Cam Huffman
Published on
Refreshed Oosthuizen ready for rebound

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Ten days ago, Louis Oosthuizen finished off a spectacular round at Chambers Bay in University Park, Wash. His 3-under-par 67 in the final round of the U.S. Open included six birdies over the final seven holes, rounding out a 29 on the back nine. He finished 4-under-par for the tournament, tied for second, just one shot behind Jordan Spieth.

He set a U.S. Open record with a 54-hole score of 199 but fell one shot short of overcoming a poor start in the opening round, when he carded a 77.

"It was obviously a really tough week on everyone," said Oosthuizen of the much-criticized course at Chambers Bay. "Mentally and physically, it was probably the longest walk, by far, for the year out on a golf course."

Two weeks from now, Oosthuizen will be at St. Andrews, looking to capture the same magic that led to a British Open championship at that same course in 2010.

"I'm really looking forward to going back to St. Andrews," he admitted. "I always enjoy playing there. It's probably my favorite golf course in the world."

So with one monumental moment fading in the rearview mirror and another in the distance out the front windshield, where is the 32-year-old South African's focus this week as he prepares for his second Greenbrier Classic after finishing tied for 17th in 2013?

"Once tournament week starts on Thursday, you forget about the Open in two weeks time," said the No. 18 player in the world Tuesday. "You're playing this week and trying to win this week. You take it as it comes, one shot at a time, and hopefully maintain the focus and do well."

MORE: Auclair's 5 to watch at the Greenbrier | Oosthuizen lands UPS Jet 

Oosthuizen said his game is in great shape, despite missing the cut last week at the Travelers Championship -- a performance he pegged largely on the exhaustion from Chambers Bay -- and he's confident he's prepared both mentally and physically to have a good week at The Greenbrier.

"I like the golf course," he said. "I finished (T17) here last time, and I didn't putt well that week. It's a nice spot for me to come back to, and I feel the game is there to have a good week."

Oosthuizen has his family -- wife Nel-Mare and children Jana (6), Sophia (3) and Emma (2) -- with him this week, and he's excited about all there is to do at The Greenbrier.

"I might go and try and fish a bit this week," he said, admitting that he didn't take in any of the many off-course activities The Greenbrier has to offer last year. "We've got the two concerts, which my wife is really looking forward to. So I'm going with."

Oosthuizen said he's a big country music fan, so the lineup of Keith Urban, The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton fits his taste perfectly.

Oosthuizen has just one PGA Tour victory, but he's won seven times on the European Tour and nearly took the 2012 Masters, losing to The Greenbrier's own Bubba Watson in a playoff. He shot four rounds in the 60s -- 67, 68, 69 and 69 -- during his last trip to The Old White TPC.

This article was written by Cam Huffman from The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.