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Abraham Ancer on top at LIV Nashville; Bryson DeChambeau T4

Abraham Ancer of Mexico shot a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to grab the first-round lead at LIV Golf Nashville on Friday in College Grove, Tenn.

Ancer’s strong round also powered his team, Fireballs GC, to a four-shot advantage to begin the team competition. Teammates Eugenio Chacarra (4-under 67) and Sergio Garcia (3-under 68), both of Spain, combined with Ancer to put the Fireballs at 14 under, four strokes better than Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC.

Ancer made seven birdies at The Grove to establish a one-shot lead over Englishman Tyrrell Hatton.

Ancer started his round on the par-5 18th, where he holed his first birdie. He was at 3 under when he reached the par-5 11th tee and birdied four of the next five holes.

“Put a lot of hard work on my swing, which the stats will say that I’ve been hitting the ball pretty good this year, but there’s some stuff that I feel that I need to work on,” Ancer said. “But it was really nice off the tee. Hit some really good shots in there, and I rolled it nicely.”

The 33-year-old earned his first LIV Golf victory earlier this year in Hong Kong. He knows not to put too much weight into one good round.

“I just try to forget about it,” Ancer said. “I feel like with this sport, even if you had a great round or a terrible round, it doesn’t really help to be thinking about it too much, so I forget about it, go about my routine, same as yesterday, and then do the same thing tomorrow.”

Hatton made eight birdies Friday, the most of anyone on the course, but also carded two bogeys. One of LIV Golf’s newest members is still searching for his debut win; his best finish so far was fourth place in Miami.

Hatton said he made a putting adjustment after his up-and-down week at the U.S. Open, and it paid off.

“They were bad putts, so I just wanted to maybe give myself a little bit more time to square the face up,” Hatton said. “I tried it in the pro-am (Thursday) and putted really nicely. Obviously, rolled with it today, and it was nice to see.”

Third on the individual leaderboard is John Catlin at 5-under 66. He plays on DeChambeau’s Crushers GC and shot just one stroke better than the reigning U.S. Open champion.

DeChambeau is in a tie for fourth at 4 under after making six birdies Friday, including four in a row at Nos. 7-10.

“I’m a bit of a zombie right now,” DeChambeau said after a few days of celebrating his second major title. “Luckily, the crowd has given me a lot of energy. Very gracious to have that happen, and man, they’re just pushing me forward. I can’t thank them enough. It’s so cool to see the support out there.

“This is what LIV Golf is about. I had a vision of this two, three years ago, seeing what the potential could be, and this is just the start. With how much support we have out here, and it’s just the start, that’s a testament to what LIV Golf is and what the Crushers are doing, what our team is doing, and what we’re trying to do for Nashville and places all across the globe.”

–Field Level Media

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