Madappa lies T-16 at Liv Series in London; Schwartzel leads
Viraj Madappa, the first Indian on the breakaway Liv Golf Invitational Series, opened with an action packed 1-over 71 and was placed T-16 in the 48-man field.
He was six shots behind the South African Charl Schwartzel who scored 5-under 65 to hold the first round lead at the USD 25 million tournament at the Centurion Golf Club near London.
The leader board had a strong African flavor to it with four South Africans and Zimbabwean occupying five of the top six players. Thai Phachara Khongwatmai was the lone outsider in T-3 with 3-under 67.
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Madappa had an eagle, three birdies, two bogeys and two double bogeys in his card as the players went off with a shot-gun start.
He eagled the Par-5 13th, and he almost holed it for an albatross. He double bogeyed Par-4s, ninth and 16th.
South African Hennie Du Plessis (66) was sole second at 4-under, while Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent and Khongwatmai were tied for third at 3-under while Branden Grace and Justin Harding were tied for fifth at 2-under.
Two of the top stars, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, were among the four tied for seventh at 1-under, along with Sam Horsfeld and Laurie Canter.
The highlight of Schwartzel’s card was his 6-under 30 on the back nine while Du Plessis had three birdies in a four-hole stretch early.
The two leading South Africans form part of the team called Stinger GC, which has two other South Africans, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace.
At 9-under, they hold a six-shot lead in the team competition, which has USD 5 million allocated to it.
The 48 players have been divided into four-man teams. Hy Flyers GC and Crushers GC are the closest pursuers at 3 under.
The event is a 54-hole, no cut contest on the Par-70 course and is part of the eight-event series in 2022. The winner this week in London will receive USD4 million.
A little after the first shot was struck Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, was among the 17 golfers suspended by the PGA Tour.
However, 10 of the 17, including Schwartzel, had already resigned their PGA Tour membership.