Louis Oosthuizen targets improvement during Malaysia return
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 16/02/16 5:30pm
Louis Oosthuizen hopes to put his recent swing troubles behind him when he features in this week's inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia.
The South African has struggled to find his rhythm during the early-season events, missing the cut in two of his four starts and not taking advantage of a strong start to the week at the Qatar Masters.
Oosthuizen's ball-striking wasn't on-song in Doha, where after moving in to a share of the first-round lead he stuttered on the Friday and carded successive 71s over the weekend.
The former Masters champion then suffered an early exit a week later in Dubai, but he remains upbeat after bouncing back from a pair of double bogeys on the Friday to post three birdies on the back nine.
"I lost my rhythm a little on the Friday in Qatar," Oosthuizen said on Tuesday. "I struggled with my ball flight and when it's windy that's the last thing you want to happen.
"It was the same again for the first 27 holes in Dubai, I couldn't find the flight I was looking for. But I played a lot better on my back nine on Friday.
"I struck it really well and made some good birdies, and even though it wasn't enough to make the cut I was still able to take a lot from it."
The world No 21 withdrew from Tuesday's Pro-Am after flight issues saw him arrive in Kuala Lumpur later than planned, but he expects to be 100% ready when he tees off alongside recent Dubai Desert Classic champion Danny Willett and former Malaysian Open winner Thongchai Jaidee on Thursday.
Delays in New York and Dubai saw him take more than 36 hours to get from his Florida home, although Oosthuizen can take encouragement from the fact his previous win in Malaysia came after similar issues.
"I'm struggling to stay awake to be honest with you!" Oosthuizen added. "It's just one of those things, with the amount of travelling we do it's bound to happen at some time.
Hopefully it's a good omen after what happened four years ago when we couldn't get out of Augusta on the Sunday night because the play-off [with Bubba Watson] finished late, and I didn't end up arriving here until the Wednesday. So at least this time I've given myself an extra 24 hours to prepare!
"I've got a day to rest up and get some sleep, so hopefully by tomorrow I should be fine and ready to go."
Willett took a week off after his impressive victory in last month's Desert Swing finale moved him to a career-high world No 1, but returns as one of five of Europe's EurAsia Cup winning squad to join captain Darren Clarke in this week's field.
"It's a new tournament so I've never played this course before, and it's always exciting to take on a new challenge," Willett told a pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday. "It's a bit different to most of the courses the guys are used to playing on the Tour.
"It's not wide open fairways or particularly long, so it's going to take some shot-making to do well. You've got to drive the ball well and put yourself in position on the fairways. So it's very old school, but I'm sure we're going to have a fair bit of fun out there this week."
Watch the Maybank Championship Malaysia throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf