Perth, Australia, February 15: Read what contenders have to say ahead of this week’s ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.
Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa)
Q: Louis, welcome back to Perth. It’s wonderful to have you here with us. I believe you were down at the beach this morning?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it’s nice being on the beach, it was a good spot to be. I had a few cricket swings there and, you know, definitely glad I stick with golf and not got a career in cricket.
Q: So this is the first year of the World Super 6 but you return somewhat a defending champion, the last player to win a Tour event on this course. You must come in with some good feelings?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I love the golf course. Curious to see the way it’s set up now. I know you’ve had a lot of rain here and you can see it’s a lot greener so it’s definitely going to play different, but looking forward to it. A lot of good memories here last year and hopefully we can do something similar this year.
Q. What are your thoughts on the format?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I think it’s a mindset thing where you’ve got to realize the stroke play, that it’s just to qualify to get to Sunday. You can have a five‑shot lead and lose your first round in match play and off home you go. So it’s definitely the mindset I’ve got that it’s just to qualify to get to Sunday and then see what that presents. I think it’s a bit like when I played tour school, you know, you don’t have to go out and win the tour school. It is a better card, but if you finish top 8 or top 10 it’s just as good a card and it’s just a way of getting through the year that year. But I think that’s sort of the mentality that I would go at and just see the stroke play as a qualifier.
Q. You played your best golf here last year, do you think you could do that again?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It would be nice. It would definitely be nice to have a good weekend here. I think the tough part is going to be you’re not going to have 18 holes in the match play, you only have six. So it’s going to be like teeing off at the 13th elsewhere in the match, and that’s also sort of where you’ve got to look at.
Q. Who do you think will be the biggest threats in the field?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Well, the golf that Alex played end of last year, you know, he’s obviously playing really good golf and so, you know it’s a different format with match play being the main thing I think. It’s wide open for anyone to win. Match play is a tough game. If you don’t play well in those six holes and make one or two mistakes, you can be going home. Stroke play youj’re always going to have a few holes that you can come back with, maybe if you make one or two mistakes making bogeys, but you’re probably going to lose a hole if you make a bogey out there this week. And you only have six holes to play, so it’s going to be definitely a different match play event on Sunday, and I think it makes it wide open for anyone to win.
Q. What do you think about the format being adopted in other events?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think it’s probably going to be a better question Sunday afternoon to see how it went down, but it’s definitely different than any other event. I think the biggest thing, like I said, is just being six holes match play and not a full match play 18 holes. Obviously if you do the full match play, then we’ve got to add three more days to this tournament. But I think it can work. You know, I’m very curious to see on Sunday how everyone plays and how it’s going to happen, but I’m looking forward to it. I think golf needs changes and it’s great to just see people coming up with new ideas.
Q. The pressure aspect of the six holes, do you think that will separate the field more or bring everyone close together?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, I think it’s going to bring everyone more closer, you know, like I say, six‑hole match play is going to be tough. You’ve got to have the mindset of the last few holes in a tournament and otherwise you’re out of here. I think it’s going to put more pressure on the guys that have done really well in the stroke play and maybe was leading the stroke play or finished second or third day. So, again, you need to just focus on that being a qualifier for the next round.
Q. Do you feel like you’ll be able to handle the pressure?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No, I mean, you know there’s no ‑‑ you won’t be any more adrenaline in golf than playing the last three or four holes in a major tournament and having a chance to win the event. That’s the biggest adrenaline you’ll get. And I think in a match play is the closest that it gets you to that because it’s ripe for a win, even if it’s just for the win of the match to go to the next one, you sort of feel that adrenaline and you feel that situation where I’ve got a chance to win, I have to do something to win and that’s great. So, you know, I think in match play you’ll see probably a few more riskier shots where in stroke play you don’t. So it should be very exciting Sunday.
Q. Do you feel like the defending champ even though this is a new tournament?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It’s always, yeah, I do a bit. It’s always nice coming to the same place, back to the same tournament defending the title. Although it’s probably a different format, I think it will still be nice to have that feeling of defending champ.
Thorbjorn, welcome back to Perth. You’ve already managed to check out a little of the tourist attractions. You went to Rottnest yesterday?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Yeah, it was amazing. I think this is my third time ‑‑
You were talking us through your trip to Rottnest Island yesterday?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Yeah, I think this was my third time to Perth and I haven’t seen that much actually the first two times, so it was great to get away from the golf course and see something else. And, yeah, it was an amazing island, very peaceful. The ocean was incredible, so clear and beautiful. So it was great to get away and see something different.
But back to business this morning. You played in the pro‑am. What were your thoughts on the course and how your game’s shaping up?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Yeah, it’s a slightly different course. I feel like it’s a lot softer than it’s been the last couple of times. So there’s a few shots, there’s a lot more accessible and you can sort of spin it back with some wedges and that makes it a little bit easier. But a lot of heat here and a bit of wind, so it will firm up over the weekend so it will start to get tricky again.
Q. When you start thinking about the Sunday part of, because it’s so different, do you think about Sunday or do you just now focus on getting through?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Yeah, no, just take every day, every round, every shot, try to do your best and hopefully you stand down Sunday. In golf you can never look ahead. If you start doing that you get in trouble, so it’s obviously exciting and I really want to be there on Sunday, but I have to keep focusing on tomorrow’s round and then after that Friday’s round and hopefully have a few more good rounds.
Q. What does it feel like for you being a past champion when it was the Perth International and then also missing the cut last time?
THORBJORN OLESEN: I feel like, yeah, I came in last time with sort of a bad spell, wasn’t playing too well so it’s obviously difficult. But I feel like I have a little advantage because I won here and I know the course very well and I love it here, so that makes it easier to play well when you enjoy being here. So I feel comfortable and if I play well I know I can do really well at this event.
Q. And what do you like, say the 90‑meter hole, how do you think you’ll go if you get that far?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Yeah, it will be very different, very exciting. Yeah, I haven’t actually seen it yet, but I heard about it and, yeah, looking forward to seeing it. Hopefully I’m there and playing for top spots. Otherwise I’ll probably see it on TV.
Q. How much do you change up your practice to perhaps prepare for that situation, that 90‑meter?
THORBJORN OLESEN: It doesn’t change at all. We still go through all the routines and try to keep the game in good shape and then we’ll see.
Q. A win in Tokyo last year and over in Australia for the World Cup of Golf. Why do you think you play over here so well in Australia?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Well, like I said before, just because I love coming here, love coming to Melbourne and love coming to Perth here. People are very nice I think, food is good. You know, just great golf courses also.
Q. And so does that put you in a good spot then this week?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Yeah, I think it keeps me happy when you are in a place where you want to be, you like to be, then it makes it easier to enjoy playing and that makes the best of me I think.
Q. What should be goals for this year?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Obviously to win more tournaments, play better golf. No, I’m trying to get better, trying to be more consistent in my game. I had a few bad spells last year and the year before so that’s what I’m really trying and fighting for, to get a real consistent game.
Q. And you’re one of the younger guys I guess on tour. Do you like the concept of golf changing things up?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Yeah, I think this Super 6, I think it’s a great idea. I think sometimes 18 holes is maybe too much and takes too long time. To sit in front of the TV and watch for five and a half hours is too much and probably also because there’s too many guys to play, it’s slow, and that’s something that needs to change also I think. But, yeah, to get a shorter format I think would be great. It’s good for the viewers and good for the spectators and everybody.
Q. Would it make it extra special to be the first guy to lift a trophy in a tournament like this as well?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Yeah, 100 percent. It would be exciting. Six holes is like a spring ‑‑ well, golf is normally a marathon, so you have to be ready when you start. So, yeah, I’d love to win it definitely.
Q. Is it more of a mental game do you think changing from the longer format to a six‑hole match play Knockout system?
THORBJORN OLESEN: Yeah, I mean you have to be mentally ready, that’s for sure, and I think you have to be aggressive in match play. And obviously you have to play your opponent but also concentrate about your own game. It’s all about making putts, I think that’s the key thing in match play and that’s what you have to do.