British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen, applying a combine decal in the photo, toured John Deere Harvester Works July 5.
Louis Oosthuizen checks out a combine cab during a visit to John Deere Harvester. On the right is Robert Beardsley, business unit leader for cabs.
It was almost a typical Gold Key tour for the John Deere Harvester Works Tuesday morning. A farmer visited the plant to witness how the equipment he and his family have used on their farm for years is built, and did the usual Gold Key things: Toured the plant. Met the team of people that builds those machines. Started one and took it for a ride.
Almost typical, except for one thing: this farmer holds one of the most prestigious titles in professional golf. His name is Louis Oosthuizen and he is the 2010 British Open champion.
Oosthuizen, a 28-year-old native of Mossel Bay, South Africa, not only took a three-hour tour of the Harvester Works, he also drove a variety of ag and construction equipment at the ‘Big Dig,’ a John Deere Classic event for PGA TOUR professionals and their families at the construction test grounds in Coal Valley, Illinois.
“Tuesday morning was what I was hoping for, something I’ve wanted to do for a while – coming to the factory and just seeing how everything is made. It is just amazing to see proper teamwork done and you can see everyone who works there takes a lot of pride in what they do. It's just a great factory,” Oosthuizen said.
“I'm a farm boy. I grew up on a farm. I've got a little farm back in South Africa at the moment, and whenever I have a chance to go back to South Africa, we go there. You know, I believe if you've got a tractor it's got to be green.”
After ‘playing’ with the John Deere equipment, Oosthuizen knew the time for fun was over. “You've still got to play golf at the end of the day and just put the head down and practice.”
Oosthuizen teed off with 155 others Thursday as they compete in the 41st John Deere Classic.