Leishman rides hot putter to lead at LIV Golf in Tucson

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Marana, Ariz. (AP) – Marc Leishman overcame a series of long birdie putts and even some big putts to post a 6-under 65 for a one-shot lead Friday at the LIV Golf League in Arizona’s high desert. Did. ,

The second LIV golf tournament of the season is at The Gallery, north of Tucson, where the former Match Play Championship was held for two years.

For stroke play, the undulating greens and pins resting on the crown made it difficult to find birdies in places. This was not an issue for Leishman. The Australian made a putt on the 14th from 20 feet, the 16th from the same range and then a 40-foot putt on the No. 3.

He also made a 12-footer for Parr at No. 4. With only one bogey on his cards, he held a one-shot lead over Abraham Ensor, Louis Oothuizen and Matthew Wolff.

Charles Howell III, who started LIV’s second season three weeks ago with a win at Mayakoba, had the best turnaround. He started with a double bogey and was 3 over after four holes, only to respond with four straight birdies. He got out after scoring 69 runs.

Howell said, “I hung in there well.” “You’re at altitude, the pins are on the sides of the slopes, it’s hard to get the ball close. Birdie is not easy.

Howell is one of eight players to have previously played Gallery at World Golf Championship events in 2007 and 2008. Henrik Stenson won in 2007 and lost in the semifinals to Tiger Woods the following year, before moving to a different course at Dove Mountain.

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The stroke play was not that good for Stenson. He was 4 over after seven holes and had to rally with four birdies the rest of the way for a 73.

Dustin Johnson also got off to a bad start with a tee shot in the desert for a double bogey on No. 2, his opening hole in the shotgun start, and another double bogey on No. 7. He finished with three straight birdies from short range. for 73.

Joaquin Niemann, Peter Uhlein and David Puig, who signed with LIV Golf from Arizona State, were each at 67. The group of 68 included Sergio Garcia and Pat Perez.

Niemann and Puig each play for Torque, which had a one-shot lead in the team competition over Smash and Iron Heads.

Cameron Smith, LIV Golf’s highest-ranked player at No. 5 in the world, struggled with his tee shots in the high desert. He rallied with three straight birdies at the end of his round, only to bogey the 18th hole and hit another wild drive for a 71.

Of the 48 players who took the field, 30 broke par. This included Phil Mickelson (70) and Laurie Kanter (70), who filled in for Martin Kemmer as the German recovered from injury.


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