Sunshine Tour star Christiaan Bezuidenhout opened with a bogey-free round of three-under-par 68 to place him five strokes off the lead after the first round of the Olympic Golf competition at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Japan on Thursday.
Austriaâ€™s Sepp Straka, ranked 161st on the Official World Golf Ranking, led the field with a bogey-free eight-under-par 63 â€“ equalling the Olympic golf record for lowest round â€“ to earn himself a one-stroke lead over the field. It was a moment made even more sweet by the fact that his twin brother Sam caddied for him.
Bezuidenhoutâ€™s fellow South African, Garrick Higgo, began his Olympic journey with a level-par 71.
It was a low-scoring start to the competition as 47 golfers in the 60-man field shot par or better, and despite an over two-hour delay because of inclement weather.
â€œIf you just put it in the fairway on this course you can really take advantage and I got hot with my irons, especially my short irons and wedges. I was really knocking down the flagstick and really tried to stay aggressive with those,â€ said Straka.