Louis Oosthuizen set the pace on Wednesday morning with a flawless round of 65 that set him into a share of the lead in the Qatar Masters on seven under par. Compleat Golfer’s new Playing Editor employed a clinical short game and showed no signs of rust as he reached the clubhouse tied for the lead with Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal.
‘You always take a lot out of going bogey free. I like windy conditions and patience is the big thing when it really blows hard,’ said Oosthuizen. The 2010 Open Champion expected big things from the week. You can read about it here.
It was Oosthuizen’s first event of the year after spending time in South Africa and Namibia. ‘I had a great break with my family and close friends and got outdoors and enjoyed the South African summer,’ he said in his exclusive column in Compleat Golfer, on sale now.
George Coetzee returned to action in January after being sidelined with injury for most of the 2015 season. After missing the cut at the BMW South African Open Championship he came out firing at the Joburg Open and shot a Sunday 67 to share 13th place.
This week at the Qatar Masters he got the week off to a flying start with a round of five-under-par 67 for an early share of fourth place.
‘It’s nice to come here after a long holiday and post a good number, so hopefully it’s a good week. I feel like my game is not far away. I made minor changes before the injury and I was playing pretty well, so it was exciting to get back out there and it’s working pretty well at the moment,’ he said.
The 2015 Tshwane Open winner went tearing out on the front nine, where he made five birdies to turn in 31. His frenetic scoring was hampered by dropped shots at the 12th and 13th, but he brought back one shot with a birdie at the 16th before signing for 67.
The impressive first round was a good indication of Coetzee’s readiness to compete on the European Tour once again.
Also starting strong were Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman, both of whom carded four-under-par 68s to join an early tie for ninth place.