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.
Austria’s Sepp Straka, ranked 161st on the Official World Golf Ranking, led the field with a bogey-free eight-under-par 63 – equalling the Olympic golf record for lowest round – 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.
Bezuidenhout’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.
“If 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,” said Straka.