By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Louis Oosthuizen is ranked seventh in the world and would seem to be a player to watch at next month's U.S. Open ... if he were playing.
Unless something drastic changes, don't expect to see the South African at Merion. It's with good reason, though -- his wife Nel-Mare is due to have the couple's third child on that Saturday of the U.S. Open.
"At the moment, the U.S. Open is going to be a miss for me because the baby is due then," Oosthuizen said Tuesday as he prepares for this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship.
There is a chance Oosthuizen may still tee off at Merion "if the
baby comes the week before the U.S. Open," he said. "(But) during the
U.S. Open, I won't play."
The 2010 British Open champ is making the second of what he expects to be four straight starts on TOUR. He finished tied for 19th at last week's THE PLAYERS Championship and has next week's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on his schedule, as well as the Memorial tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance the following week.
After that, he'll take a break to spend time with his family.
Although playing four consecutive weeks isn't something a lot of the top pros do, Oosthuizen is enjoying this stretch.
"I feel like you get a bit of a rhythm going," he said.
Rhythm is certainly something Oosthuizen is striving for right now, particularly with his swing. Since starting his PGA TOUR schedule in February after winning a January event on the European Tour, Oosthuizen has just one top-10 in seven starts, missing the cut three times in his six stroke-play events.
Swing problems have caused him to miss more greens in regulation than he would like, although his percentage of 68.52 percent this year is nearly equal to last year's 68.78 percent, which ranked him 15th on TOUR in that category.
Oosthuizen said missing greens has put undue stress on his putter, but he's seeing signs of improvement.
"The last two tournaments I played, I was getting better results," he said. "So hopefully the next three weeks something can happen for me."