In the opening round of the team competition at LIV Golf Andalucía, Dustin Johnson and Jason Kokrak made a statement in Friday’s opening round. Both players produced the same score in challenging conditions on one of Europe’s top courses, each shooting 4-under 67 to share the lead by one shot over Anirban Lahiri. Cameron Smith, Kevin Na, and Individual Champion point leader Talor Gooch are tied for fourth at 2 under. Lahiri’s Crushers GC top the team leaderboard at 4 under, the same score as the individual leaders.
The course is really difficult, especially with winds nearing 20 mph. The greens definitely started to firm up towards the end of the round. It was even fun for Kokrak, despite travel issues that included flight cancellations and missed connections which delayed his arrival until early Wednesday morning. His golf clubs were delayed even more, not arriving until 5 p.m. Thursday.
Johnson and Kokrak are among many players in the field getting their first taste of Valderrama’s challenging layout. Even the players who have a history with the course were worn out after the round, including three-time Valderrama winner Sergio Garcia, the Spanish star who’s the unofficial host for this week. Garcia was happy with his 1-under 70 that left him tied for seventh.
In the standings and counting scores for Friday’s opening round of the team competition at LIV Golf Andalucía, the three best scores from each team count in every round for their total team score. The team with the lowest cumulative score after three rounds win the team title.
What Are The Scores?
CRUSHERS GC (-4)
Anirban Lahiri 68, Bryson DeChambeau 70, Paul Casey 712.
RIPPER GC (-3)
Cameron Smith 69, Marc Leishman 70, Matt Jones 713.
MAJESTICKS GC (-2)
Ian Poulter 70, Henrik Stenson 70, Laurie Canter 714.
Joaquin Niemann 70, Sebastián Muñoz 70, Mito Pereira 71T5.
4ACES GC (E)
Dustin Johnson 67, Patrick Reed 71, Peter Uihlein 75T5.
SMASH GC (E)
Jason Kokrak 67, Brooks Koepka 71, Chase Koepka 75T7
RANGEGOATS GC (+1)
Talor Gooch 69, Bubba Watson 72, Thomas Pieters 73T7
CLEEKS GC (+1)
Richard Bland 70, Graeme McDowell 71, Bernd Wiesberger 73T9
FIREBALLS GC (+2)
Sergio Garcia 70, Abraham Ancer 72, Carlos Ortiz 73T9.
STINGER GC (+2)
Dean Burmester 70, Charl Schwartzel 71, Louis Oosthuizen 74T11
HYFLYERS GC (+5)
Cameron Tringale 71, Phil Mickelson 73, Brendan Steele 74T11
IRON HEADS GC (+5)
Kevin Na 69, Danny Lee 72, Scott Vincent 77.
No player on Friday had a bogey-free round, but Crushers GC’s Anirban Lahiri came as close as anybody playing his first 17 holes without dropping a stroke until he bogeyed his final hole, the par-3 15th. This then left him with a 3-under 68 and solo third place.
The remainder of the weekend will be one to watch. LIV Golf is a captivating yet entertaining league featuring unique scoring and environment for their fans.