Bezuidenhout feeling the fans’ love at the Open

Christiaan Bezuidenhout made three bogeys in his opening round on Thursday in the 149th Open Championship at Royal St George’s in Sandwich, Kent, but he also made five birdies in his first-round effort of two-under-par 68.

The reigning South African Open champion is one of 13 South Africans in the field, and certainly one of the more fancied ones, and he revelled in the return of fans to major championship golf, with 32,000 spectators per day allowed.

“It’s great to have the fans back, especially here in the UK where the fans enjoy their golf,” he said. “If you don’t hit a good shot, they still clap for you. They really encourage you. It’s especially good to have them at the Open.”

While there were three occasions for the fans to still clap for him despite bad shots – he made bogeys on three, 11 and 13 – there was also plenty of good golf for them to appreciate as Bezuidenhout got his opening round score on the board early on the first day.

“The course was pretty gettable this morning,” he said. “It played pretty soft. You could attack the flags a little bit more than I think you will be able to over the weekend. Overall it was a solid day. I played solid tee to green, so I’m pretty happy with where my game is at.”

He shared his two-under opener with the likes of world number one Dustin Johnson, former Masters champion Sergio Garcia and one of the favourites from England, Paul Casey.

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