• Malaysian Open, Round One

Oosthuizen rebounds from Masters heartbreak

ESPN staff
April 12, 2012
Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen both started well © Getty Images


Masters runner-up Louis Oosthuizen showed no hangover from his Augusta anguish as he began the Malaysia Open with a six-under par round of 66 on Thursday.

The South African, defeated at the second extra hole of a sudden death play-off by Bubba Watson last week, began his day at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club with two birdies and never looked back - adding another four birdies, an eagle and two bogeys on the way to a solid opening round.

It left him just two shots behind the first round leader, compatriot Charl Schwartzel, who got off to a flying start after handing possession of the famous green jacket to Watson last Sunday.

Schwartzel, playing with Oosthuizen in the tournament's marquee group, also burst out of the blocks after starting his round at the tenth, but managed to put together a flawless back nine (five birdies, no bogeys) to overshadow Oosthuizen on the day with an eight-under round of 64.

With both men making a 30-hour trip to tee it up at the tournament, the 2011 Masters champion admitted he had expected jetlag to be a bigger problem.

"I felt surprisingly good today," said Schwartzel. "I got a good night's sleep and woke up this morning before the alarm.

"The tiredness seems to catch me more in the afternoon than the morning so it felt pretty good.

"I played very well today. It has been some time coming now because I have been working really hard for the last couple of months and I haven't had anything happen for me. It has been feeling good for a long time but given me nothing but I seemed to put it all together and eight under was a good score for me."

The third member of the group, Thongchai Jaidee, could only manage a one-over par round of 73.

The South African duo were split at the top of the leaderboard by Indian Jeev Milkha Singh, who eagled his first hole of the day, the tenth, and closed with successive birdies to sign for a seven-under par round of 65.

American Jason Knutzon and Indian Jyoti Randhawa joined Oosthuizen at six-under, with Dubai Desert Classic winner Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher among those a shot further back following five-under par rounds of 67.

Martin Kaymer, at world No. 7 the highest ranked player in the field, got his campaign underway with a steady round of 70 in the afternoon - a score matched by Matteo Manassero and beaten, by a solitary shot, by Simon Dyson.

Big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, who missed the cut at Augusta last week, opened his account with a level-par round of 72, a score matched by Englishman Simon Khan and beaten by a single shot by David Howell.

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