High-flying Oosthuizen makes strong start

Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen today made an appropriately flying start to the first round of the weather-delayed Ballantine’s Championship.

High-flying Oosthuizen makes strong start

Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen today made an appropriately flying start to the first round of the weather-delayed Ballantine’s Championship.

Oosthuizen made the journey from Florida to South Korea in a private jet laid on by the tournament sponsors and repaid their faith with five birdies in his first six holes.

The South African got up and down from a greenside bunker on the par-five first and then hit his approach to the second to five feet, before holing from 15 and 20ft respectively on the third and fourth to make it four birdies in succession.

That run came to an end on the par-five fifth when a hooked drive and poor approach shot eventually forced the world number seven to hole from seven feet for par, but normal service was resumed on the next with another birdie from four feet.

At five under par, Oosthuizen was into a share of the lead with France’s Jean-Baptiste Gonnet, Australia’s Kieran Pratt, Swede Johan Edfors and Korea’s Kim Gi-whan, who had all completed rounds of 67 after a delay of two hours and 10 minutes due to rain and poor visibility.

Peter Lawrie was a shot behind after a 68, with England’s David Howell another stroke back on three under.

Oosthuizen, who has a round of 57 to his name at his home course of Mossel Bay, also birdied the eighth from 12 feet to reach the turn in just 30 shots.

At six under par he now held the outright lead, but due to the earlier delay he was unlikely to be able to finish his round today.

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