What could possibly have motivated defending Open champion Louis Oosthuizen to have gone several thousands of miles out of his way this week to compete in a tournament that will do little for his preparation for Royal St Georges?
The answer is in the title of the PGA Tour event he's supporting - The John Deere Classic in Illinois. The sponsors make tractors and Louis just loves tractors!
Oosthuizen decided the opportunity to tour the factory in East Moline was irresistible, especially as he could help out on the assembly line and even drive one of their combine harvesters.
“This morning is what I'd been hoping to do for a while, coming to the factory and just seeing how everything is made,” Oosthuizen said. “It was amazing just to walk through it and have that experience.”
“I took one of the combines for a quick spin. I didn’t know if I was allowed to, but they said you can hop on one, so I said OK.
“I’m a farm boy,” Oosthuizen explained. “I grew up on a farm and I’ve got a little farm back in South Africa. My dream came true last year and after the Open, I decided to buy a tractor.”
He revealed that, apart from the $810,000 first prize which includes a Deere lawn-and-garden tractor, the event at TPC at Deere Run gives him time to get his game in shape in guaranteed fine weather, as opposed to maybe competing in poor weather at the Scottish Open.
Along with other US-based players he will take the chartered plane that John Deere has provided to bring them to the UK on Sunday night.