Oosthuizen out to prove British Open win was no fluke
London: South African Louis Oosthuizen is out to prove at this week`s US PGA Championship that his maiden major win at the British Open last month was no fluke and that he can compete with the game`s top players.
His victory at St Andrews was remarkable not only for the dominant manner in which he won, but also because a virtual unknown stepped up to beat the world`s best players so easily.
While the golfing world still decides whether Oosthuizen will be a familiar name atop leaderboards in the future, the 27-year-old has already showed he can deal with the fame.
Despite the excitement over his win and the reception he has received, Oosthuizen has shown he has a level head went on to finish in the top 10 at tournaments in Scandinavia and the United States and squeezed in a trip to his homeland.
"I think it`s nice playing with knowing in your head you won a major a month ago," Oosthuizen said at a news conference on Tuesday. "I think it`s a nice confidence boost going out there and it`s just a matter of putting everything off the golf course out of your head when you`re on the golf course."
Oosthuizen is scheduled to partner US Masters champion Phil Mickelson and US Open winner Graeme McDowell when the tournament begins on Thursday, continuing a tradition where the winners of the year`s first three majors tee off together.
He has come a long way since he battled nerves to win his first European tour event in Spain earlier this year and no longer holds any fears about his place at the top level.
"When I had my first win earlier this season I was nervous. I came down to the last four holes with four shots, a four shot lead and I was very nervous," he said. "It was a big one just to pull off there to show myself that I can win tournaments on the European Tour.”
"For some reason I was just very calm at St Andrews. I was hitting it really well, swinging it solid all week. I never really thought that I was going to throw it away at the stretch coming in."
This week will mark Oosthuizen`s third appearance at the U.S. PGA and first at Whistling Straits, but his experience playing links courses should help him, even though the course`s layout is not strictly a links course since it borders a lake rather than the sea.
"I`m looking forward to just going out and seeing what it`s like teeing off," he said. "Hopefully the wind kicks up a little bit, but you don`t want it too strong out here either. So it should be fun."