Oosthuizen eager to build Masters momentum in Perth


Louis Oosthuizen is hoping his first appearance in the Perth International will provide the "spark" he needs to build some momentum before the Masters.

Oosthuizen responded to missing the cut in the Dubai Desert Classic by finishing tied for 12th in the Maybank Championship Malaysia last week, having started the year joint-seventh in the Qatar Masters.

The South African will tee off as favourite to win at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club this week despite a mixed start to the year.

And world number 21 Oosthuizen, the highest-ranked player in the field in Perth, knows he needs to raise his game with the first major of the year starting at Augusta on April 7.

"It's very unpredictable, but I'm feeling quite good," said the 2010 Open champion. "It's a nice feeling going into it as the favourite for the week but you've got to play well. You've got to hit good shots and there's a lot of good guys in the field.

"It's been a bit of a shaky start with the missed cut in Dubai, I played really nicely in Qatar. I didn't expect to play that badly the first two rounds in Dubai.

"I played okay last week. I still need to really improve to get my game to where I want it to be. The Masters is on everyone's mind now, so I've got a lot of work to get it right until then. I've got a few more tournaments to play. Hopefully something can spark this week.

"What everyone is trying to achieve is to get your game really sharp in a major week. The top players have found the way to do that, to really come into a major and be on form. I need to perform well to start the process of getting ready for Augusta."

Thorbjorn Olesen aims to defend his Perth International title as the tournament returns to the European Tour calendar following a one-year absence, while Victor Dubuisson will be looking to go one better after finishing second to the Dane in 2014.

Marcus Fraser will carry expectation on his shoulders on home soil, having won the Maybank Championship Malaysia on Sunday to claim his first title since 2010.

Brett Rumford, another Australian, will also hope to receive the backing of home support when the tournament begins on Thursday.