Louis Oosthuizen capped off an impeccable beginning to the U.S. Open with two tough par putts to finish off a 4-under 67 and combine Russell Henley in a share of the lead at Torrey Pines.
The first round was not completed until Friday morning because of a 90-minute fog delay at the start of the championship Thursday. Oosthuizen was one of 36 players that needed to complete the round before a quick turnaround to start another one.
The South African, coming off a runner-up end to Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship a month in Kiawah Island, wrapped a bending 25-footer down the hill at the par-3 eighth that rolled out some 8 feet from the hole. He left that for par and then needed to earn a 4-footer on the par-5 ninth.
“I’m happy I did not need to do that last night with greens becoming a lot bumpier in the afternoon,” Oosthuizen said. “That was one reason I didn’t want to strike that long putt yesterdaybut it was probably a bit faster this morning than it would have been last night, but that I could not see anything last night.”
When the round ended, 40 players were at par or better and 10 taken in the 60s. That included Rikuya Hoshino, the 25-year-old with two Japan Golf Tour victories in the last two months. He birdied his last two holes for a 69.
The South course played with an average of 73.7, and only two players — Rafa Cabrera Bello (68) and Patrick Cantlay (70) made it about without a bogey.
Having a sea coating covering the course in the morning, and sunshine expected in the day, the focus first shifted to that makes it to the weekend. The top 60 and ties make the cut, and one of these on the ropes has been Mickelson. He opened with a 75 in his bid to finally triumph the U.S. Open and complete the career Grand Slam.
Brooks Koepka was one of those playing in the afternoon.