The 149th Open: Louis Oosthuizen takes advantage of a “perfect” start to lead Jordan Spieth at Royal St George’s

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The 149th Open: Louis Oosthuizen takes advantage of a “perfect” start to lead Jordan Spieth at Royal St George’s


Louis Oosthuizen leads the Open after a first round 64

Louis Oosthuizen relished a “perfect” start to the 149th Open by shooting a 64 to take the first lap lead ahead of Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman at Royal St George’s.

Oosthuizen, determined to avoid a seventh second-place finish in a major championship, and his third in a row this year, managed six birdies and handed a bogey-free scoreboard to set the pace on day one in bright but windy conditions at Sandwich Links .

Spieth, playing his first event since the US Open last month, put fears of a competitive rust behind him as he recovered from an early error with four straight birdies, and added one more in a solid back-nine that added to a 65, a score later tied by southpaw Harman.

The English quintet of Justin Rose, Danny Willett, Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan and Jack Senior all made encouraging starts as they posted 67s, but it was another frustrating opening day in a major championship for Rory McIlroy, who failed to build on a brilliant start. and had to work hard on the last nine to return a level by 70.

Jordan Spieth overcame a rusty start to shoot a 65

Oosthuizen finished two strokes behind Phil Mickelson in the PGA Championship and was selected for the US Open title by Jon Rahm at Torrey Pines last month, but insisted that near misses were a inspiration rather than an obstacle after competing for a second. Open victory.

The smooth-swinging South African, crowned Golfer of the Year in 2010, cautiously started his 14th Open with seven consecutive pars before breaking the race with three birdies in a row, and further wins at 13, 14 and 16 won the day.

“Probably, in my mind, it was the perfect round I could have played,” said Oosthuizen, whose clubhouse head was not in serious jeopardy for the remaining six hours of play on day one. “I didn’t make a lot of mistakes, and when I had some good birdie opportunities, I made the putts. So it was just a really good solid ride. “

Louis Oosthuizen refused to get carried away by his quick start to the 149th Open, where a first round of 64 saw him lead the standings at Royal St George's.

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Louis Oosthuizen refused to get carried away by his quick start to the 149th Open, where a first round of 64 saw him lead the standings at Royal St George’s.

Louis Oosthuizen refused to get carried away by his quick start to the 149th Open, where a first round of 64 saw him lead the standings at Royal St George’s.

And when reminded of his seven finalists in majors since his only win 11 years ago, he turned that statistic into a positive motivation to do even better this week.

“It gives me confidence for the majors knowing that I am still competing and that I still have a chance to win,” he added. “Once the week starts I have to get rid of that and just focus on each round and each shot. But it definitely puts me in a better mood for the week.

“I’ve learned in my years of playing in major championships that patience is the key, and even if you ride bogeys you know a lot of people are going to ride bogeys. I was just very patient, just trying to hit my shots and didn’t really hit anything close enough to birdies those first few holes.

The 149th Open: the first day

Relive the key moments of the first tour at Royal St George’s

“And then all of a sudden I put two good putts out of eight and nine and started the ball rolling. It happened quickly, but you still have to put yourself in those positions, and I really felt the last 10, 11 holes that I gave myself a lot of opportunities. “

Spieth defied his lack of a golf tournament in recent weeks to briefly hold the clubhouse lead on five under until he was passed less than an hour later by Oosthuizen, who comfortably edged his partners in game Rahm (71) and defending champion Shane Lowry, also one more for the day.

“The path I’m on and where I’ve been before in the game, I feel really good about my chances of moving forward, as good as they’ve been historically,” the reborn said. Spieth, who was dangerously close to losing out on the world top 100 in early February.

Former Open champion Jordan Spieth reflects on an early start to this year's competition with a first round of 65 at Royal St George's.

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Former Open champion Jordan Spieth reflects on an early start to this year’s competition with a first round of 65 at Royal St George’s.

Former Open champion Jordan Spieth reflects on an early start to this year’s competition with a first round of 65 at Royal St George’s.

“As far as I’m surprised or not, I guess I feel like I’ve been following the right trend and certainly already had a chance this year at Augusta. I made mistakes in the first and second rounds that I shouldn’t have made. I could very well have won this golf tournament this year.

“I like where I am. Again, I feel like I’m making good progress, but I really took a few steps back on the weekend at Colonial through the US Open, and I know what it was now and I have tried to do a good job over the last few weeks to come back to the same and even pass it on from where I was already progressing. “

Harman ran four under after just five holes and added a fifth birdie in the eighth, although he found the situation more difficult after the turn and needed a seventh birdie from the lap to the last to tie Spieth’s score. , who was in the group ahead of Bryson DeChambeau and Branden Grace.

Bryson DeChambeau shocked his sponsors with comments about his driver

Bryson DeChambeau shocked his sponsors with comments about his driver

DeChambeau drew the wrath of his club sponsors by declaring “my driver sucks” after hitting just four of 14 fairways in his 71s, which left him out of the top 70 on a day of excellent scores on a course deliberately made smoother by the R&A.

Dustin Johnson, who reclaimed Rahm’s World No.1 ranking on Monday despite being off last week, opened with a solid 70 with Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, 2018 champion Francesco Molinari and Sergio Garcia, who needed a police escort to get him to the place on time as heavy traffic caused problems on many routes.

Rory McIlroy opened with an erratic 70

Rory McIlroy opened with an erratic 70

McIlroy looked in the mood to entertain the bumper galleries when he landed a birdie the first and created another six-foot chance after a huge descent in the second, although missing the putt seemed to hurt to his confidence as he then bogey three in a row from fifth.

A birdie at eight was offset by another error at 11 as he came back to two, but he dug the stretch deep and birdieed at 14 before closing with a nice three on the last to get back to level. tournament.

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