Louis Oosthuizen is ready for a new challenge this week when he goes for a second consecutive European Tour win at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The event returns to the schedule after a year off in the 2018 season as Leopard Creek Country Club underwent major changes to the layout.
Home favourite Oosthuizen has a mixed record in Malelane, having finished second twice but missed seven cuts in 12 appearances, and he admits the new set-up will not make life any easier for the field.
“The changes here are brilliant, tough,” he said. “You’ve got to really play well this week. Around the greens and the green itself, it’s just so much more demanding than it was before.
“I’m seeing dramatic scoring difference. I don’t really see very low scores around this golf course now.
I’m always looking forward to this week. It’s one of then special ones for me every year so I just hope I can play well this week - Louis Oosthuizen
“The speed and firmness of the greens, for now, make it tough. I think in a few years’ time the greens are going to settle in a little more but at the moment, they’re really firm and fast. You’ve got some homework to do with your yardage book so you can pitch it in the right spots on the greens.”
Oosthuizen's win last week was his first in his national Open and he is now looking for a maiden victory at another of South Africa's most prestigious events.
“The SA Open was on my list for a long time but I always had schedule issues,” he said. “This year, it really fell in a nice time for me to play. So, it was a special feeling for me when I won it.
“I’m always looking forward to this week. It’s one of the special ones for me every year so I just hope I can play well this week.
“We’ll probably head out tomorrow morning for the game drive and go have a look in the park. Other than that, it’s just a very relaxed week for me, just take the scenery in and just enjoy the week.”
Ernie Els beat Oosthuizen into second place here in the 2006 season and after showing some good form last week in Johannesburg, the four-time Major winner is looking forward to a productive week.
“I’m looking forward to a good week, as always,” he said. “I love the course and I love the area and I just love the club and the members and friends here.
“I’ve been playing better golf and I’d love to put four rounds together, a little bit more than I’ve done in the last couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to the week. I think we have a great field so if you do well here, you can get some ranking points and good money.”