By Ed Osmond
SANDWICH, England (Reuters) – Louis Oosthuizen continued his stellar run of kind at main championships to guide the British Open with a flawless first-round 64 at Royal St George’s on Thursday.
The 38-year-old South African, British Open champion at St Andrews in 2010, completed tied second on this yr’s PGA Championship and was runner-up ultimately month’s U.S. Open.
“In all probability in my thoughts it was the right spherical I may have performed,” Oosthuizen instructed reporters. “I didn’t make many errors. Once I had good alternatives for birdie, I made the putts. So yeah, simply an excellent stable spherical.”
Oosthuizen has the popularity of being the most effective ball strikers in golf and he wanted that talent to plot his manner across the undulating hyperlinks course in Sandwich.
After beginning his spherical with seven pars, Oosthuizen collected three successive birdies and he picked up three extra over the closing holes to turn into solely the tenth participant to shoot 64 or decrease within the first spherical of the British Open.
“I used to be simply very affected person,” he mentioned. “I used to be attempting to simply hit my photographs and didn’t actually hit something shut sufficient to make birdies these first few holes, after which swiftly simply made two good putts on eight and 9 and bought the ball rolling.
“It occurred shortly, however you continue to must put your self in these positions and I felt positively the final 10, 11 holes I gave myself a variety of alternatives.”
Oosthuizen received the 2010 Open at St Andrews by seven photographs, changing into the fourth South African to raise the Claret Jug after the illustrious trio of Bobby Locke, Gary Participant and Ernie Els.
He has since, nonetheless, endured a number of near-misses in majors, ending second on six events.
“It offers me confidence going into majors realizing that I’m nonetheless competing in them and I’ve nonetheless bought possibilities of profitable,” he mentioned.
“However as soon as the week begins, I must get that out of my thoughts and simply concentrate on each spherical and each shot. But it surely positively places me in a greater state of mind going into the week.”
Oosthuizen completed two photographs behind Phil Mickelson at this yr’s PGA Championship and one adrift of Jon Rahm within the U.S. Open.
“I believe in each of these I used to be crushed by higher golf on the finish there. It takes a short while, however you must recover from it shortly, in any other case it’s going to carry you again to carry out once more.”
(Reporting by Ed Osmond; Modifying by Toby Davis)