Harold Varner III uses two eagles to take the lead in LIV DC with PGA champion Brooks Koepka level by | Golf News

Harold Varner III uses two eagles to take the lead in LIV DC with PGA champion Brooks Koepka level by |  Golf News

Harold Varner III takes a two-stroke lead after the first round at LIV DC in Washington; PGA Champion Brooks Koepka tied after shooting 72; defending Open champion Cameron Smith is tied for third on four under; Varner looking for first LIV win and first win since February 2022

Last update: 27/05/23 00:19

Harold Varner III of RangeGoats GC leads Washington

Harold Varner III made two eagles en route to an under-64 eight at Trump National Golf Club in Washington, DC, to take the lead in the first round of the latest LIV Golf event.

Varner has two leads over James Piot (six under 66), with a group tied for third at four under 68 with Australia’s Cameron Smith, Chile’s Mito Pereira, Kevin Na and Andy Ogletree.

Varner opened his round with a bogey on the par-three fourth hole but quickly ignored it. After a birdie put him back on par, he hit an eagle-two on the 317-yard, par-four ninth hole.

His second eagle came four holes later on the par-five 13th hole. He followed that up with two birdies for a three-hole four-under run. He landed birdies on the last two par-fives (Nos. 18 and 3) to set the tone.

Varner, 32, is looking for his first victory on the Saudi-funded LIV circuit. He’s had a great career so far and finished 29th in both the Masters and the PGA Championship this season, but his last win came in February 2022 at the Saudi International on the Asian Tour.

Piot and Ogletree are former American amateur winners among young pros hoping to make their mark in the upstart league rival PGA Tour. Piot had seven birdies and a bogey on Friday, while Ogletree had five birdies and a bogey.

Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed were among the names tied at three-under 69, while Bryson DeChambeau and Spaniard Sergio Garcia, among others, shot two-under 70.

Brooks Koepka, who just won his fifth career major title on Sunday at the PGA Championship, started with an even par of 72.

Phil Mickelson is in 44th place after opening two of 74.

Varner’s RangeGoats GC is tied with Iron Heads GC for the lead in team competition under 10. Varner, Talor Gooch (70) and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters (72) saw scores count for RangeGoats, while Iron Heads were powered by captain Na, Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent (69) and New Zealand’s Danny Lee ( 69).


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