Fri. May 24th, 2024

Kozuma runs out 7 birdies, eagle to hold LIV lead

By admin May5,2024


Apr 26, 2024, 06:13 AM ET

ADELAIDE, Australia — Jinichiro Kozuma birdied his first three holes in a bogey-free round of 9-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead Friday after the first round of the LIV Series golf tournament in Adelaide.

Starting on the 15th hole in the shotgun-style start, the Japanese player had seven birdies and an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole at The Grange, where last year’s inaugural event featured one of the largest galleries of the year on the LIV series.

Local media reported 40,000 spectators attended Friday.

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“Today my putting was really good. It was really hot,” Kozuma said. “I had some troubles here and there, but my putting was there to help me get through pars.”

Carlos Ortiz and Danny Lee were tied for second with 64s, while four others were tied for fourth with 65s. The group included Jon Rahm, who has yet to win since joining LIV in December.

“Obviously on any kind of golf course, if you start the tournament with an 8-under round, it’s very good,” Lee said. “There’s a lot of birdie holes out there. Whatever I was doing today and whatever Jinny [Kozuma] was doing today worked out pretty good.”

Ortiz said if the wind stays the way it is, coming after the rain leading into the tournament, “I think it definitely sets up the golf course pretty gettable, especially if you put it in the fairway.”

Series points leader JoaquĆ­n Niemann, who has two LIV titles this season, opened with a 67. Talor Gooch, who won the first of his three LIV titles last season at Adelaide, shot 68.

The LIV tour remains in the Asia region next week for the May 3-5 Singapore event at the Sentosa Golf Club. Then there’s a monthlong break before resuming in Houston from June 7-9.

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