Written by
LIV Golf Staff
Oct 13 2023
- 3 min
DJ caddie Bynder

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia - Marc Leishman leads and Cameron Smith is still in the driver's seat to claim the season-long Individual Title after the first round of LIV Golf Jeddah, but there were plenty of other news, notes and stats from Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.


RACE FOR THE BYES: 4Aces GC entered LIV Golf Jeddah presented by ROSHN having already secured one of the four byes for next Friday’s quarterfinal round of the Team Championship in Miami. Four other teams – No. 2 Crushers GC, No. 3 Torque GC, No. 4 Stinger GC and No. 5 RangeGoats GC – are vying for the other three byes.

After Friday’s first round at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, the Crushers are projected to overtake the 4Aces for the No. 1 seed. The Crushers are 6 under after the first round, with the Aces tied for third, one stroke back at 5 under.

4Aces Captain Dustin Johnson is not worried.

“We’ll see after this week,” he said. “If we have a good week here, we’ll still be in first starting Miami.”

Meanwhile, the RangeGoats are projected to overtake the Stingers for the fourth and final bye position, meaning the South African team would have to play the quarterfinals.

The RangeGoats are solo seventh on the team leaderboard, while the Stingers are tied for eighth. Only the top eight teams after the tiebreakers are awarded points at each LIV Golf tournament.

RELEGATION WATCH: The four players who entered the week in the Drop Zone (45th or lower in the Individual standings) are projected to remain in that position, which leads to relegation from the league. And they could be joined by another player.

Cleeks GC’s Bernd Wiesberger is projected to drop from 44th to 45th, which would put him in the Drop Zone. His captain, Martin Kaymer, could play a part in his fate.

Kaymer entered the week ranked 49th but as a captain, he is exempt from relegation. Kaymer opened with a 2-under 68, which left him tied for 8th on the Jeddah leaderboard. That would give him enough points to overtake Wiesberger for 44th in the standings and push his teammate into the Drop Zone.

None of the four players currently in the Drop Zone are projected to finish with points this week. James Piot and Jediah Morgan are tied for 33rd at 1 over; Sihwan Kim is tied for 41st at 2 over; and Chase Koepka is tied for 46th at 3 over.

Click here for a full recap of the first round


Driving distance – Joaquin Niemann, 323.8-yard average

Longest drive – Joaquin Niemann, 347.4 yards (4th hole)

Driving accuracy – Charles Howell III, Louis Oosthuizen, Bryson DeChambeau, 86% (12 of 14)

Greens in regulation – Louis Oosthuizen, 94% (17 of 18)

Scrambling – Martin Kaymer (7 of 7), Marc Leishman (6 of 6), Richard Bland (4 of 4), 100%

Fewest putts – Harold Varner III, 24 putts

Most birdies – Harold Varner III, 6

Bogey-free rounds – Marc Leishman (65), Richard Bland (67), Martin Kaymer (68)

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