Louis Oosthuizen is ready to make the most of a change in schedule as he goes in search of the national championship at Randpark on Thursday.
Comfortably one of South Africa’s biggest stars over the last decade, winning a Major Championship and multiple European Tour titles, there is one title that has eluded him.
Oosthuizen is playing the event for the first time since 2010, and after three top tens a victory would see him join Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Bob Charles, Ernie Els and Henrik Stenson as players to win the South African Open and The Open Championship.
‘To have won The Open and the SA Open would be very special,’ he said.
‘I’m very happy the schedule has changed to allow me to play the SA Open. To be able to play this and Leopard Creek is what I used to do when I started as a pro. Those were two events I loved to play and I’m really looking forward to these two weeks.
‘My game’s good, it’s trending in the direction I want it to be. There’s still a lot of work to be done to really be where I want it to be, but I’ve been doing a lot of different things with my coach and just getting a feel for a few more things.
‘I drove it pretty well at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. The putting was good. Iron play can improve, but all in all, it’s going in the direction I want it to go.
‘This is a tough week with 240 players. It’s all on how you start, how you get out of the blocks on Thursday and Friday. We all know the cut’s going to be really low, so you can’t really cruise from the start.’
Defending champion Chris Paisley and prolific 2018 winner Matt Wallace (also England) will join Oosthuizen on the Bushwillow course at 8:25am for round one.