Oosthuizen seeking Masters form in Houston

After a hot start to the year, Louis Oosthuizen has had a bit of a quiet patch recently and he will be out to change the direction of his momentum ahead of the Masters in two weeks’ time.


Oosthuizen won the European Tour’s Volvo Champions in Durban in January, but has missed two cuts in four events on the US PGA Tour after taking his campaign to America – his other European Tour event saw him finish in a share of 34th in Qatar.


With this week’s PGA Tour event, the Shell Houston Open, taking place at the Redstone Golf Club Tournament Course, in Humble, Texas, players in the field get a chance to hone their games on a course traditionally set up to resemble Augusta National in as many ways as possible.


Last year, Oosthuizen carded a final round 75 – on a day on which winner Hunter Mahan signed for a 71 – the week before the Masters, and went on to lose out in the year’s first major to Bubba Watson’s miracle shot in the play-off.


But his third-place finish signalled that he was ready for the Masters, and he will be looking for that kind of affirmation again this year.


The world number six in good company: Rory McIlroy has just surrendered his number one ranking to Tiger Woods, and after a start to the year he would wish on no-one, a victory at Redstone can take him back to the top of the pile.


The summit is something that Oosthuizen has recently begun feeling comfortable enough to say that he is eyeing too. Currently ranked number six, some big performances in the majors – as well as a victory or two – can help him close the gap that the two best players in the world have on him, and show them that the race for the top spot is more than a two-horse one.


His recent form is against him right now, but he made it clear at the beginning of the year that the majors were the tournaments he expected to perform well in, and now is the time for that upward turn in his game.


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