Louis Oosthuizen moved into a share of the lead alongside clubhouse pacesetter Russell Henley as darkness saw play suspended on day one of the 2021 US Open Championship.
A 90-minute fog delay at the start of the day meant that some players had as many as six holes to complete on Friday morning but that was no problem for home favourite Henley, who carded a 67 from the fourth group of the day to get to four under at Torrey Pines Golf Club.
Oosthuizen then joined him at that mark and was left with a 35-foot putt on his penultimate hole to take the solo lead when the hooter sounded, with a host of European Tour members in the chasing pack.
Francesco Molinari – the 2018 Open Champion – was at three under alongside Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, with another Spaniard in Jon Rahm two off the lead.
Masters Tournament Champion Hideki Matsuyama, 2017 and 2018 winner of this event Brooks Koepka and Americans Hayden Buckley and Xander Schauffele were also at two under.
Colombian Sebastian Munoz was also two under through 14, with 11 players three shots off the lead in the clubhouse including four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy.
Oosthuizen already has a Major to his name at the 2010 Open Championship but has finished second five times in golf’s four biggest events, including this one in 2015.
The fifth of those runner up finishes came at last month’s US PGA Championship and the South African was enjoying the test of Torrey Pines.
“I just enjoy playing really tough golf courses,” he said. “I think somehow I focus a little bit better when I play those courses, knowing that the margin for error is really small.
“Especially around this place, you’ve got to drive it well, you’ve got to start it in the fairway, and you’re going to have trouble if you’re missing fairways around this golf course and I’ve really been driving it good lately.”
The 38-year-old bogeyed the 11th but holed a 20 footer on the 12th and then made a hat-trick of gains from the 16th with two more long putts and a two putt on the par five 18th.
He holed an 11-footer on the fifth to join the lead and was left with another lengthy putt at the par five ninth to come when darkness fell. – European Tour