Oosthuizen bursts out of the blocks

25/04/2013 10:16:00
 Louis Oosthuizen  (Getty Images)
Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)
Former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen made an appropriately flying start to the first round of the weather-delayed Ballantine's Championship.

The South African made the journey from Florida to South Korea in a private jet and started with an outward six under par 30 to grab the outright lead.

The World Number Seven brilliantly got up and down from a greenside bunker on the par five first and then hit his approach to the second to five feet, before holing from 15 and 20 feet respectively on the third and fourth to make it four birdies in succession.

That run came to an end on the par five fifth when a hooked drive and poor approach shot eventually forced Oosthuizen to hole from seven feet for par, but normal service was resumed on the next with another birdie from four feet.

Oosthuizen, who has a round of 57 to his name at his home course of Mossel Bay, also birdied the eighth from 12 feet to reach the turn in just 30 shots, although due to the earlier delay he was unlikely to be able to finish his round today.

France's Jean-Baptiste Gonnet, Australia's Kieran Pratt, Swede Johan Edfors, England’s Matthew Baldwin and Korea's Kim Gi-whan, had all completed rounds of 67 after a suspension of two hours and ten minutes due to rain and poor visibility to hold the clubhouse lead on five under par.

The 29 year old Gonnet, whose best finish in seven years on The European Tour came when he was a runner-up in Scandinavia back in 2007, had completed an outward 32 before the break, then after eight straight pars on the back nine found the par five 18th green in two and two-putted for birdie.

“It was good to put my name up right away, because I haven't played like this for more than a year,” said Gonnet, who had broken 70 only once previously in 2013.

“I played pretty straight off the tee, and my putting was great; five under is a good score.”

Edfors, without a European Tour title since claiming three victories in his rookie season back in 2006, holed a ten footer at the 14th for one of six birdies in his round.

“I was really happy I came out of the block pretty good there on the front nine and played some really, really good golf,” he said.

Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger, playing the back nine first, turned in a three under 33; however, the Austrian had a few putting problems after the resumption and slipped back to one under.

Oosthuizen’s chances of leading overnight declined with bogeys on the tenth and 12th.

He remained four under par with four holes to play, while England's Tommy Fleetwood was three under with three holes remaining.