BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Richard Brand, Branden Grace and Eugenio Lopez Chacala posted 7-under 65 seconds on Friday in a more prominent matchup to share the lead after the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok. I outperformed my opponent.
Mark Leishman and Ian Poulter were one shot behind, while Kim Si-hwan, Brooks Koepka and Morgan Jedi were in second place in the 54-hole event.
The tournament will be held at the new Stonehill Golf Club north of downtown Bangkok. The course was created by American designer Kyle Phillips and opened this year.
Dustin Johnson led the money list with just over $12.5 million across five events and hit 70. British Open champion Cameron Smith, who won his last LIV his event in Chicago in mid-September, struck out 72.
It will be the first time LIV Golf will be played outside the United States since the first event was held near London in early June.
Before starting play, players learned that they could not yet earn ranking points in the LIV series. The Official World Golf Ranking said in a statement Thursday that it had rejected the MENA Tour’s request to add the Saudi-funded series to its schedule immediately.
OWGR said it had not received sufficient notice from the MENA Tour and would not have time to complete its review ahead of the Bangkok Games and next week’s Games in Saudi Arabia.
LIV Golf has partnered with the lesser-known MENA Tour. The MENA Tour has not held its own tournament since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MENA Tour, which stands for Middle East and North Africa, is the development tour that has earned the minimum number of world ranking points since 2016. There is a 54-hole event and a 36-hole cut with $75,000 in prizes.
“I don’t think there was much reaction. I just hate when you’re sitting on the fence. Pick one or the other,” Koepka said Friday. “Take a yes or no. That’s why I’m not a big fan of it.”
Bryson DeChambeau, who scored 69 on Friday, said the decision by the ranking group “just delayed the inevitable”.
“We hit all the marks by their standards so not scoring any points is kind of insane for being on top. At least I believe we have the top players in the world. “I’m sure there are enough of them in the top 50 that they deserve world ranking points.
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