Oosthuizen positive ahead of Masters

While he was disappointed with his finish in last week’s Shell Houston Open, Louis Oosthuizen is still positive ahead of the Masters this week.

The 2010 Open champion carded a final-round 75 to slip from a two-stroke lead going into the final round into third spot, two strokes behind the impressive Hunter Mahan.

“I’m not going to be bothered about the way I played the front nine,” he said. “I had a few horrific lies and bounces. It happens. Another day it goes my way. I’m very positive in going to Augusta.”

He’s played the Masters three times, and not made the cut yet, so it’s an event that he badly wants to do well at and show that he has the game to compete.

And the final round at Houston had the potential to make him feel jittery ahead of the test posed by Augusta National.

“It was a rough day,” he said. “I can’t really pinpoint hitting terrible shots. I had horrific lies on five and eight, and a ball with mud; and I made two double bogeys at the time I was trying to push to try and make par or bogey on them, but I just tried a bit too hard. It was disappointing. But I kept in there and I’m happy with the way I came back.”

He picked up three birdies in his closing seven holes to pull clear of the bunch of four players in fourth which included fellow-major champions Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.

And they, too, were unable to win in the week ahead of the Masters – not that it’s a prerequisite to do so: Charl Schwartzel came 30th in the same event last year ahead of his Augusta win.

This time, he missed the cut and was able to have the best of both worlds in his preparation: Tournament play and the grind of practice.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods missed Houston, but Mickelson was with Oosthuizen in thinking tournament play would sharpen him for Augusta: “I like to play in competition before a major,” he said, “and this is a good course for that.”

Added Oosthuizen: “I’m obviously disappointed in not getting the win, but I’m taking a lot of positives out of this.”

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