>> click here for more articles

Louis Oosthuizen     

Kingston and Oosthuizen Lead Open Championship IFQ in South Africa
European Tour Members James Kingston and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa share the lead after the first round of the Open Championship International Final Qualifying tournament at Atlantic Beach, South Africa, after opening with course record 66s.

Four places are on offer to the 60 man field for the 133rd Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon in July at the conclusion of the 36 hole qualifying tournament.

Oosthuizen carded seven birdies and a bogey while Kingston picked up eight birdies and two bogeys in his round, which bettered his own course record of 69, shot at the 2001 Atlantic Beach Classic.

"It is so easy to play defensively on this course but I played well because I take on shots,” Kingston said. “If you are driving the ball nicely you must take on some shots because it gives you more opportunities and I think that's why I played well.

"There were a couple of holes where you have to hit iron and play conservatively but I hit good tee-shots and all of a sudden you set yourself up for birdies.”

Oosthuizen, who will join Kingston as a fully exempt player on The European Tour this year after claiming the 34th spot at The European Tour Qualifying School Finals last November, was so sure the wind would be fierce he took extra precautions.

“I put two extra sleeves of balls in my bag this morning in case the wind picked up!” he said with a smile. “On a course like this anything can happen. If the wind blows the main thing is just to make par and on some holes take a bogey and walk. From the tee you have to find the fairway first and then take it shot for shot from there.

“I knew the scores would be good today because there was no wind. I played nine holes in yesterday’s practice round and walked off the course after that because the wind was so difficult.”

A group of six players, including European Tour winners Darren Fichardt and Rolf Muntz and other Members Jean Hugo, Martin Maritz and Richard Sterne, lie in a tie for fifth on two under par 70, four shots off the lead, while Scotland’s Andrew Coltart shot a three-over par 75.



Courtesy of www.europeantour.com

>> click here for more articles