Long flights give Oosthuizen time to reflect

Kuala Lumpur: After playoff heartbreak at the US Masters, Louis Oosthuizen spent every minute of his near 30-hour journey to Malaysia thinking about what more he could have done at Augusta.

The 2010 British Open champion lost on the second extra hole to American Bubba Watson at the Masters late on Sunday before making the lengthy journey across continents to compete in the European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned Malaysian Open.

With his compatriot, friend and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel alongside him, the weary South African said on Wednesday the long journey had allowed him time to reflect on his green jacket near miss.

"Every second on the flight I was thinking about what I would have done different," the gap-toothed 29-year-old told reporters while slumped on a sofa at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

"But I think there probably isn`t much I would have done different. I felt like I gave it my all, didn`t throw anything away, played the best I probably could have coming down the stretch in a major and I was outplayed.

"Being that close to the green jacket is tough to get over it immediately but I think time will heal it and it just gives me a bit more confidence when I put it on eventually that I will be over it."

Schwartzel said he had been a nervous watcher of the final round action and was full of praise for his friend, though he thought it best keep Masters talk to a minimum on the flight.

"We have known each other for a long time and you know what a player feels like so sometimes you just don`t have to say anything, you know what he is going through," an exhausted looking Schwartzel told reporters.

"He is the type of guy that seems to get over things a little bit quicker and like I said, sometimes you don`t have to say anything you just have to be a friend.

"It would have been quite a story if that had happened (Oosthuizen winning). I think Louis probably played the best but it just didn`t turn out his way and sometimes it feels very unfair."

The South African duo left Augusta on Monday morning and touched down in Kuala Lumpur late on Tuesday night with Oosthuizen`s family making the late decision to join him on the journey to Malaysia.

"We arrived last night at 11 at the hotel so yeah...," Oosthuizen said, his tiredness leaving him unable to finish his sentence. "

I have got my wife and two kids with me this week, they decided late to come with which is nice. I went to bed at two this morning and just before five I woke up with my little girl watching movies so yeah, not a lot of sleep."

The duo competed in the pro-am on Wednesday and have been given an 0800 tee-off time in Thursday`s first round where they will play alongside Thailand`s Thongchai Jaidee.

Asked if he was disappointed organisers could not afford him a chance to rest on Thursday morning, the optimistic Oosthuizen was looking at the positives.

"I was thinking I would have a nice sleep after," he said, flashing a grin. "Sometimes it is also good to just get a tournament underway. It will be a good round to see how the concentration will be."

Bureau Report