PGA Tour

Oosthuizen: Choosing Grace for Zurich Classic was 'easy'

Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)
Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)

Cape Town - South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen said he had no difficulty in choosing Branden Grace as his partner for the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic.

Oosthuizen has faith in Grace to not only "make a lot of birdies" but for the pair to gel when they tee off in opening round on Thursday at TPC Louisiana.

"I spoke to him immediately and he said he was up for playing and it was a fairly easy decision," Oosthuizen said, as quoted on his official website.

The new 72-hole stroke play format will feature foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and fourball (best ball) during the second and fourth rounds.

The starting field will consist of 80 teams (160 players) with powerful looking combinations consisting of Henrik Stenson with Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler with Jason Day, in particular.

The South African pair have a history together as they partnered in the last Presidents Cup in 2015, during which the pair went undefeated against their American opponents Matt Kuchar/Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson/Jordan Spieth, Reed/Rickie Fowler and JB Holmes/Bubba Watson.

World No 22 Grace comes off a strong finish at the Texas Open when he finished tied for 10th, six shots behind first-time PGA Tour winner, Kevin Chappell.

"We've been mates for a long time and we play good together," Grace said.

"Obviously with our history at the Presidents Cup, it's been great and I think this is a good chance to get a win under the belt as a team."

"At the Presidents Cup in Korea, we both played a type of game where neither of us really did anything wrong. Neither of us made any silly mistakes and that's really the key, especially in a team format," said Grace.

Oosthuizen, ranked No 31, hasn't played since Augusta where he finished tied 41st.

However, the 2010 Open Championship winner likes the exciting format as he has some experience after playing in the World Cup of Golf in 2011, an event identical to the Zurich Classic's format.

"We gel well together. There's not a lot of 'sorrys' from either of us when you hit a bad shot because we are obviously not trying to hit bad shots," added Oosthuizen.

"Once Gracie gets his putter going, he can make quite a few birdies in a round. That's always nice and can come in handy, especially in the best-ball format."

This will be the first appearance in the Crescent City for both Oosthuizen and Grace.

The other all-South African pair participating is Retief Goosen and Tyrone van Aswegen, who will tee off at 15:21 (SA time).

Grace and Oosthuizen tee off in Louisiana at 15:32 (SA time).

South Africa's Rory Sabbatini will partner young American Bryson DeChambeau (16:36).

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