Oosthuizen turns to 3M Open with British collapse behind him

Jul 21, 2021, 4:13 AM | Updated: 4:20 pm

After letting a major title slip away for the third time this year, Louis Oosthuizen tried to quickly pivot to his next opportunity.

He’s hoping the disappointment and doubt of losing the final-round lead Sunday in the British Open were left behind at Royal St. George’s, or at least somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean while he flew on a charter carrying 30 players from the season’s final major to Minnesota for the 3M Open.

“I think I’m glad that I entered in this event to sort of get back in there and play and not really sit around at home and thinking about the disappointing Sunday last week. I’m happy to be out here, see the golf course and looking forward to this week,” Oosthuizen said after playing in a pro-am Wednesday at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, a suburb of Minneapolis that first hosted this PGA Tour stop in 2019.

Oosthuizen, the late-blooming, eminently likeable, gap-toothed, 38-year-old South African, shot a 71 on Sunday to tie for third at the British Open. He won the event in 2010.

Though he has never won a regular PGA Tour event, his uncommon surname has been one of the biggest in golf this summer. He was second to Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship in May. He gave away the U.S. Open in June with a final-round tee shot into a canyon on the 17th as Jon Rahm took over and Oosthuizen tied for second. Collin Morikawa snagged the claret jug at the British Open, and Oosthuizen uncharacteristically left the course without addressing reporters.

“In the end I was just too far behind and needed to force things and just couldn’t make up the shots,” Oosthuizen said. “It’s sort of you don’t want to always talk about close again, finishing second, finishing third, so I wasn’t really up for that conversation right there.”

By the next day, Oosthuizen said, he was already feeling better.

“Collin played the way you should play to win a major, especially on a Sunday. He didn’t make many mistakes, and when he did make a mistake, he made unbelievable up-and-downs for pars. It was just frustrating because I knew my game was definitely there to have a good solid day,” said Oosthuizen, who is one of six players in the 156-player field who turned down a spot in the Olympics. The others are Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Emiliano Grillo, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Camilo Villegas.

This will be Oosthuizen’s first appearance in the 3M Open. He’ll tee off Thursday in a fan-favorite trio with Johnson and Bubba Watson.

With the heavy COVID-19 restrictions in Tokyo for the Summer Games and the World Golf Classic due up in two weeks as the FedEx Cup race (he’s currently 13th) enters the final stretch, Oosthuizen opted out of the chance to get a gold medal. There’s the Race to Dubai competition on the European Tour (he’s in third place) to keep in mind, too.

“Four majors and world events are the events that I grew up playing for and the events that I really want to focus on,” Oosthuizen said.

Johnson (No. 2), Oosthuizen (No. 9), Patrick Reed (No. 13) and Tony Finau (No. 19) are the only top-20 players in the world ranking entered in the 3M Open, which was won last year by Michael Thompson and Matthew Wolff in 2019. Johnson withdrew due to back stiffness after a first-round 78 last year.

Johnson recovered from that injury to win his first FedEx Cup. He’s currently 15th in the standings and eager to see and hear the fans on the course in Minnesota that were missing last year.

“The golf course, it’s in perfect condition,” Johnson said. “I enjoyed playing it last year, so I wanted to come back and play again.


More AP golf coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A member of the AlKuwari family shows the trophy after winning the first prize at the Mzayen World ...
Associated Press

Camel pageant among attractions on World Cup sidelines

ASH-SHHANIYA, Qatar (AP) — Like all good pageant contestants, Nazaa’a displayed not only dazzling beauty but also poise and grace. She batted her eyelashes and flashed a toothy smile for the television cameras at the Mzayen World Cup, a pageant held in the Qatari desert about 15 miles (25 kilometers) away from Doha and soccer’s […]
1 day ago
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during an NFL football practice at the te...
Associated Press

Watson has better shot winning with Browns than fixing image

Deshaun Watson has a better chance of leading the Cleveland Browns to their first Super Bowl title than rebuilding his public image. The disgraced quarterback wouldn’t address his 11-game suspension for sexual misconduct or his league-mandated therapy sessions on Thursday in his first comments since returning to the Browns. “I have been advised to stay […]
1 day ago
Japan's Kaoru Mitoma appears to have the ball over the line before crossing it for a goal during th...
Associated Press

AP photo catches key moment before Japan’s World Cup goal

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — From most angles, it looked like the ball went out of play just before Japan scored its winning goal in the 2-1 victory against Spain in the World Cup. Associated Press photographer Petr David Josek took a photo from above that appears to support the referee’s decision to allow it. Josek’s […]
1 day ago
Belgium's Leandro Trossard, left, and Croatia's Josko Gvardiol fight for the ball during the World ...
Associated Press

‘Little Pep’ Gvardiol coming up big for Croatia at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — For 90 minutes, the hulking, masked mass that is Josko Gvardiol kept Belgium’s big-name strikers at bay with timely tackles — none bigger than his stop on Romelu Lukaku two minutes into stoppage time. Then the 20-year-old Croat who is fast becoming the most sought-after center back in Europe went over […]
1 day ago
Christian Pulisic of the United States attends a press conference before a training session at Al-G...
Associated Press

US star Pulisic on track to play against Dutch in World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic is on track to play for the United States in its World Cup round of 16 match against the Netherlands on Saturday, Pulisic left Tuesday’s final group stage match against Iran at halftime after bruising his pelvic bone in a collision with the goalkeeper while scoring in the 38th […]
1 day ago
Spain players leave the pitch at the end of the World Cup group E soccer match between Japan and Sp...
Associated Press

Spain in recovery mode after losing to Japan at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — It’s not how Spain imagined reaching the knockout phase of the World Cup: finishing the group stage with a loss and having to rely on other teams to help it advance. Spain survived but heads into the round of 16 against Morocco with bruised confidence after losing 2-1 to Japan. “We […]
1 day ago
Oosthuizen turns to 3M Open with British collapse behind him