The 149th Open Championship got underway on Thursday at Royal St. George’s, and an intriguing mix of veteran stars and new faces are populating the top of the leaderboard after 18 holes of play.
South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen, who has the distinction of finishing as a runner-up six times in major tournaments, including at least once in each of the four majors, leads by a stroke after firing a six-under 64 on Thursday.
Americans Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman each shot 65 to come in one stroke behind Oosthuizen, and a group of five players, including Dylan Frittelli, Stewart Cink, Benjamin Herbert and Webb Simpson, are at four-under par.
With the Open taking place just two weeks prior to the Olympics, plenty of eyes are on those golfers who will be teeing it up in a quest for a gold medal. Collin Morikawa, the 2020 PGA Champion and one of four golfers representing Team USA in the competition, fired a 67 on Thursday to put himself three shots behind the leader.
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Xander Schauffele also finished under par for the day, with a 69 on his opening round card.
It was a slightly less successful day for Justin Thomas, who shot a 72 to check in at two-over par, and Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion, shot a one-over par 71.
Canadian Olympian Mackenzie Hughes had a much better day, shooting a 66 to put himself two shots off the lead. Tommy Fleetwood, who will represent Great Britain, shot a 67 to open up the tournament. South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout shot a 68 to open up the tournament, as did Norway’s Viktor Hovland and Great Britain’s Paul Casey.
New Zealand Olympian Ryan Fox also carded a 68, along with Italy’s Francesco Molinari and Canada’s Corey Conners.
Abraham Ancer, who will represent Mexico in the Olympics, fired a 69 on Thursday.
Coverage of the second round of The Open Championship will get underway at 12:30 a.m. on Peacock, with coverage switching to Golf Channel at 3 a.m. Central time.