Louis Oosthuizen hits a tee shot on day four of the Australian Open golf tournament at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney on December 8, 2019. Picture: PETER PARKS / AFP
Louis Oosthuizen hits a tee shot on day four of the Australian Open golf tournament at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney on December 8, 2019. Picture: PETER PARKS / AFP

Sydney — Louis Oosthuizen says his late charge at the Australian Open has boosted his confidence heading into this week’s Presidents Cup clash against Tiger Woods’s US team at Royal Melbourne.

The 2010 British Open champion came within a shot of forcing the battle for the Stonehaven Cup into a playoff at The Australian Golf Club on Sunday when he sealed a sizzling five-under-par 66 with an eagle at the 18th in the final round.

Australian Matt Jones held his nerve to secure the trophy for the second time, but Oosthuizen said his time in Sydney had been perfect preparation for his fourth Presidents Cup campaign.

“I used this week as preparation for next and obviously, the Aussie Open is a great event to play,” the 37-year-old told reporters.

“First time over here, we had a good time, got the family here. But I’ll take a lot of confidence out of this and hopefully we can pull it off next week. “Game face is on now and I’m ready.”

Oosthuizen teamed up with fellow South African Branden Grace in 2015 to become the only International pairing to earn four points in a single Presidents Cup and has a 7-5-3 win-loss-tie record in the biennial competition.

The mild-mannered world No 20 was not too keen to get involved in the hype over US player Patrick Reed’s widely condemned rule violation at the Hero World Challenge over the weekend.

“I think the crowd is going to have a nice time with him,” he said. “But we're focused on what we want to achieve and what we want to do. He brought those things on himself, so I can imagine he’s going to have a tough time next week with the crowd.”

What the largely inexperienced International team captained by Oosthuizen's compatriot Ernie Els will be trying to achieve at Royal Melbourne is a second win in 13 editions of the biennial contest.

Australian Marc Leishman is another of the more seasoned campaigners in the International line-up and he was happy with his game after finishing in a share of 10th at his home open.

“I putted well, I just wasn't reading the greens awesome, but yeah, off the tee and around the greens I was pretty pleased with,” the world No 28 said. “If I could take that over into next week and sharpen my irons up a little bit, should be good to go.

“We’re ready to go, looking forward to it. It’s been a pretty easy week energy-wise, so yeah, excited about next week and hopefully we can play well.”

Reuters

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