MOMENTUM WITH MAJESTICKS AFTER ROUSING FINISH
On a rare day in the short LIV Golf history, all four Majesticks GC players bounced back in spectacular fashion to post identical rounds of 2-under par in the opening round of LIV Golf Chicago.
At Rich Harvest Farms, Lee Westwood birdied four of his last five holes, while Ian Poulter picked up three shots in his last five holes for their 69.
Sam Horsfield, returning to action after a long break because of his hip surgery, struck his second shot on the last (5th hole) to tap-in distance for a closing birdie after starting with a bogey, his only mistake of the day.
“It was really nice to get back out there. Had a great day with the boys…I played with Ian and Westy and we all shot -2, we had some good camaraderie and a good time out there.”
Henrik Stenson made one of only eight birdies on the Party Hole – a 15-footer judged to perfection from the fringe – as he too bounced back from a bogey on his second hole (5th of the course).
The momentum will be with the Majesticks after their rousing finish. At 6-under, the team is in 9th place, while all four players are tied for 25th place, just three shots off the lead.
The highlight of the day was the performance of Horsfield and Westwood, both coming to Chicago recuperating from injuries. Horsfield last played the Adelaide event at The Grange on April 23, and Westwood needed to withdraw from the International Series England tournament that he was hosting at Close House last month with a slight niggle in his leg.
Co-Captain Poulter, who extended his record streak of par or better scores on par-5s to a staggering 130 holes (Stenson is second in that list with an active streak of 60 holes), made a magical birdie in his inimitable style, rolling in a perfect 30-feet right-to-left lag putt.
Westwood closed with two beautiful birdies, his second shot on his 17th hole was all over the flag and left with a four-feet putt, and on the next hole, he rammed in a 20-feet birdie putt from the fringe.
There was a logjam on top of the leaderboard with five players tied at 5-under par. Stingers GC led the team championship at 13-under.