SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Louis Oosthuizen had to make a trip to the hospital this week because of kidney stones. He withdrew from the pro-am at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and was awake since 3am on the day of the first round because of the discomfort. He was considering pulling out of the main tournament.
Instead, the South African chose to play and produced a bogey-free nine-under-par 63 on Thursday — only one off the course record — to take a three-shot lead after the opening round at Sun City.
Oosthuizen made four birdies on the opening nine and five on the closing stretch to open a big gap on Thomas Detry (66) in second on six under. Oosthuizen has won five of his nine European Tour titles at home but is yet to triumph at the Nedbank Challenge.
He didn’t show any discomfort from his ailment on the course, apart from walking a little slower than usual round Gary Player Country Club.
“Considering that at 3am this morning I didn’t think I was going to tee it up, I’m very chuffed with that round,” he said.
“This morning was just a little niggly but I went up to the range, hit a few shots and it didn’t really bother me. It was more the walking fast that got it, so I just slowed everything down and (it) worked nicely.”