Oosthuizen in buoyant mood
Los Angeles - British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, launches a run of four Stateside events this week with his first appearance at Riviera Country Club.
The South African said he felt right at home on the course nestled in Pacific Palisades in the western suburbs of Los Angeles, some way from the city's better-known tourist sites.
"I'm still looking around for the Hollywood sign," Oosthuizen said. "Once I see that, I'll know I'm in LA."
Oosthuizen will be making his first PGA start since opting to take up membership on the US tour at the $6.5m Northern Trust Open
"I've always, as a little boy, wanted to play in America, wanted to at least try," said Oosthuizen, who shot to global prominence with his triumph at St. Andrews last year.
"I just felt like with the exemptions I've got now, it's a great time to do it. I want to at least give myself a few years just to see if I like it, if I enjoy it."
The event also marks Swede Robert Karlsson's first official start as a US tour rookie - at the age of 41.
Karlsson, who has played consistently in event on the American circuit for several years, said he thought it wouldn't be too difficult to fulfill his commitment to both the US and Euroepan tours.
"This year it's quite easy," said Karlsson, who has set up residence in Charlotte, North Carolina. "I'm in the top 50 in the world. I'm in all the world Golf events. I'm in all the majors, so by playing seven events I've got sort of seven on both sides, so to speak."
Becoming a member of the US tour, Karlsson said, has benefits such as allowing him to pursue the FedEx Cup title.
"I'm in quite a late stage in my career," Karlsson said. "Why not use the benefits of the US Tour and also have the freedom to enter tournaments I want to and to not have to sit and wait for potential invites and things like that."
Karlsson said he believed that the United States is "a very, very easy country to live in," but that doesn't mean transplants like the Swede and Oosthuizen don't have to do a little interpreting from time to time.
Oosthuizen, discussing the ankle injury he suffered last year while hunting in South Africa, told journalists at Riviera he was hunting kudu.
"It's quite a big buck," he explained.
The injury sidelined Oosthuizen for six weeks, but he returned to the winner's circle in January with a playoff victory in the Africa Open that has him looking forward to launching his Stateside campaign.
"The win I had earlier this season in South Africa after the injury was a big confidence boost for me," he said. "I'm just really keen on just getting the year going and teeing it up and try to do my best."