US PGA Championship

Confident Louis Oosthuizen says no injury or club fears in US PGA Championship title bid despite tight arm and bent 8-iron

South African endured difficult round after busting arm and club but says it’s all still to play for

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 August, 2017, 1:03pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 August, 2017, 1:03pm

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen shook off a bent club and arm injury after hitting a tree root on Saturday at the US PGA Championship to put himself in contention for his second major title.

Oosthuizen overcame the second-hole setback to fire a par-71 in the third round at treacherous Quail Hollow, standing on five-under 208 for 54 holes, two strokes behind US leader Kevin Kisner.

Oosthuizen is the only major winner among 15 players under par after 54 holes. The 2010 British Open champion is also a three-time major runner-up, settling for second at the 2012 Masters and the 2015 US and British Opens.

After jolting his arm and bending his 8-iron, Oosthuizen had a trainer walking with him, at times giving treatment to his right arm as they walked together up the fairway between shots.

“It’s fine. It wasn’t hurting at all,” said Oosthuizen. “I didn’t feel like it was painful or anything. It was just it got tight really quickly. When you close your hand, I could feel it all over.

“I thought it would be good to get the physio and release it. He just did a proper release of it. There was no pain. I could hit my shots no worries.”

Oosthuizen, ranked 27th, escaped the trees left of the fairway and parred the hole, but only after finding out the hard way what was near his ball.

“I saw something. It was very close to my ball. I didn’t want to go and feel or do anything,” Oosthuizen said. “The top, I was going pretty steep on it. Took a big chunk out of it. Bent my 8-iron properly. I had a full 8-iron on 16 and 17. So couldn’t hit them and had to go with 7-irons. Those aren’t holes you want to go with different clubs.

He sent the club off to get help but it came back still out of sorts.

“I stood on nine and that was the first I used it. I looked down and I could see it was completely bent,” he said. “I tried to fix it, but obviously I’m not good at that.

“I didn’t hit a very good shot. I got it to the club and they tried to fix it, but it was just right in the hozzle where the shaft goes in. Ping is already building me a new one and getting it to me.”

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The 34-year-old from Mossel Bay has not won since last year’s European Tour Perth International in Australia, but he is comfortable with his game and the tricky 7,600-yard layout.

“It’s the type of golf course you don’t have to go out and make birdies. You just need to keep everything together,” he said. “If I can have a solid start tomorrow and get to the 14th hole and see where I am, anything can happen from 14.

“Just be patient the whole day tomorrow. I think everyone is going to maybe a few mistakes out there. It’s that type of golf course where you can easily make bogeys. Just patience and play yourself in a position with four or five holes to go and take it from there.”

“Oosty” went bogey-birdie-par on the difficult closing stretch known as “The Green Mile” and has confidence the title will be up for grabs in those last three holes.

“You can go in three behind and you can still win it with those holes,” he said.