BOLTON, Mass. — Matthew Wolff turned a footnote in LIV Golf historical past with the primary hole-in-one, an ace that carried him to a 7-under 63 and a one-shot lead over a pair of newcomers Friday within the LIV Golf Invitational-Boston.
A type of newcomers was British Open champion Cameron Smith, amongst six gamers who lately joined the Saudi-funded league. Smith broke a wedge with a shot from behind a tree that allowed him to avoid wasting par, and he completed with a 45-foot eagle putt for a 64.
Joaquin Niemann of Chile, who additionally signed with Greg Norman‘s league after he completed his PGA Tour season on the Tour Championship, and Talor Gooch additionally had been at 64.
“I am having a blast on the market — my first day on the workplace,” Niemann mentioned.
Smith and Niemann highlighted the batch of newcomers that included Anirban Lahiri (66), Harold Varner III (67), Marc Leishman (70) and Cameron Tringale (71).
“It is a new type of chapter in my life. I feel that is the way forward for golf,” Smith mentioned earlier within the week. “I like how it’s out right here. It is a little bit bit extra laid again on the vary, the music taking part in. I like that stuff.”
He additionally cited a smaller schedule that can enable him to get residence to Australia extra typically in leaving the PGA Tour after a three-win yr that elevated him to No. 2 on the earth.
Smith was strong initially and end with a couple of errant drives within the center. One was on the sixteenth gap when he pulled his driver into the timber. The ball was subsequent to the trunk, and Smith was allowed aid as a result of his toes from taking part in it left-handed — his solely wise play — had been on the cart path.
After the drop, he tried to hood a spot wedge (right-handed) and the membership smacked in opposition to the tree close to the underside of the shaft. The ball rolled simply via the inexperienced and he saved par.
“You already know you are doing to lose a membership however it’s most likely value one or two pictures,” he mentioned.
The one shock was his group. Smith began on No. 1 with Dustin Johnson and Shergo Al Kurdi, the English-born Jordanian who earlier this yr signed with Golf Saudi.
Al Kurdi was a late substitute for Henrik Stenson, who received in his LIV debut final month in New Jersey however needed to withdraw due to vertigo. Al Kurdi opened with a 71.
Wolff made his ace on the 178-yard second gap, his fifth of the spherical. The ball took one-hop and disappeared into the cup for the primary ace within the fourth LIV Golf Invitational collection. The previous Oklahoma State star had one other eagle on the par-5 twelfth gap to associate with six birdies. These offset three bogeys and was sufficient for him to take the lead.
Lahiri and Louis Oosthuizen had been within the group at 66, whereas Johnson was at 67. Johnson has completed within the prime 10 within the earlier LIV occasions, although he has but to win.
Solely 12 gamers from the 48-man area didn’t put up par or higher at The Worldwide, positioned about 45 minutes west of Boston. That included Phil Mickelson, who had a 74.
Former U.S. Novice champion James Piot had a 78, however the tough day belonged to Sihwan Kim. Together with 4 double bogeys, Kim took a ten on the sixteenth gap and shot 87.