Good friends Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel can only hope that their matchplay strategy at this week’s Presidents Cup works out a lot better for the Internationals team than their hairstyle plans.
The two South Africans, who are likely to play together in today’s opening fourball matches at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio, ended up having virtually all their hair shaved off in error by a visiting barber on Monday night.
“It didn’t work out as well as we thought,” a grinning Oosthuizen told reporters after the first official day of team practice at Muirfield Village.
“He almost shaved everything off, and you know, walking into the team room last night, the two of us, we looked like we came straight out of the army. And this morning, waking up and looking at each other, we just laughed.”
Former Open champion Oosthuizen, who is one of seven rookies on the Internationals team, said that six players were initially meant to have haircuts but that number swiftly dropped to two.
“Six of us that were supposed to get it but it all stopped at Charl and no one else was having it,” the 30-year-old South African added. “I didn’t expect it to be like that.”
Asked if he had ever had his hair cut in similar fashion, Oosthuizen replied with a broad grin: “I did it actually once before, but it was planned. That one [on Monday] wasn’t planned.”
Oosthuizen was not even too sure what sort of haircut he and Schwartzel had initially wanted.
“I don’t know, just a bit longer than this,” he smiled. Schwartzel could have opted out after watching Oosthuizen’s severely short cut but he decided to follow suit.
“Louis and myself, we were the guinea pigs,” Schwartzel said. “He went first and basically lost all his hair. And then I figured I just need a little touch up on the sides.
“And I ended up losing all my hair. None of the other guys volunteered to go. We just wanted a haircut, and it ended up being something I probably could have done myself. Only time is going to heal this problem.”
The United States, captained this year by Fred Couples, have dominated the competition since it started in 1994, winning seven times and losing just once, while the 2003 contest ended in a controversial 17-17 tie in South Africa with a play-off between Ernie Els and Tiger Woods halted due to darkness.
Schwartzel admits the International team, captained by Nick Price, need to start winning to take the competition to the “next level”.
“I think for us, we’re feeding off guys like Ernie and Adam [Scott] who have played in seven or eight of these things,” explained Schwartzel. “And you can see by the way they feel that they really are sick and tired of losing. That’s urging us on to change that around.”