First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Louis Oosthuizen takes early lead at Open Championship



Louis Oosthuizen takes early lead at Open Championship

PALM HARBOR, FLORIDA - APRIL 30: Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa plays a shot on the tenth hole during the second round of the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort on April 30, 2021 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
By Reuters
15 Jul 2021 1

No stranger to coming up short in majors, Louis Oosthuizen picked up Thursday where he left off earlier this season: in the pursuit of rediscovering first place.

The South African posted a bogey-free, 6-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead at the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, one shot better than Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman.

Oosthuizen’s only major victory came at the 2010 Open at St. Andrews, but he has six runner-up finishes in majors — including this year’s PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

“It depends if you lost it or someone else beat you,” Oosthuizen said of getting past near-misses. “I think in both of those I was beaten by better golf at the end there … I tried to take a few days and just try and forget about it and see if I can get myself ready for the next one.”

The trio of Harman, Canadian Mackenzie Hughes and South African Dylan Frittelli, grouped together for the first two rounds, all went low. Harman birdied No. 18 to tie Spieth at 5-under 65 and Hughes and Frittelli each shot 4-under 66. Webb Simpson, Frenchman Benjamin Hebert and 48-year-old Stewart Cink also joined a tie for fourth at 4 under.

Oosthuizen landed his tee shot on the par-3 16th inside eight feet of the pin to set up his sixth birdie of the day. After warming up with seven pars to start his round, he had a three-birdie run on Nos. 8-10 and later tied Spieth at 5 under with two more on Nos. 13 and 14.

“(It was) 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.”

Following an early bogey, Spieth’s long putt from the fringe on No. 5 kicked off a string of four straight birdies as he staked out his spot near the top of the leaderboard. He added two more on the back nine.

The 2017 Open champion, Spieth entered the week leading all players in Open Championship scoring average since 2015 (69.6), according to the PGA Tour. His 65 marked his 13th Open round in the 60s in that span, which leads the pack as well.

“Here I feel, for the first time since (2017), I’m at least coming in with a bit of form, a bit of confidence and really in my start lines off the tee,” Spieth said. “I felt like I drove the ball good enough today to be able shoot a really good score, and I’d like to improve.”

A 10-way tie at 3-under 67 featured world No. 4 Collin Morikawa and five Englishmen: Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan, Danny Willett and Jack Senior.

Brandt Snedeker came inches away from a hole-in-one on No. 16, then holed out from the fairway for eagle the very next hole on his way to a 2-under 68. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Norway’s Viktor Hovland also joined a large tie at 2 under, while four-time major winner Brooks Koepka opened with a 1-under 69.

Rory McIlroy bogeyed three straight starting at the fifth, where he lipped out a short par putt. A tee shot into the bunker on the par-3 sixth did him in, and he sprayed shots left and right on No. 7 before ending the skid with a birdie.

Despite his early struggles, the Northern Ireland star sank his fourth birdie on No. 18 to finish at even-par 70.

Bryson DeChambeau, who posted a 1-over 71, only hit one fairway in regulation over his first 12 holes. His scrambling kept him afloat, and starting at No. 12 he managed three straight birdies, thanks in part to his decision to hit iron off the tee at the par-5 14th.

“If I can hit it down the middle of the fairway, that’s great, but with the driver right now, the driver sucks,” DeChambeau said. “It’s not a good (club) face for me and we’re still trying to figure out how to make it good on the mis-hits.”

Defending champion Shane Lowry and world No. 2 Jon Rahm, Oosthuizen’s playing partners, also shot 1-over 71. Phil Mickelson took himself out of contention with a 10-over 80.

Following the second round, the top 70 players including ties will qualify for the weekend.


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 1

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted