THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.
AND THEY’RE OFF
LIV GOLF is underway at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.
Day 1 is in the books and Dustin Johnson who holed a long putt to win in Boston two weeks ago. Is back on top again, with 36 holes to play.
Johnson opened with a 9 under par 63, to hold a three shot lead over Cam Smith, winner of this years British Open and the Players Championship. Matt Wolfe sits solo in third place-four shots back.
Bryson DeChambeau 69, was followed by Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson with 70’s. Mickelson’s 2 under par round included a triple bogey on the third hole.
During his post round press conference, Johnson said his game is “good shape.” When asked about Rich Harvest Farms Johnson said, “I’ve never been here before, but I warmed up with 9-holes Tuesday, 9-holes Wednesday and then Thursday’s 18 hole pro-am.”
But overall the response about Rich Harvest Farms has been great from the players, most who have never seen the golf course before. Mickelson called Rich Harvest Farms, “A fun place to play”, and said he has great memories in Chicago, even Ryder Cup week in 2012 at Medinah Country Club, in spite of losing the cup.
Mickelson called Chicago a “great golf market, with plenty of good golf courses,” then added that Chicago is a town that really supports it’s golf.
Attendance was better than expected. Because one report a few days ago suggested that only 1500 tickets had been sold for Fridays opening round. Before the 12:15 local time shotgun start, the main parking lot had over 2,500 cars in it. Gallery estimates for Friday were over 6,000. But with volunteers, workers, media, and players, the likely total on property was close to 8,000 people.
The atmosphere was a plenty of people having a good time. With many enjoying the hospitality on a warm day, that included both chipping and putting contests. Saturdays second round is expected to have the largest crowd, with Sunday drawing good in spite of it being an NFL Sunday. Many of the Day 1 attendees, stay for the post round concert.
Round 2 will be the standard shotgun start at 12:15. A full recap will be here on Golfersongolf.com. Golfers on Golf Radio with Ed Stevenson, Len Ziehm and yours truly, wraps up it’s season again, with a recap on LIV Golf from 10-11 AM on WNDZ AM 750.