I happened upon Louis Oosthuizen last night, when he stopped by to speak to the people from Mercedes-Benz about the delivery of his next car – a seven-seat GL. Having shot 74, two over par, in the first round of the Masters yesterday, some luxury car talk probably cheered him up.
The 30-year-old from South Africa came into the 2013 Masters with the highest of expectations, being a major winner already – at the 2010 Open at St Andrews – and having only lost to Bubba Watson at the second play-off hole here last year, when Watson pulled off that remarkable hooking, wedged recovery from deep among the Georgia pines off the 10th fairway at Augusta National.
Yesterday’s 74, with an uncharacteristic log of five dropped shots, left Oosthuizen languishing in a share of 54th, and with the prospect of a missed cut reaching out its crooked claw.
“It was a scruffy round,” admitted Oosthuizen, speaking exclusively to Golf Monthly. “Whenever I hit the ball well I made birdies, but I made bogeys too easily. I didn’t play my best, but a low second round will put me back up there.”
The bright note from Oosthuizen’s opening round was that he managed Augusta’s famous par-fives expertly, bagging birdies at three out of the four.
“On the back nine the two par-fives were down wind and I knew I had to do something at those holes,” he said. “In fact I had eagle opportunities at both of them, but I didn’t really make any putts today.
“If the greens remain soft tomorrow we can attack the pins a little bit more, but you still have to respect the greens – you can’t attack too much. At Augusta, you expect that you can’t attack 65-70% of the pins, but on the holes where you can, you have to make sure your tee shot puts you in the right position to attack.”
Robin Barwick travelled to the 2013 Masters with Mercedes-Benz, International Partner of the Masters Tournament