Varner leads LIV event as Koepka struggles in return from 5th major victory
AP May 26, 2023 9 days ago |
Former President Donald Trump talks with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, during the first round of the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump National Golf Club, Friday, May 26, 2023, in Sterling, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Professional golfer Lee Westwood, talks with former President Donald Trump and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, during the first round of the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump National Golf Club, Friday, May 26, 2023, in Sterling, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
STERLING, Va. (AP) — Brooks Koepka returned from the high of winning his fifth major championship with a flat round of even-par 72 that left him eight shots behind Harold Varner III on Friday after the opening round of LIV Golf DC at Trump National.
Koepka still had reason to be thankful. On the first hole that he used driver, the face cracked.
Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.
“Thank God it cracked now instead of coming down the stretch last week,” Koepka said.
The drive came in handy when he hit one of his best tee shots on the reachable par-4 14th onto the fringe at Oak Hill, carried the bunkers on the 15th that set up a wedge out of the rough to 4 feet and another PGA Championship title.
It was back to LIV Golf just five days after his major victory.
Article continues after sponsor message
Varner started his round with a bogey on the par-3 fourth hole, and that was his only mistake. He had a pair of eagles and five birdies for a 64, giving him a two-shot lead over former U.S. Amateur champion James Piot.
Andy Ogletree, getting another start as an alternate for Paul Casey and his wounded foot, was in the group at 68 that included British Open champion Cameron Smith.
Did you know Riverbender.com is free for you thanks to our awesome advertisers? We noticed you're using an ad block software. Please give our sponsors some exposure by disabling your ad blocking service for Riverbender.com.