Louis Oosthuizen heads to Leopard Creek for this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship with a desire to “just keep getting better” following his historic victory in the South African Open hosted by the City of Joburg.
With his six-stroke victory at Randpark Golf Club on Sunday, Oosthuizen became only the fourth South African after Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els to win both The Open and the South African Open.
“I just need to keep on going and get even better,” said Oosthuizen, who now travels to Leopard Creek as part of a strong field including fellow Major champions Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel and Trevor Immelman; Branden Grace, the only golfer to ever win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Championship; 2016 Alfred Dunhill Championship winner Brandon Stone; and Matt Wallace, a three-time European Tour winner this year.
“For the last six or seven months I’ve been focusing on where I can really do better – not just going to the range and hitting balls and not really knowing what you’re working towards. There are a lot of things we changed practice wise, you know,” said Oosthuizen.
“I’m back with my fitness trainer and we’ve worked on getting my body in better positions and to make it easier on my back so I’m able to play more golf. That’s the big thing for me. I’ve also got a new coach in Justin Parsons. We’ve been looking more at the stats and where my weaknesses are.
“I’ve been working on my shorter irons, especially my wedges. I’ve worked hard on my putting. If you know you’re putting well it takes massive pressure off you. If you’re not putting well you start lagging the putts and hoping they go in. I have all the confidence to hit my putts, even if I hit them two or three-feet past because I’m comfortable with that distance.
“And I’ve worked on my driving. I’ve always been a good driver but I’ve worked on improving that so I can hit more drives. It’s great to see the results of this work in a shortish period of time.”
Oosthuizen will be hoping it all comes together again at Leopard Creek this week in a tournament where he has twice finished second in 2005 and 2014.