Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)
Louis Oosthuizen may not have finished outside the top six in his last four European Tour starts, but he still believes there is room for improvement in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.
The former Open Champion recorded his last victory back in April at the Maybank Malaysian Open – the week after losing the Masters Tournament in a play-off to Bubba Watson – and now hopes to finish the year in style on home soil.
“It’s great being back,” said the South African World Number Five. “Just driving in here and seeing the Impalas reminds me of a lot of memories here. Not such good memories on the golf course, but hopefully that changes this week. Hopefully Johann [Rupert]’s pulled some strings so I can start on minus one.
“It’s been a good season. It would have been great if I could have pulled Augusta through, but the year has been really good. I’m happy with the season, and there’s been a few still at the end which were close, and that’s disappointing.
“It’s great being back in South Africa. I played Nedbank (Golf Challenge), and even though I didn’t play very well, it was really nice being back in front of home fans. Hopefully this week I can find the rhythm that I had coming from the last three or four months.
“I think every golfer’s goal is to have a chance every week. We play to be in contention. I’m very happy with the way this year went - I gave myself chances almost every week. My consistency is something I’ve been working on for a while, just to be able to play half-decent even when I’m struggling.”
Oosthuizen’s consistency has taken him to World Number Five, but he believes the task of catching Rory McIlroy at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking may prove difficult in the near future.
“I always try to set goals, but not unreachable ones,” he added. “I think where Rory is at the moment - it’s going to be one hell of a task, but maybe in a few years’ time. If I give myself some time I’ve got a chance, but then saying that he’s not going to stop.
“I think it’s going to be a very big task, but at the moment the goal is to get to number two and then see what you can do from there.”
If Oosthuizen is to start his 2013 Race to Dubai campaign with a win the 30 year old will have to overcome compatriot and defending champion Garth Mulroy.
Mulroy has had only one top-ten finish on The European Tour since his breakthrough victory – he was runner-up to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño in Italy three months ago – but hopes to match the feat of Pablo Martin, who won back-to-back titles here in 2010 and 2011.
“It’s always nice to come back to where you’ve played well in the past,” he said. “I haven’t been on great form in the past month, but came back yesterday and hit some decent shots in the pro-am, so I’m looking forward to it.”