Louis Oosthuizen took the slightest bit of heat for taking part in the WGC-Mexico City this week instead of the Tshwane Open in his native South Africa.
Looks like he made the right choice.
A late eagle saw Oosthuizen finish the first round at 7-under, putting him in first place after one day at the biggest tournament of the early season.
He has a 1-stroke lead over two European Tour players off to extremely unlikely starts in 2018.
One is 21-year-old Subhankar Sharma, the 21-year-old Indian sensation who already has two wins on Tour this year. The other is Chris Paisley of England, who has a pair of top 5 finishes along with a win at the South African Open so far in 2018.
Blossoming American star Xander Schauffele also shot a 65. Defending champion and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson fired a 69 and is five strokes off the lead.
“I had some really good holes, I had some really bad holes,” Johnson said. “I felt like I was just struggling all day. But I did putt pretty well. When I did have good looks, I made them, which definitely kept my score at least respectable. The way I hit it, I probably should not have shot 2 under.”
Fellow American Bubba Watson was at 7-under on the back nine before staggering to four straight bogeys to end the round. Also shooting 69s on the day were Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler.