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Two Share Lead in 3M Open; Stenson Signs with LIV Golf

3M Open – Im Sung-jae and Scott Piercy each shot 6-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead in the US PGA Tour 3M Open on Thursday at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota. Im and Piercy battled unfavorable winds in the course. This was to grab a two-stroke lead over Americans Tom Hoge, Doug Ghim, and Brice Garnett. 

Back-nine Start Favors Im

The 24-year-old South Korean began from the back nine and had three straight birdies between the 10th and 12th holes. Im added another in the 16th to make amends for his lone bogey on the 13th. The 2020 Masters runnerup saved par on the 18th. After this, Im went on a surge, burying three more birdies in the fourth, seventh, and ninth holes to end the first round with a share of the lead, US PGA golf betting site said.

Piercy Surges, Matsuyama Struggles

Forty-three-year-old Piercy opened with a birdie and followed it up with two more on the third and sixth holes. However, he dropped a shot on the ninth for 2-under at the halfway point of the round. The 2016 US Open second placer stepped it up. He did it on the back-nine with birdies on the 10th, 11th, 13th, and 14th. Piercy is trying to move into the top 125 on the PGA season points list. He is to make it to the FedEx playoffs scheduled next month. Meanwhile, it was a different story for 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama. He struggled in his round and eventually withdrew after shooting a 77. Jeff Overton also carded a 77 in his first PGA start in more than five years. Former tennis star Mardy Fish also competed in the event on sponsor’s exemption and shot an 81.

Stenson Signs Up for LIV Golf Series

Henrik Stenson joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series. Stenson decided to join the new group after his removal as European Ryder Cup team captain. The 46-year-old golfer expressed his disappointment in not being able to maintain his role as Ryder Cup captain. The event will be held in Italy next year. Stenson cited the format, schedule, and caliber of players competing in the event as factors for his decision to shift allegiances. The move will deepen the rifts in the sport, with several big stars shifting allegiances to the upstart, cash-rich circuit. 

New Captain to be Announced Soon

Ryder Cup Europe decided to remove Stenson as Team Europe captain immediately. The association will announce a new captain at the proper time. The 2016 British Open champion has joined the likes of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Sergio Garcia with jumping ship from the European Tour to LIV Golf. The US team will also miss Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, and Bryson DeChambeau, who were hit with indefinite bans by the PGA Tour and will not be eligible to play. European players must be members of the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour, to be eligible to compete for Team Europe in the Ryder Cup. Last month, the tour banned members who played in the inaugural LIV event in England for three tournaments and hit them with a heavy fine.

The ongoing issue has affected the world of golf badly. The ban on several players in the US PGA and DP World Tour has brought down the excitement level, with both associations scrambling to regain the star power they missed due to the defections. The best betting for golf website will continue to bring the latest updates on the matter.