Louis Oosthuizen has always been a quality over quantity player, rarely playing more than 20 events a season and saving his best play for marquee events. He’s making just his second start of the year this week at the WGC-Mexico Championship and already looks in mid-season form, posting a first-round seven-under 64 to grab the solo lead.
“I’m very confident with my driver at the moment. I’ve got a nice little cut going with it. It’s nice just aiming a little left and swinging away,” the South African said. “I’ve been swinging it pretty good the last three, four weeks, felt I played really well last week. I’m hitting it well, just need to do the same tomorrow.”
Oosthuizen, whose bogey-free round was his lowest score since September of 2016, made five birdies and added an eagle at the par-5 15th after hitting his 230-yard approach shot to inside five feet. A perfectly judged shot despite the difficult mental challenge of the elevation change in Mexico City.
“It’s still a work in progress,” he said. “You can get one with a short iron and it just blows your mind how far it goes and the next shot it comes up short. It’s all about the ball flight you put on it. You can’t really not think, you have to really think and work it out before you hit.”
Among a group one back at six under is reigning Tour Championship winner Xander Schauffele, who also went bogey-free.
“Somewhat stress-less I should say, I had two par putts about eight or nine feet and that was kind of it really,” he said. “Kind of a fun yet boring day.”
Schauffele is joined at six under by India’s Shubhankar Sharma and England’s Chris Paisley, who looks to continue his strong 2018 that has already included a victory at the BMW SA Open and two other top 5 finishes on the European Tour.
Rafa Cabrera Bello and Kiradech Aphibarnrat are in a tie for fifth at five under, while Jon Rahm sits in solo seventh at four under. Defending champion Dustin Johnson sits five back at two under.