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Taylor Gooch leads after first round of LIV Golf in Australia

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Adelaide, Australia – Taylor Gooch shot a 10-under 62 on Friday to take a four-stroke lead after the first round of the inaugural Australian tournament at The Grange, past more acclaimed names on the LIV Golf Tour.

The 31-year-old American started with a par on his opening hole in the shotgun-start format – the par-3 12th – but then carded 10 birdies, including five in a row.

Two more players in the unorthodox category – Richard Bland and Dean Burmester – shot 66 to finish in second place. Five players were tied for fourth place, including New Zealand’s Danny Lee, who won a second LIV event in Arizona in mid-March.

High-profile names were further back on the leaderboard in the 48-player field.

Sergio Garcia shot 68 and British Open champion and local favorites Cameron Smith and Brooks Koepka shot 69s. Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson shot 70s and Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson shot 71s. Bryson DeChambeau scored 73.

Johnson’s team, Aces GC, topped the team leaderboard entering the fourth tournament. Charles Howell III, who won the season-opening event in Mexico and shot a 69 on Friday, leads the overall individual standings ahead of Koepka, who won the last LIV tournament in Orlando.

The individual winner at The Grange will collect $4 million of the $20 million total purse.

Sergio Garcia, left, and Taylor Gooch of Spain tee off on the third fairway during practice for the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Monday, April 3, 2023, in Augusta, Ga. Credit: AP / Mark Baker

The 14-event season continues next weekend at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club.