Pebble Beach – Louis Oosthuizen provided drama to match the seaside scenery in a five-under par 66 Thursday in the first round of the US Open at Pebble Beach.
The South African kick-started his round with an eagle at the par-four 11th – his second hole of the day – raising his arms in celebration as the crowd reaction clued him in.
“I think it was about 110 yards or something,” he said of his second shot from the fairway. “(I) hit a decent line and couldn’t really – you can’t see the second shot where it lands. I just went on the reaction of the crowd that it was a good shot and obviously saw that they went nuts.”
Oosthuizen added four birdies – his hole out from a bunker at the ninth giving him a share of second spot alongside Americans Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Aaron Wise, who was born in Cape Town but now a USA citizen.
England’s Justin Rose shot a six-under par 65 to take the outright lead.
“I was fortunate with the uphill lie in the bunker, I could get some height on the ball and just try to get it within four or five feet right of the hole to have an uphill putt,” Oosthuizen said.
“It came out perfect.”
Oosthuizen, who won the Open Championship in 2010 at St Andrews, could join Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to win the British Open at that venerable course and a US Open at Pebble Beach.
“Just winning a US Open would be very magical to me,” said Oosthuizen, who is also among the select group of players to finish runner up in all four major championships.
“I feel I’m really a good driver of the golf ball and I can give myself good opportunities, and my iron play is pretty decent,” he said.
“It’s all on if I’m making putts on the week or not.”
First-round scores on Thursday in the 119th US Open Golf Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links (par-71):
65 – Justin Rose (ENG)
66 – Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), Rickie Fowler (USA), Xander Schauffele (USA), Aaron Wise (USA)
67 – Scott Piercy (USA), Nate Lashley (USA)
68 – Emiliano Grillo (ARG), Sepp Straka (AUT), Francesco Molinari (ITA), Henrik Stenson (SWE), Gary Woodland (USA), Chez Reavie (USA), Chesson Hadley (USA), Rory McIlroy (NIR)
69 – Marc Leishman (AUS), Adrià Arnaus (ESP), Jon Rahm (ESP), Sergio Garcia (ESP), Martin Kaymer (GER), Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Viktor Hovland (NOR), Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA), Matt Kuchar (USA), Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Graeme McDowell (NIR)
70 – Jason Day (AUS), Adam Scott (AUS), Rafael Cabrera (ESP), An Byeong-Hun (KOR), Carlos Ortiz (MEX), Jovan Rebula (RSA), Jason Dufner (USA), Zach Johnson (USA), Tiger Woods (USA), Tyrrell Hatton (ENG), Matt Wallace (ENG), Paul Casey (ENG)
71 – Cameron Smith (AUS), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Li Haotong (CHN), Luis Gagne (CRC), Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), Erik Van Rooyen (RSA), Tom Hoge (USA), Kyle Stanley (USA), Dustin Johnson (USA), Brandon Wu (USA), Patrick Reed (USA), Harris English (USA), Brian Stuard (USA), Collin Morikawa (USA), Chip McDaniel (USA), Michael Thorbjornsen (USA), Danny Willett (ENG), Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)
72 – Aaron Baddeley (AUS), Justin Walters (RSA), Rory Sabbatini (SVK), Sam Saunders (USA), Scottie Scheffler (USA), Brendon Todd (USA), J.B. Holmes (USA), Phil Mickelson (USA), Richard Lee (USA), Andy Pope (USA), Charlie Danielson (USA), Austin Eckroat (USA), Charles Howell III (USA), David Toms (USA), Kevin Na (USA), Jordan Spieth (USA), Chandler Eaton (USA), Jhonattan Vegas (VEN), Luke Donald (ENG)
73 – Marcus Fraser (AUS), Matthieu Pavon (FRA), Mikumu Horikawa (JPN), Justin Harding (RSA), Billy Hurley III (USA), Billy Horschel (USA), Justin Thomas (USA), Kevin Kisner (USA), Rob Oppenheim (USA), Nick Hardy (USA), Ryan Sullivan (USA), Joseph Bramlett (USA), Keegan Bradley (USA), Patrick Cantlay (USA), Lucas Glover (USA), Jim Furyk (USA), Andrew Putnam (USA), Daniel Berger (USA), Lee Slattery (ENG), Ian Poulter (ENG), Callum Tarren (ENG)
74 – Matt Jones (AUS), Nick Taylor (CAN), Mike Weir (CAN), Anirban Lahiri (IND), Abraham Ancer (MEX), Andreas Halvorsen (NOR), Ryan Fox (NZL), Branden Grace (RSA), Marcus Kinhult (SWE), Matt Parziale (USA), Matthew Naumec (USA), Cody Gribble (USA), Stewart Hagestad (USA), Luke List (USA), Webb Simpson (USA), Tony Finau (USA), Spencer Tibbits (USA), Chun An Yu (TPE)
75 – Shane Lowry (IRL), Renato Paratore (ITA), Shugo Shugo Imahira (JPN), Ernie Els (RSA), Alexander Norén (SWE), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA), Bubba Watson (USA), Cameron Young (USA), Joel Dahmen (USA), Luke Guthrie (USA), Brandt Snedeker (USA), Jimmy Walker (USA), Ollie Schniederjans (USA), Alex Prugh (USA), Brian Davis (ENG), Sam Horsfield (ENG)
76 – Julián Etulain (ARG), Thomas Pieters (BEL), Clément Sordet (FRA), Lee Kyung-Hoon (KOR), Kim Si-Woo (KOR), Daniel Hillier (NZL), Dean Burmester (RSA), Kevin O’Connell (USA), Keith Mitchell (USA)
77 – Brett Drewitt (AUS), Guillermo Pereira (CHI), Chan Kim (USA), Hayden Shieh (USA), Connor Arendell (USA)
78 – Roberto Castro (USA), Rhys Enoch (WAL)
79 – Merrick Bremner (RSA)
80 – Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN), Kodai Ichihara (JPN), Patton Kizzire (USA), Noah Norton (USA), Cheng Tsung Pan (TPE)
82 – Devon Bling (USA)
83 – Zac Blair (USA), Eric Dietrich (USA)