SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – Dustin Johnson brought the heat with him from Boston and will enter Saturday’s second round of the LIV Golf Invitational Chicago with a three-shot advantage.
Johnson, fresh off his maiden LIV Golf win in Boston, produced a bogey-free round of 63 at Rich Harvest Farms.
“The game is in really good form,” said Johnson. “It’s been solid day in and day out, so seeing a lot of the same shots and very consistent. That’s always what I’m looking for, just consistency in the flights and in what I’m trying to do, and obviously right now it’s going pretty well.”
Alone in second place, on 6-under par, was Cameron Smith, who signed for a 6-under 66. The Aussie’s immaculate day included six birdies and 12 pars.
“This is my first time here,” said the Punch GC captain, who posted his fourth-straight round in the 60s since joining LIV.
“I love it. I think the course is great. I think it played great today, firming up a little bit.”
Matthew Wolff (67) rounded out the leaderboard’s top-3 names. Highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 18th hole, Hy Flyers GC’s star was one back of Smith and four off the pace of Johnson.
“I’ve always really been a good putter, so when I don’t putt well, it’s pretty frustrating, and sometimes I can do a little better job of controlling my anger and emotions,” said Wolff in response to a question about his anger in Boston. “It just means that I care. It just means that I’m competing and I love being out here and it doesn’t mean any less to me. It means more, to be honest.”
A logjam of four players were one further back on 4 under, including Majesticks GC teammates Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood, along with Punch GC’s Matt Jones and Crushers GC’s Charles Howell. III.
Aided by his low round, Dustin Johnson’s 4 Aces GC (-11) hold a one-shot lead on the team leaderboard as it seeks its fourth straight victory.
Cameron Smith’s all-Australian Punch GC (-10) were the closest pursuers to 4 Aces as they enter day two.
“Hopefully someone can get them this weekend,” said Smith.
Majesticks GC (-8) was along in third place, while Hy Flyers GC (-7) and Crushers GC (-7) were T4, just one stroke out of the money positions.
LIV Golf Invitational Chicago
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 1)
1. Dustin Johnson -9 (63)
2. Cameron Smith -6 (66)
3. Matthew Wolff -5 (67)
4. Matt Jones -4 (68)
4. Charles Howell III -4 (68)
4. Henrik Stenson -4 (68)
4. Lee Westwood -4 (68)
8. Charl Schwartzel -3 (69)
8. Louis Ooshthuizen -3 (69)
8. Bryson DeChambeau -3 (69)
Top-5 Team Leaders
Pos-Team-To Par (Rd 1)
1. 4 ACES GC -11
(Johnson -9, Talor Gooch -2)
2. PUNCH GC -10
(Smith -6, Jones -4)
3. MAJESTICKS GC -8
(Stenson -4, Westwood -4)
4. HI FLYERS GC -7
(Wolff -5, Phil Mickelson -2)
4. CRUSHERS GC -7
(Howell -4, DeChambeau -3)