By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
DUBLIN, Ohio -- As recently as 2 1/2 weeks ago, Louis Oosthuizen wasn't sure he would be able to play in the Presidents Cup.
"It was in the middle of eight weeks (off), I picked up a club and tried to hit a shot and even on the back swing, I could just feel, it's definitely not close to there," said Oosthuizen, who had been sidelined with neck, back and hip injuries since withdrawing from The Open Championship in mid-July. "My biggest fear was probably the walking. You know, couldn't walk at The Open with the leg."
Then he played nine holes at Mossel Bay Golf Club, his home course in South Africa, and 18 more the following day.
Afterward, he told International Team Captain Nick Price he felt fine but that he'd let him know for sure at last week's Dunhill Links Championship.
Oosthuizen missed the cut there but again felt good after two practice and two tournament rounds. It was an encouraging sign for the South African, especially given the cool weather.
"That's always hard when you're coming back from an injury to play in cool temperatures," Price said. "He missed the cut but he said he played really well and he didn't have any pain."
Though Price declared Oosthuizen "100 percent" Tuesday at Muirfield Village, Oosthuizen added that his back still isn't quite right but is something he can play through without any pain.
"Health's not an issue," Oosthuizen said. "Just need to get the game sharp."
That's been easier said than done this season for Oosthuizen, who has been plagued by injuries all year. He has just three top 10s in 15 worldwide starts and has fallen to 28th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The extra time off, however, had one other benefit: Motivation.
"I definitely felt it after five and six weeks," said Oosthuizen, who is making his Presidents Cup debut this week. "I definitely wanted to come back and play again and am very excited about the rest of the year for me."
Warm temperatures this week at Muirfield Village should also help.
So should playing with Schwartzel. The two played together in the 2011 World Cup and will likely be paired here on Thursday.
"Charl probably knows his swing as well as Louis knows his own swing," Price said. "They will probably help each other and feed a little off each other."