LIV Golf’s Bangkok event kicked off with plenty of surprises on offer after Day 1 as Richard Bland, Branden Grace and Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra upstaged their more accomplished peers to share the lead.
The trio shot an identical 7-under 65 for the three-way tie at the Stonehill Golf Club.
Marc Leishman and England’s Ian Poulter sit one stroke back of the leaders followed by a five-man group including Kevin Na, Brooks Koepka and Morgan Jediah who are two strokes back of the leaders.
LIV Bangkok Day 1 also saw big names struggle with Dustin Johnson, leading the new circuit in prize money won with a shade over $12.5 million, finishing tied for 21st after shooting 2-under-70.
Cameron Smith, the winner of the latest LIV event, fared even worse after shooting 72 to finish tied for 41st.
Before the start of play, LIV golfers came to know that they will not get any ranking points for at least another event after this.
The Official World Golf Ranking said in a statement Thursday that it had denied the MENA Tour’s request to immediately add the Saudi-funded series to its schedule. The OWGR claimed the MENA Tour did not give it sufficient notice and there would not be time to finish the review ahead of the Bangkok tournament and next week’s event in Saudi Arabia.