STERLING, Va. (AP) — Brooks Koepka bounced back from the pinnacle of winning his fifth major championship with a flat round of even par 72, putting him eight shots behind Harold Varner III on Friday after the opening round of LIV Golf DC at Trump National.
Koepka still had reason to be thankful. On the first hole he used, the face cracked.
“Thank God it broke now instead of coming down last week,” Koepka said.
The drive came in handy as he hit one of his best tee shots on the accessible par-4 14th to the rim at Oak Hill, carried the bunkers on the 15th that wedged out the rough to four feet and still a PGA Championship title.
It was back to LIV Golf just five days after his big win.
Varner started his round with a bogey on the par-3 fourth hole, and that was his only mistake. He had a pair of eagles and five birdies for a 64, giving him a two-shot lead over former U.S. Amateur Champion James Piot.
Andy Ogletree, who started again as a substitute for Paul Casey and his injured foot, was in the group at the age of 68 that included British Open champion Cameron Smith.
Phil Mickelson had six bogeys in his round of 74.
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