Valerrama 1 – 0 World’s Best.
The famed Valderrama course was the clear winner on the opening day of the inaugural LIV Golf Andalucía.
In sauna-like and windy conditions, just 14 of 48 players manage to break par on the Spanish course affectionately known as ‘Europe’s Augusta’.
Double major-winning Dustin Johnson and fellow American Jason Kokrak head the field competing for $25m. They opened with four-under par 68s, with ‘DJ’ capping his round with a hat-trick of birdies from his ninth hole and his compatriot following suit with three birdies in succession from the 10th.
India’s Aniban Lahiri is next best at three-under, with overwhelming crowd favourite Sergio Garcia among eight players at one-under.
‘DJ’ is not only a US Open and Masters champion, but he’s already a two-time LIV Golf winner, capturing last year’s LIV Boston event and winning earlier this year in Tulsa, each win coming on the first playoff hole.
“Yeah, just a really solid day,” said DJ. “Drove it really nicely, hit a lot of fairways. This golf course is one that you have to play out of the fairway from, and really just never got out of position. Just really drove it well and hit a lot of nice iron shots, controlled the ball really well, and gave myself a lot of looks at birdie.
“I think the course is really difficult. The wind obviously, especially for the first 15 holes, was blowing really hard. The greens definitely started to firm up towards the end of the round.
“The golf course, no matter if the wind is blowing or not, this course plays tough just because you have to be so precise on every single shot. That’s why I think the golf course is so great, and it’s a lot of fun to play”.
In the team format, the Crushers, comprising Paul Casey, Bryson De Chambeau and Lahiri lead the way at four-under.