Charl Schwartzel leads the first tournament on the LIV Golf Tour

Rob Harris, Associated Press

St Albans, UK – From afar, it sounded like a military parade, with trumpets sounding in royal style on the occasion. However, it was not an extension of Queen Elizabeth II’s jubilee celebrations, but the launch of the new Saudi-funded golf circuit, that attempted to bring a false royal spirit to the rebellion that divided the sport. ,

At the course outside London, a group of musicians were present to announce the arrival of Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, two PGA stars trying to spend potentially hundreds of millions of dollars on the LIV Tour.

There was no sign of Saudi fund support on the course at Centurion Golf Club, nor an image of the sponsor.

Mickelson turned in 69 (minus-1) to place Johnson in seventh place. Charl Schwartzel took the lead at the end of the first round after completing the course in 65 strokes.

2011 Masters champion Schwartzell holds a one-stroke lead over fellow South African Henne du Plessis (66). Scott Vincent and Phachara Khongwatmai both finished third with 67 points.

The LIV circuit organizes short tournaments of 54 holes spread over three days and players start their day on different holes. The golfers are divided into 12 teams with highly visible logos and vivid names.

The top three teams share US$5 million in addition to the $20 million per event purse, which is shared between golfers individually.

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