Golf – The 149th Open Championship – Royal St George’s, Sandwich, Britain – July 15, 2021 Jordan Spieth of the U.S. on the 18th inexperienced through the first spherical REUTERS/Lee Smith
July 15, 2021
By Ed Osmond
SANDWICH, England (Reuters) -Former champions Louis Oosthuizen and Jordan Spieth sparkled within the morning sunshine to set the tempo within the first spherical of the 149th British Open at Royal St George’s on Thursday.
South African Oosthuizen, the winner in 2010, made six birdies in a flawless 64 to complete on six beneath par, one shot forward of American Spieth, champion in 2017.
Brian Harman matched compatriot Spieth with a 65 to share second place, one away from Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, South African Dylan Frittelli, Frenchman Benjamin Hebert and People Webb Simpson and Stewart Cink, one other former champion.
The 2020 match was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic however as much as 32,000 followers are allowed in every day this 12 months as a part of a authorities take a look at occasion and heat applause rippled across the hyperlinks course.
“The followers are implausible right here,” Spieth instructed reporters. “They’re simply the most effective in golf. Very educated. It was actually nice to have them again and have what appears like normalcy after we teed off on the primary gap.
“I’ve actually cherished this match and so final 12 months lacking having the ability to play it was definitely one thing that I didn’t wish to do,” added the 27-year-old Spieth, who made 4 consecutive birdies from the fifth gap and sank a 12-foot putt on the sixteenth inexperienced to verify his return to kind after he completed 2020 ranked 82nd on the planet.
Oosthuizen, 38, struck his irons superbly to choose up three birdies across the flip and added three extra on the closing holes to make a powerful begin to his bid for a second main title.
“In all probability in my thoughts it was the proper spherical I might have performed,” he instructed reporters. “I didn’t make many errors. After I had good alternatives for birdie, I made the putts. So, yeah, simply an excellent stable spherical.”
England’s Justin Rose, Danny Willett, Andy Sullivan and Jack Senior carded 67s together with South African Justin Harding, German Marcel Siem, People Collin Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler, and South Korean An Byeong-Hun.
It was a tricky day for 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau who battled to a roller-coaster spherical of 71.
The long-hitting American visited the treacherous tough on a number of events and made three bogeys on the entrance 9 to drop again to 1 over.
DeChambeau appeared to have labored out the undulating fairways when he collected three consecutive birdies from the twelfth however two extra dropped photographs left him effectively off the tempo.
World primary Dustin Johnson began with a stable 68 and defending champion Shane Lowry of Eire carded 71 taking part in with Oosthuizen and Spanish U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm, whose 71 was spoiled by a double-bogey on the ninth.
4-times main champion Rory McIlroy floor out a level-par 70, mixing 4 birdies and 4 bogeys because the wind picked up late within the day, however the Northern Irishman’s issues paled beside these of Phil Mickelson.
The 51-year-old American, who received this 12 months’s PGA Championship to grow to be the oldest main champion, racked up eight bogeys and a double-bogey on the final in an unpleasant 80.
(Reporting by Ed Osmond; Modifying by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)