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Dustin Johnson grabs lead at LIV Chicago

Sep 16, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Dustin Johnson walks up the 18th fairway during the first round of a LIV Golf tournament at Rich Harvest Farms. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Johnson, who won the previous LIV event, is on top after the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational Chicago on Friday in Sugar Grove, Ill.

Johnson shot a 9-under-par 63 at Rich Harvest Farms to take a three-shot lead on Australia’s Cameron Smith.

Matthew Wolff is in third place at 67, and Charles Howell III, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, Australia’s Matt Jones and England’s Lee Westwood share fourth place at 68.

Bryson DeChambeau and two South Africans, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel are tied for eighth at 69.

Johnson dramatically won the LIV Golf Invitational Boston on Sept. 4 when he sank a 35-foot eagle putt on the initial playoff hole. The victory raised his LIV earnings to $7.7 million through four individual events — excluding signing bonuses, which reportedly were at least $100 million for some players.

“The game is in really good form,” Johnson said. “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.”

Johnson said of Rich Harvest Farms, which he had never played before this week, “The course is great. Obviously it’s in perfect condition. I played really nicely, hit the ball really well. Hit it close to the hole a lot of times, all day long, so obviously put together a really nice score.”

In LIV’s team competition, Johnson’s 4 Aces GC finished at 11 under par and are in front by one stroke. Johnson’s teammates are Talor Gooch, Pat Perez and Patrick Reed.

In second at 10 under is Punch GC, an all-Australian squad consisting of Smith, Jones, Wade Ormsby and Marc Leishman.

–Field Level Media