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Oosthuizen joins Henley in lead at US Open after 1st round

Louis Oosthuizen capped off an impeccable start to the U.S. Open with two tough par putts to finish off a 4-under 67 and join Russell Henley in a share of the lead at Torrey Pines.

The first round was not completed until Friday morning because of a 90-minute fog delay at the start of the championship Thursday. Oosthuizen was among 36 players who had to finish the round before a quick turnaround to start the next one.

The South African, coming off a runner-up finish to Phil Mickelson in the PGA Championship last month at Kiawah Island, rolled a bending 25-footer down the hill at the par-3 eighth that rolled out some 8 feet by the hole. He made that for par and then had to make a 4-footer on the par-5 ninth.

Russell Henley plays his shot from the 11th tee during the first round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Thursday, June 17, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP PhotoGregory Bull)

“I’m glad I didn’t have to do that last night with greens being a lot bumpier in the afternoon,” Oosthuizen said. “That was one of the reasons I didn’t want to hit that long putt yesterday, but it was probably a bit faster this morning than it would have been last night, but I couldn’t see anything last night.”

When the round ended, 40 players were at par or better and 10 shot in the 60s. That included Rikuya Hoshino, the 25-year-old with two Japan Golf Tour victories in the last two months. He birdied his last two holes for a 69.

The South course played to an average of 73.7, and only two players — Rafa Cabrera Bello (68) and Patrick Cantlay (70) made it around without a bogey.

Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, reacts to missing his putt on the 13th green during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP PhotoJae C. Hong)

With a marine layer covering the course in the morning, and sunshine expected in the afternoon, the attention first shifted to who makes it to the weekend. The top 60 and ties make the cut, and among those on the ropes was Mickelson. He opened with a 75 in his bid to finally win the U.S. Open and complete the career Grand Slam.

Brooks Koepka was among those playing in the afternoon. He opened with a 69, extending his amazing U.S. Open record with a sixth consecutive sub-70 round.

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Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, studies his shot on the 11th green during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP PhotoJae C. Hong)

Bryson DeChambeau putts on the 13th green during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP PhotoJae C. Hong)

Dustin Johnson plays his shot on the 11th green during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP PhotoJae C. Hong)