If Louis Oosthuizen can hit a few greens this weekend, he will be fighting for more than second place at Pebble Beach.
The 2017 video of Louis Oosthuizen lip-syncing Andra Day’s hit song Rise Up went viral all over the net.
Besides the fact that it was a majestic lip-sync performance (the ‘for yooooooouuuu’ part was especially fabulous…) high in the air in a private jet, a lot of warmth radiated from that video, despite the despair that led to its existence.
Oosthuizen had just completed a career ‘grand slam’ of second-place finishes at the majors after missing out to Justin Thomas by two shots in the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.
The South African made a move late on the Sunday when he pitched in for eagle at the par-five 15th. However, a long three-putt bogey at the 16th essentially ended his hopes of adding another Major to his 2010 Open Championship crown.
‘I gave it everything I had coming in,’ Oosthuizen said after his charge at Quail Hollow.
Before that day, Oosthuizen had lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson at the 2012 Masters when the left-handed American hit one of the greatest shots in the history of Augusta National to win the green jacket. In 2015, he finished second behind a dominant Dustin Johnson at the US Open, before going down in another playoff to Zach Johnson at the Open Championship at St Andrews a few weeks later.
The Mossel Bay local hasn’t really been in contention since the ’17 disappointment, with the sweet-swinging Saffa seemingly struggling with his iron play, although his putting has seen somewhat of an improvement over the last year.
Ooshuizen didn’t do too badly in the Majors in 2018, finishing T12 at the Masters, T16 at the US Open and T28 at The Open. He finished T29 at Masters this year, and then wilted over the weekend at the PGA Championship at Blackpage Black to finish T60.
It hasn’t been quite ‘I rise up’, but he always seems to be in the mix when the Majors come around.
Oosthuizen has finished inside the top 25 in each of the last four US Opens. While he hasn’t played Pebble Beach since 2010 (he missed the cut), he plays well in tough, windy conditions. But he needs to play a lot better tee to green if he is going to shed that bridesmaid tag.
Last month, SA’s No 1 hit just 56.3% of his greens in regulation and is ranked 167th in strokes gained approaching the green. That, unfortunately, is not going to be enough to win this one, where accuracy is key.
It’s almost unbelievable that a man with such a honey-nectar swing is struggling with his irons, and to a lesser extent, his driver. However, his scrambling is still very much up there with the best in the game, and he may need that strong belief and heart to get around Pebble Beach intact.
But we all know that when Oosthuizen gets on a roll, he can make birdies, and he can go low. If he gets the juices flowing and his swing comes together, he will be in the mix on Sunday. That’s for sure.
‘And I’ll rise up. I’ll rise like the day. I’ll rise up. I’ll rise unafraid. I’ll rise up. And I’ll do it a thousand times again.’
It’s time to ‘rise up’ again, King Louis.
Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images