Flight delays in New York and Dubai meant the journey from his home in Florida to the Malaysian capital took in excess of 36 hours, forcing his withdrawal from the Tuesday Pro-Am.
The delay gave Oosthuizen plenty of time to ponder – and perhaps even practise – his famed swing, having struggled to find the right trajectory on his two recent European Tour outings, in Dubai and Qatar.But the South African can take solace from the fact that the last time he experienced travel woes en route to Kuala Lumpur in 2012, he walked away with the Maybank Malaysian Open title.
Oosthuizen said: “I’m struggling to stay awake to be honest with you! I left my house at 4.50am on Sunday morning, but only arrived here at 9am this morning (Tuesday) because I was delayed in New York and then again in Dubai. It’s just one of those things, with the amount of travelling we do it’s bound to happen at some time.
I’ve got a day to rest up and get some sleep, so hopefully by tomorrow I should be fine and ready to go.
“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!”A day on the range would have been just what the swing doctor ordered for the World Number 21, who struggled to find his rhythm in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, carding rounds of 73-74 to miss the cut for the second time this season.
He said: “I lost my rhythm a little on the Friday in Qatar. 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, when 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.”
In contrast to Oosthuizen, Danny Willett flew out the blocks in Dubai, eventually finishing top of the pile on 19 under par to claim his fourth European Tour title and climb to 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“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, because I’m sure the greens will firm up over the week so it’ll be difficult to hold them. So it’s very old school, but I’m sure we’re going to have a fair bit of fun out there this week. A change is always nice, so I’m looking forward to it.”Willett and Oosthuizen have been drawn alongside Thongchai Jaidee, another former Maybank Malaysian Open champion, in the first two rounds at Royal Selangor Golf Club.