Written by
Joy Chakravarty
Oct 13 2023
Bryson At Jeddah Round 1

KING ABDULLA ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia: Captain Bryson DeChambeau produced magic like only he can, overpowering the 607-yard par-5 18th hole of Royal Greens Golf & Country Club with a massive drive that left him with just a 9-iron from 214 yards before making an important birdie.

In the opening round of LIV Golf Jeddah presented by ROSHN, that closing birdie by DeChambeau elevated Crushers GC to a tie at the top of the team leaderboard at 6-under par. The Texan finished on 1-under 69, and combined with the rock-solid 67 by Charles Howell III and Paul Casey’s 68, the team caught up with Ripper GC.

Anirban Lahiri, the fourth member of the team, was left frustrated with a 72 on a day when he hit 15 greens in regulation and found 14 fairways but needed 33 putts to complete the round.

Howell was 4-under and bogey-free through 17 holes, but dropped a shot with a three-putt on the par-3 16th hole, his last.

“It’s really windy. The good thing is it blows from generally the same direction every day. But it’s still a lot and you have to kind of gauge all that. It makes it difficult to get the ball close to the hole, and holing putts in the wind is difficult,” said Howell, champion in Mayakoba in the season-opening event.

“There are a few gettable holes out here that you need to take advantage of. If you lose your concentration a bit out there, the golf course can jump up and bite you. We obviously got two more days, but we need to keep grinding away. It can be a challenge.”

On closing with a three-putt, Howell said: “Hey, it’s gonna happen, right? I am fine with it and want to look at the overall day. It was a nice day. I did a lot of good things out there.

“I started on the 18th hole (a par-5) and I had a six-seven footer for birdie, which I missed. But I just took it in my stride. Putting is extremely tricky in this wind and things like that are bound to happen. You just need to be patient and keep grinding.”

Crushers are 10 points behind current table-toppers 4Aces, and are one shot ahead of the all-American team after the first round.

“Obviously, the 4Aces are a really strong team and they showed it last year. We have got guys playing really good golf. With what happened with Bryson and Anirban in Chicago (finished first and tied second), we’re rounding into form. A good, solid week would not only be great for this week, but it would also be good for next week,” said Howell.