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SANDWICH, England – Following runner-up finishes at the previous two major championships, Louis Oosthuizen begins this week’s Open Championship among the shortlist of favorites. It’s a lofty position that was unthinkable just three years ago.
In 2018, Oosthuizen ranked near the bottom of the PGA Tour in strokes gained: putting (121st) but he begins the year’s final major first on that list. The transition to the Tour’s best statistical putter has been slow but steady.
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“I went back to a few things that I did as an amateur really and looked at a few things I did playing in 2010, the way I was putting, especially the week of The Open,” said Oosthuizen, who won the ’10 Open at St. Andrews. “A big thing was also sticking to the same putter, the same look, the same feel, and trying to get some kind of a relationship going with my putter.”
Oosthuizen also said he’s worked to find a more consistent pre-putt routine with his coach, Justin Parsons, and his chances this week at Sandwich will likely depend on his ability to maintain that pace on the greens through four rounds.
In May at the PGA Championship, where he finished two shots behind eventual champion Phil Mickelson, he struggled on Saturday and Sunday, losing more than 2 ½ shots to the field in strokes gained: putting. At last month’s U.S. Open, it was a similar story with 32 putts (the most for a single round) on Sunday.