Perfect 10: Talor Gooch off to fast start in Australia

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Network

Talor Gooch carded a 10-under-par 62 on Friday to seize a four-stroke lead after the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational Adelaide in Australia.

Gooch, 31, recorded five birdies in a row on holes Nos. 4-8 and finished with 10 overall during his bogey-free round at The Grange Golf Club. His 62 set a LIV Golf record for lowest round in relation to par and ties the record-low scorer by any LIV golfer.

“If anyone says they’re not surprised at 10-under, they’re lying,” Gooch said. “It’s the day that you work hard for. … It was one of those rounds where I was hitting it close and making a lot of putts, so it was fun.”

Gooch had so much fun he entertained the notion of finishing with a 59 with three holes to play.

“I, for sure, wanted to be the first 59 on LIV,” Gooch said. “That would’ve been a cool history book to have.”

Richard Bland of England and Dean Burmester of South Africa each shot a 66 to reside tied for second place. Australian Danny Lee, who won the second LIV event in Tucson last month, carded a 67 to join Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger in a five-way tie for fourth place.

McDowell, in fact, noted that he relished playing with both Bland and Wiesberger in the first round. The Cleeks GC members collectively shot 16-under, two strokes better than Stinger GC (South Africans Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Burmester).

“Obviously fun to kind of all play together for the first time in the first round,” McDowell said. “I feel like we kind of pushed each other along and had a good time.”

Spaniard Sergio Garcia is in an eight-way tie for ninth after shooting a 68, while British Open champion Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka and Charles Howell III each carded a 69, one shot in front of Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, and two better than Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson.

Johnson’s team, Aces GC, led the team leaderboard entering this tournament.

–Field Level Media

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