Talor Gooch leads after 1st round of LIV Golf in

Talor Gooch leads after 1st round of LIV Golf in Australia – ESPN India

Associated Press3:46 p.m. IST2 Minute Read

ADELAIDE, Australia – Talor Gooch eclipsed the more outlandish names on the LIV Golf Tour by blasting a 10-under 62 on Friday to take a 4-stroke lead after the first round of Australia’s first tournament at The Grange take over.

The 31-year-old American started with a par on his opening shotgun-start hole – the 12th par 3 – but then had 10 birdies, including five in a row.

Two other players in the unfavorite category – Richard Bland and Dean Burmester – shot 66s and took second place. Five players finished fourth, including Danny Lee, who won the second LIV event in Arizona in mid-March.

“If someone says they’re not surprised by 10 under, they’re lying,” Gooch said. “It’s the day you work hard for. … It was one of those rounds where I hit it close and made a lot of putts, so it was fun.”

The better-known names in the field of 48 players were further down the rankings.

Sergio Garcia shot 68 and British Open champion Cameron Smith and Brooks Koepka had 69s. Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson had 70s and Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson had 71s. Bryson DeChambeau had 73s.

LIV Golf and local organizers said 35,000 spectators sold out on the first day. Local media reported that long lines of fans were waiting to enter the course when the golfers tee off in Adelaide just after midday.

“The energy was really high out there,” said Australian Smith. “It’s nice to have a lot of people riding with you, but it’s also quite stressful — you want to get a good shot all the time, it’s not as free-flowing as what it usually is.”

Johnson’s team, Aces GC, topped the team leaderboard as they entered their fourth tournament of the year. Charles Howell III, who won the season-opening event in Mexico and hit 69 shots on Friday, leads the singles standings ahead of Koepka, who won the recent LIV tournament in Orlando.

The single winner at The Grange will receive $4 million of the total $20 million in prize money.

The 14-event season continues next weekend at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club.