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 Africa 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 the clubhouse lead alongside Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele.
“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,” he 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.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP)