Jul 16th, 2021
Louis Oosthuizen leads 2021 Open
South African leads by a shot from Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman
Words: GolfPunk Photography: R&A / Getty Images
Oosthuizen was bogey-free in his six-under-par 64 to take a one shot lead over Americans Jordan Speith and Bruce Harman. It is 11 years since the 38-year-old lifted the claret jug at St Andrews and he is a good bet to put another replica on his sideboard.
Yeah, probably in my mind the perfect round I could have played," said Oosthuizen.
"I didn't make many mistakes. When I had good opportunities for birdie, I made the putts. So yeah, just a very good solid round."
It has been a long wait for the 149th edition of the Open following the cancellation in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, the Kent venue saw the return of fans as up to 32,000 will pass through the gates each day.
Shane Lowry who won the last Open at Royal Portrush, struggled to post a one-over 71.
Rory McIlroy was out late in the day and had a rollercoaster of a round with two birdies in the last five holes clawing him back to level-par.
"Mentally it feels a bit better to birdie the last and I'm looking forward to getting back out tomorrow," McIlroy said.
"When we were warming up it felt like a nice breeze but when we got out there, especially out by the water, it was really windy. Anything around even par today was pretty good."
Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Andy Sullivan, Jack Senior and Danny Willett sit in a group three off the lead at three-under. World number one Dustin Johnson is a further shot back at two-under alongside Paul Casey, who led in the morning after two early birdies but could not buy a putt as he strung together fifteen consecutive pars.
Elsewhere, Bryson DeChambeau failed to tame the Kent links course as he consistently found the thick rough off the tee in his round of 71. The American was not happy and blamed his driver which did not go down well with Cobra.
"If I can hit it down the middle of the fairway, that's great, but with the driver right now, the driver sucks," said DeChambeau.