Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Apr 03 2024
- 5 MIN
Stingers Miami preview 2024

MIAMI - The Stingers have produced a mixed bag of results so far this season but Captain Louis Oosthuizen believes that his team are close to "hitting a good stride" as they head into this week's LIV Golf Miami.

In their first four starts this year, they have finished fifth at LIV Golf Mayakoba, a disappointing 12th at LIV Golf Las Vegas, second at LIV Golf Jeddah and ninth last month at LIV Golf Hong Kong.

"Our form this season has been okay, but not great," Oosthuizen said while and he and his all-South African team prepared for Friday's opening round on the Blue Monster course at Trump National Doral.

"We were outplayed by the Crushers in Jeddah on the last day - they did an unbelievable 20 under as a team which was pretty amazing."

The Stingers led by seven strokes heading into the final round in Jeddah before losing steam. They had to settle for second place after being blown away by the fast-finishing Crushers in the final round.

"We were outplayed there in Jeddah but I think we are close," said Oosthuizen, winner of the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews. "I think we are really getting close to hitting a good stride. Some of us are getting into good form so we are looking forward to this week."

A particular area of concern for the Stingers this season has been their form in the final round: their cumulative total of 1 over when all scores count makes them one of just three teams to shoot over par on the last day.

Asked if he could explain this final-round frailty, Oosthuizen replied: "No. I think all four of us just need to play well together on the Sunday, now that all four scores count.

"Obviously it's a little bit more pressure on everyone playing well and some days you force it and it doesn't happen and then other days it happens by itself. So, I think it's just a matter of having one tournament with a really good Sunday and sort of taking it from there."

One factor in Stinger GC's favor this week is their previous form at Trump National Doral. They finished fifth at the LIV Golf Team Championship last October when Dean Burmester and Branden Grace both ended the 2023 season by firing sparkling 5-under 67s.

"I think it's a better match-play course if you look at today's weather," Oosthuizen smiled as winds gusted up to 25 mph. "Today would be brutal playing in this wind but this is a great golf course. You cannot hide from hitting bad shots here and you need to really strike the ball well.

"It's always windy here and it's just a good track. The four of us are pretty decent ball strikers and we should be okay. But this golf course bites you all the time. It's just a good 'old school' track."

Oosthuizen is very happy with his own form heading into this week. He tied his best LIV Golf result by sharing second place in Jeddah and he leads the League this season in scrambling while he ranks third in total putts.

"I think I am playing pretty decent so I feel very solid with my game at the moment," said the 41-year-old from Mossel Bay who won back-to-back DP World Tour victories at the end of 2023. "But you can always improve. There are always parts of the game that I need to improve on. Hopefully I can keep going the way I am going."