If Louis Oosthuizen’s name is at or near the top of the leaderboard, it must be a major championship. Picking up where he left off at the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island.
King Louis is currently four under par thru sixteen holes in T-1 with Russell Henley, when play was suspended for the day. Starting on the 10th hole, Oosthuizen mixed four birdies with a solitary bogey for an opening nine of 33, before adding another birdie on the fifth hole.
Charl Schwartzel mixed four birdies with four bogeys for an opening round of 71, level par. He will no doubt want to eliminate the mistakes but with the golf course only going to play tougher as the tournament progresses, Schwartzel is well positioned to get himself into contention heading into the weekend.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Wilco Nienaber are a further shot back of Schwartzel on +1 and poised for an improved performance on day two of the 121st U.S Open. Playing with Schwartzel and Bezuidenhout in an all-South African grouping, Erik van Rooyen will need a few more birdies to ensure he sticks around for the weekend at Torrey Pines.He currently lies outside the cut line on +3.
It’s not often that a player will find himself inside the cut line after round 1 despite not making any birdies but that is the nature of the beast, especially at a U.S Open. Dylan Frittelli will be hoping his putter warms as he goes in search of a low round on day two. Also sitting on +2 without a birdie on his card either is Branden Grace, who has three holes remaining in his first round.
Not having such a pleasant day on the course were Garrick Higgo and Thomas Aiken. Aiken looked out of sorts from the get-go whereas Higgo’s recent run of success may have finally caught up with him as mental fatigue certainly played a role in the number of shots that were dropped throughout his first round.
Funnier things have happened in golf so time will tell exactly how things will stand at the conclusion of round two. For now, the South African leaderboard is as follows:
T1 Louis Oosthuizen -4 (16)
T24 Charl Schwartzel Even
T41 Christiaan Bezuidenhout +1
T41 Wilco Nienaber +1
T61 Dylan Fritelli +2
T61 Branden Grace +2 (15)
T78 Erik van Rooyen +3
T110 Garrick Higgo +5
T154 Thomas Aiken +9