A closing bogey may have taken a little shine off an otherwise sound start to the Workday Charity Open for SA’s top-ranked player Louis Oosthuizen, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
In fact, the last three holes were the difference between his 68 and a score that would have sent him past Canada’s Adam Hadwin in first place on six under.
The one-time Major winner, yet to win on US soil, was dialled in early and shrugged off a six-foot birdie miss at the third with his day’s first gain at the next when his 210-yard tee-shot landed just three feet from the cup.
Surprisingly, he made heavy going of his bunker effort at the next and settled for par on the reachable 6th. The 7th had no such repeat as he left himself inside a foot with his approach before a touch of brilliance from 20 yards right of the par-three 8th helped him gather momentum.
Oosthuizen got to -5 thanks to birdies on both back-nine par fives as he soared into second place on the leaderboard in week one at Muirfield Village.
A miss from just over 10 feet on the short 16th hole was followed by a miss from 11 feet.
His lone bogey of the day came at the 18th after being bunkered off the tee and needing a drop after missing the green with his third.
In all, Oosthuizen was in top form tee to green but left a few shots out there with his flatstick. His -1.6 strokes gained putting statistic will need to be addressed going into Friday with a stacked field ready to claim honours at the ‘course that Jack built’.
2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel has a mountain to climb after turning 11 of 14 fairways hit into just 10 of 18 greens. His 73 included five birdies but six bogeys.
Monday qualifier MJ Daffue was -1 through 16 while Dylan Frittelli was +2 through 15 on his return after testing positive for the coronavirus.