Oosthuizen holes in one as McIlroy makes charge at Open

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Troon (United Kingdom)—Louis Oosthuizen got the first hole-in-one of this year’s British Open in the opening round on Thursday while Rory McIlroy made his move with a run of birdies.
South African Oosthuizen, the Open champion at St Andrews in 2010, holed his tee shot at the short 14th to take him back to even par for his round.
McIlroy, who won the Claret Jug at Hoylake in 2014 before missing last year’s Open due to injury, notched his first birdie of the morning at the par-five fourth hole.
He made further shots at the sixth, seventh and short eighth holes and narrowly missed making another birdie at the ninth after hitting the flag with his approach.
That put McIlroy level at four-under with the American Patrick Reed and Soo-min Lee of South Korea.
Former Masters champion Bubba Watson of the United States had led at five-under before falling back with a triple-bogey six at the short eighth, known as the Postage Stamp.
In glorious sunshine but with stiff breezes coming in off the Firth of Clyde, scoring has proven far tougher into the wind on the back nine than on the front nine.
Scottish veteran Colin Montgomerie played the first tee shot of the championship as he went out in the first group of the day at 6:35am local time (0535 GMT).
The 53-year-old Montgomerie, who came through qualifying to appear in his home-town Open, was the early clubhouse leader after shooting an even-par 71. American duo Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed reached the top of the leaderboard early in the first round of the 145th British Open at Royal Troon o n Thursday.
Both players reached the start of the inward nine at four under par, with Texan Reed holing his approach shot for an eagle two at the par-four third.
He then added birdies at the fourth, sixth and seventh to reach the turn in 31, but then had a bogey five at the difficult 10th.
Thomas, making his Open debut, birdied his first four holes as well as the seventh before also bogeying the 10th.
Former Masters champion Bubba Watson joined them at four-under as he made shots at four of the first five holes.
In glorious sunshine but with stiff breezes beginning to come in off the Firth of Clyde, scoring has proven far tougher into the wind on the back nine than on the front nine.—AFP

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