South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen made a composed start to his US Open campaign by carding an opening-round 67 at Winged Foot Golf Club on Thursday.
The early warnings signs of testing golf were there from the outset and Oosthuizen was made to work hard as he battled by starting his first round on the back nine.
Three bogeys and one birdie in his opening nine holes had him in a decent position but the 37-year-old exploded into the life as he came home on the front nine of the New York layout.
A birdie on the 1st hole was followed by a spectacular hole-out eagle on the 2nd that saw him move under par for the first time.
— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) September 17, 2020
Oosthuizen continued with determination and rolled in two more birdies on the 6th and 9th holes to conclude his day on 3 under par.
The 2010 Open Championship winner managed to hit 10 out of the 14 fairways – joint highest for the opening round, while he gained 1.88 strokes off the tee.
The solid opening round has left Oosthuizen two shots off the pace in T5 with Justin Thomas the leader on day one after a 5-under-par 65.
Patrick Reed, Thomas Pieters and Matthew Wolff are all hot on his heals though and will head into the second round a single stroke behind Thomas on 4 under.
Shaun Norris also made an excellent start to his quest of a good week at the second Major of the year, opening with a 1-under 69 on Thursday.
Despite dropping a couple of shots towards the end of his round, the South African was very satisfied with how he started.
‘I really actually hit the ball really nicely. Couldn’t complain about it. Gave myself some good opportunities and converted them,’ he said on Thursday.
‘It’s tough. You’ve got to hit fairways. You’ve got to hit greens. That’s the basic thing about this course. I was happy with it, gave myself a lot of opportunities. So I can’t complain.’
Fellow countrymen Erik van Rooyen and Christiaan Bezuidenhout opened their accounts with even rounds of 70, while JC Ritchie and Branden Grace struggled a bit with respective rounds of 4 over and 5 over.
Justin Harding had to settle for a disappointing 77 on his first round and will be eager to make up with a good showing on Friday.