CHARLOTTE – Louis Oosthuizen didn’t want to hit 7-irons into the green at Nos. 16-17 on Saturday. Unfortunately for the South African, he had to.
Earlier in the day, on Quail Hollow’s par-4 second hole, Oosthuizen’s drive ended up near the base of a tree left of the fairway. Trying to play a low, running hook up onto the green, Oosthuizen, with his back up against the tree’s base, took a steep swing.
Whack! Oosthuizen immediately let go of the club with his right hand and shook it. The end result was both good and bad: Oosthuizen’s ball found the green, but he hurt his right arm on a tree root in the process.
“I saw something. It was very close to my ball,” Oosthuizen said. “I didn’t want to go and feel or do anything. The top, I was going pretty steep on it. Took a big chunk out of it (the root). Bent my 8-iron properly. I had a full 8-iron on 16 and 17. So couldn’t hit them and had to go with 7-irons.
“Those aren’t holes you want to go with different clubs.”
Oosthuizen, who saved par at the second, bogeyed the 16th and birdied the 17th, the latter coming on a made 30-foot putt. His even-par 71 in Round 3 kept him in this 99th PGA Championship as Oosthuizen sits at 5 under, just two shots back of leader Kevin Kisner.
As for his arm, Oosthuizen said it was fine afterwards. He initially put ice on his arm, but by the sixth hole he needed a physio to look at it. The physio released the tension in Oosthuizen’s forearm and then taped it up along with his wrist.
“It wasn’t hurting at all,” Oosthuizen said. “I didn’t feel like it was painful or anything. It was just it got tight really quickly. Sort of when you close your hand like that, I could feel it all over. I thought it would be good to get the physio and release it. He just did a proper release of it. There was no pain. I could hit my shots no worries.”
Oosthuizen had the tape taken off after his round and planned to ice it overnight. He’ll also get a new 8-iron from Ping for Sunday’s final round. Oosthuizen tried to use the club on the ninth hole Saturday.
“I looked down and I could see it was completely bent,” Oosthuizen said. “I tried to fix it, but obviously I’m not good at that. I didn’t hit a very good shot. I got it to the club and they tried to fix it, but it was just right in the hosel where the shaft goes in.”
If healthy, the two-time major winner will be a strong contender Sunday at Quail Hollow. Oosthuizen has now been fourth or better after 54 holes of a major four times. The first three times? He either won or lost in a playoff.