PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Dustin Johnson watches his drive on the 13th tee box during the second round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 18, 2022 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson has not calmed down. Neither of them has his 4 Aces GC. As a consequence, after Friday’s opening round of the LIV Golf Invitational Chicago, both the skipper and his squad are in familiar terrain.

On top of the leaderboard.

Johnson blasted a bogey-free 9-under 63 to grab a three-shot lead at Rich Harvest Farms, fresh off his triumph at the previous LIV Golf tournament in Boston. This is the season’s lowest score in relation to par in LIV Golf.

4 Aces GC has a one-shot lead on the team standings thanks to his low round, as it seeks its fourth straight victory on American soil.

The other 11 teams are eager to break the Aces’ four-game winning run. The all-Australian Punch GC is the closest chaser heading into Saturday’s second round, headed by captain Cameron Smith’s 6-under 66.

“Hopefully someone can catch them this weekend,” said Smith, the individual leaderboard’s closest pursuer to Johnson.

When asked whether he’s heard how weary other teams are of the 4 Aces dominance, Johnson said, “No, but I don’t really care either.”

The quality of his golf game is the most important thing to him, and it looks to be in good condition for the two-time major champion right now. In 13 rounds in inaugural LIV Golf season, he has yet to shoot a round over par, and his 63 ties his worst score. In addition, he shot 63 in the second round of his playoff victory in Boston.

“The game is in great shape,” Johnson remarked. “It’s been constant day after day, so I’m seeing a lot of the same images.” That’s always what I’m looking for, consistency in the flights and in what I’m trying to achieve, and it’s clearly going very well right now.”

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Although most of the players on the field were unfamiliar with Rich Harvest Farms, Johnson was able to figure out the 7,425-yard layout. He wasn’t the only one, however.

Smith, who was making his second appearance since joining LIV Golf, also played bogey-free golf. In Boston, he was one shot away from losing the playoff against Johnson.

“This is my first visit,” Smith said. “I adore it. I believe the course is fantastic. “I believe it played very well today, firming up a touch.”

After his 67, Matthew Wolff of Hy Flyers GC is in solitary third place. His round included an eagle at the par-5 18th.

Wolff battled on the greens in the final round at Boston and slipped out of contention as his displeasure grew. He was pleased to see his putting improve on Friday.

“I’ve always been a terrific putter, so it’s quite frustrating when I don’t putt well, and sometimes I can do a little better job of managing my anger and emotions,” Wolff said. “It simply implies I care.” It just means that I’m competing and that I like being out here, and it means nothing less to me. To be honest, it means more.”

At 4 under, there is a four-way tie for fourth place behind Wolff. The field features Bedminster champion Henrik Stenson, who is returning off a WD in Boston due to vertigo, Majesticks leader Lee Westwood, Punch GC’s Matt Jones, and Crushers GC’s Charles Howell III.

Majesticks GC is third in the team rankings, behind 4 Aces and Punch. Hy Flyers GC and Crushers GC are tied for fourth place, only one stroke out of contention.


During LIV Golf competitions, players compete as four-man teams in addition to solo stroke-play competition. The team score is calculated by combining the best two scores from Round 1, the best two scores from Round 2, and the best three scores from Round 3.

Each event’s total team prize money is $5 million, with the winning team receiving $3 million, second place receiving $1.5 million, and third place receiving $500,000 among its four team members.

The scoreboard and Friday’s counting scores from the first round at Rich Harvest Farms are as follows:

1. 4 Aces GC, 11 underDustin Johnson 63
Talor Gooch 70
2. Punch GC, 10 underCameron Smith 66
Matt Jones 68
3. Majesticks GC, 8 underHenrik Stenson 68
Lee Westwood 68
T-4. Hy Flyers GC, 7 underMatthew Wolff 67
Phil Mickelson 70
T-4. Crushers GC, 7 underCharles Howell III 68
Bryson DeChambeau 69
6. Stinger GC, 6 underLouis Oosthuizen 69
Charl Schwartzel 69
T-7. Fireballs GC, 3 underCarlos Ortiz 70
Eugenio Chacarra 71
T-7. Torque GC, 3 underScott Vincent 70
Joaquin Niemann 71
T-7. Cleeks GC, 3 underLaurie Canter 70
Graeme McDowell 71
T-7. Smash GC, 3 underBrooks Koepka 70
Peter Uihlein 71
11. Iron Heads GC, 2 underSadom Kaewkanjana 70
Sihwan Kim 72
12. Niblicks GC, 1 underHudson Varner III 70
Hudson Swafford 73

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