Richard Bland
Richard Bland Image Credit: AFP

Richard Bland (Eng), Branden Grace (RSA) and Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra (Spain) upstaged their more-illustrious opponents on Friday to shoot seven under 65’s and share the lead after the first round of the $25 million LIV Golf Invitational-Bangkok played this week at Stonehill GC.

Bland opened up with seven birdies in his round, Lopez-Chacarra made five birdies in a seven hole stretch and Grace birdied three of his last four holes to all finish on the same mark in this shotgun start format.

This is the penultimate event on the Individual LIV Golf Invitational schedule, with next week in Jeddah, 14th – 16th October, 2022, the final event, with the dedicated Team Series culminating at Trump National Doral, Miami, US, October 27th – 30th, 2022.

Marc Leishman (Aus) and Ian Poulter (Eng) were a stroke behind while Sihwan Kim (US), Brooks Koepka (US) and Morgan Jediah (Aus) among those two behind in the 54 hole event.

The course is being played for the first time this week, and was created by American designer Kyle Phillips, also the designer of Yas Links, Abu Dhabi.

Dustin Johnson (US), who leads the money list with just over $12.5 million in five events, shot 70. The Open champion Cameron Smith (Aus), who won the last LIV event in Chicago in mid-September, shot 72.

Dubai Golden VISA Awardee Anirban Lahiri (Ind, Crushers) shot a first round 71 to lie in tied 31st.

It's the first time LIV Golf is being played outside the United States since its inaugural event in early June near London.