Henrik Stenson carded a two-under-par 69 to retain his lead after the second round of LIV Golf Bedminster, his first event on the controversial tour.

The Swede – stripped of Europe's Ryder Cup captaincy over his defection from the DP World Tour – showed steely focus on the fairways on Saturday at Trump National Golf Club.

The 2016 Open Championship winner moved clear of first-round co-leader Patrick Reed to top the standings outright at nine under, rallying after a double bogey on his third hole.

Stenson said: "I was hanging in there. I didn't feel I had my best stuff today, certainly a lot less than we played with yesterday."

Former Masters winner Reed slipped to a tie for third with a two-over 73, but he nevertheless retained a share of the lead in the team standings. Reed's 4 Aces GC team-mate Dustin Johnson moved second in the individual standings with a 69 to sit three shots off the lead at six under.

The 4 Aces advantage was cemented by a super round from Talor Gooch, who carded a best-of-the-day 64 to join Reed on five under through 36 holes, with Carlos Ortiz on the same mark.

It proved a miserable day at the office for Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau as they posted 73 and 74 respectively, with DeChambeau carding six bogeys in his round. He sits tied for 28th, with Mickelson in a share of 40th place on six over – a full 15 shots behind Stenson.

New signing Henrik Stenson is tied for the lead after the first round of LIV Golf Bedminster, shooting a seven-under 64 in his first event since committing to the controversial tour.

Stenson – who was stripped of his position as Ryder Cup captain due to his decision to leave the PGA Tour – collected eight birdies and one bogey, and helped his team Majesticks GC to second in the team standings at 10 under.

Tied for the individual lead is Patrick Reed, who also leads the team standings by one stroke along with his 4 Aces GC teammates Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez and Talor Gooch.

Alone in third place is Thailand's 23-year-old Phachara Khongwatmai at five under, and he is one stroke ahead of both Johnson and Carlos Ortiz, rounding out the top-five.

Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Brooks Koepka and Charles Howell III are all one shot further back at three under, while Lee Westwood headlines the group at two under, and Sergio Garcia is in the logjam at one under.

Bryson DeChambeau finished at even par after a late double-bogey, Louis Oosthuizen is at two over after posting a seven on the par-three seventh hole, and there are only three players below Phil Mickelson after he struggled to four over with five bogeys and one birdie.

Branden Grace posted a seven-under 65 in the final round on Saturday, leapfrogging Dustin Johnson and Carlos Ortiz to win LIV Golf Portland.

Two shots behind the co-leaders at the start of the third round, Grace reeled off four birdies in the final six holes, including three consecutive birdies between 15 and 17, to take out the tournament.

With the victory, the South African follows up compatriot Charl Schwartel's win in London at LIV Golf's inaugural event in June.

The South African quartet that makes up Stinger GC - Grace, Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Hennie du Plessis – could only manage second in the team standings, though, with Johnson's 4 Aces GC taking out first.

"What a day. It's been like this the whole day, the crowd came out and I played flawless golf," Grace said afterwards. "I played, really, really well when I needed to do something special. It came up and I managed to pull it off, but what a great day.

"I knew the back nine, I had to kind of dig deep. Carlos was playing great golf, DJ was coming back and I think, one of the big things for me today was the birdie on 13.

"Then I thought, 'Now, I'm in with it.' Obviously, the finish was just amazing."  

Amid the news former Ryder Cup player Paul Casey defected from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed breakaway competition, Grace finished the tournament on 13-under, two strokes ahead of Ortiz who posted a three-under 69 on Saturday.

They were followed by 2020 Masters winner Johnson and another recent defector in Patrick Reed, who finished on nine-under after 54 holes.

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson finished tied for 40th this week with a 54-hole score of 10-over. Through two LIV Golf events, Mickelson is a combined 20-over par.

There will be some high-profile debutants when the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event to be staged in the United States starts on Thursday.

Three weeks after the inaugural LIV competition at the Centurion Club, near London, took place, 48 players have headed to Portland to tee off at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

A trio of major champions will appear in the controversial Saudi-backed breakaway league for the first time in Oregon.

Stats Perform takes a look at the standout new faces who have turned their back on the PGA Tour to make their bows in a three-day LIV Golf Invitational Portland tournament that consists of 12 teams.

 

BROOKS KOEPKA

Brooks Koepka is the biggest name to have signed up since his fellow Americans Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson played in the opening event in England.

The four-time major winner will captain a SMASH GC side that includes his brother, Chase, this week.

Koepka had tried to fend off questions about whether he would jump ship from the PGA Tour to commit to LIV Golf ahead of the recent U.S. Open.

"I haven't given it that much thought," he said when asked if he could sign up for a lucrative deal to play on the new tour. "I don't understand. I'm trying to focus on the U.S. Open, man. I legitimately don't get it. You can’t drive a car looking in the rearview mirror, can you?"

Just a fortnight on, the former world number one said in a tense press conference two days before his LIV bow: "My opinion changed. That was it.

"You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation 'til everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out. Here I am."

He added: "Look, what I've had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, you realise, you know, I need a little bit more time off. I'll be the first one to say it, it's not been an easy last couple of years, and I think having a little more breaks, a little more time at home to make sure I'm 100 per cent before I go play in an event and don't feel like I'm forced to play right away - that was a big thing for me."

 

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU

Bryson DeChambeau is another major champion who has defected from the PGA Tour.

DeChambeau starts a new chapter of his career on the back of finishing tied for 56th in the U.S. Open, two years after winning it. 

The 28-year-old will also have captaincy duties, leading the CRUSHERS GC team.

DeChambeau has not registered a victory since his Arnold Palmer Invitational win last year and will be hoping a change of tour will enable him to experience that winning feeling again.

He said of his decision to join LIV Golf: "I understand people's decisions on their comments and whatnot. As it relates to me, I've personally made that as my own decision and I won't say anymore on that, there's no need. We're golfers at the end of the day.

"I think that I respect everyone's opinion. That's the most important thing people can hopefully understand out of me, that I do respect it. But golf is a force for good, and I think as time goes on, hopefully people will see the good that they're [LIV Golf] doing and what they're trying to accomplish, rather than look at the bad that's happened before. 

"I think moving on from that is important, and going, continuing to move forward in a positive light is something that can be a force for good for the future of the game."

PATRICK REED

The 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed will also get his first experience of the LIV Golf Invitational Series this week.

Another United States Ryder Cup player, Reed will be on a 4 ACES GC team captained by Johnson.

Reed's last victory came at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2021 and he was down in a share of 49th in the U.S Open.

The 31-year-old took aim at the PGA Tour this week, saying he is looking forward to having a reduced workload.

"Listen to the players for once," he said. "We actually have an off-season where not only can we get healthy, work on our bodies, but we're basically allowing ourselves throughout the year to, you know, try to peak at the right times is when you're playing rather than feeling like you have to play every single week.

"And on top of it, just the quality of life for us as players now, having less events, being able to spend more time at home with the family, if you have kids, being able to spend time with your children, and not sitting there and having to play three, four weeks in a row, then have a week off, and during that week off you're preparing trying to get ready for the next week."

Adam Hadwin ended Thursday as the outright leader following the opening round of the U.S. Open in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The Canadian shot a four-under-par round of 66, one ahead of five players tied for second, including Rory McIlroy, who had been four under himself before bogeying his final hole on the ninth.

Callum Tarren, David Lingmerth, Joel Dahmen and M.J. Daffue sit alongside McIlroy, with seven more players on two under, including Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson.

It was otherwise not a great day for some of the LIV Golf International Series participants, with Phil Mickelson carding an opening round of 78 (seven over), while Louis Oosthuizen managed just one shot better and Sergio Garcia finished on four over.

LIV Golf's new additions Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau ended even par and one over respectively. 

World number one Scottie Scheffler recovered from a wobbly start to finish on even par, while PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas ended the day one under, as did the man he beat in a playoff for that trophy, Will Zalatoris.

Defending champion Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa and Adam Scott also shot one-under rounds of 69, while world number four Patrick Cantlay came away from Thursday two over.

Shot of the day

After ending up just off the green in the longer grass on the 12th, a precision chip from Matt Fitzpatrick still had a significant distance to travel, but slowly rolled its way straight into the hole to the delight of the Englishman and the Brookline crowd, sending him back to two-under straight after bogeying the 11th.

Player of the day - Adam Hadwin

Hadwin sat on one over after three holes, before birdieing five of the next six to catapult himself into the leading pack. The 34-year-old has never finished higher than T39th in this tournament, and also responded to a bogey at 12 with another immediate birdie at 13, and then ended with five tidy pars to head into day two as the outright leader.

Chipping in

Rory McIlroy: "I'm going into tomorrow with the mindset of 'let's keep it going', rather than 'where is the cut line' or whatever. If you don't get off to a great start, those thoughts start to creep in, 'okay, what do I need to just be here for the weekend?'"

Jon Rahm (asked about two children stealing his ball on the 18th hole): "Yes… I'm pretty sure I know who it was. I recognised the two kids that were running the opposite way with a smile on their face. (Laughing) I am 100 per cent sure I saw the two kids that stole it."

A little birdie told me...

- McIlroy's 67 was the 13th of his career at the U.S. Open, now level with Seve Ballesteros and Sergio Garcia for most by a European player at the tournament.

- Lingmerth, ranked 592nd in the world, has never finished worse than tied for 21st in three previous U.S. Open appearances, and the Swede started with a promising 67 here.

- The first round scoring average of the last 10 winners at the U.S. Open is 69.1, with 25 players hitting under that on Thursday.

Patrick Reed has joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series and become the latest high-profile name to turn their back on the PGA Tour. 

It was confirmed on Saturday that the 2018 Masters champion had signed up for the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit, which was this week joined by Bryson DeChambeau and had Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson contesting its inaugural event this weekend. 

Reed is set to make his first appearance when the series travels to Portland for the second of its eight events later this month. 

LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman said: "The growing roster of LIV Golf players gets even stronger today with a player of Patrick Reed's calibre. 

"He has a proven track record as one of the most consistent competitors in pro golf and adds yet another big presence at our tournaments. 

"He's a major champion who has had a significant impact playing international team competitions, and he'll bring another impressive dynamic to our team-based format at LIV Golf." 

Reed has slipped to 36th in the world rankings having only made his first top-10 finish of 2022 at the Charles Schwab Challenge in May. 

He will now be ineligible for any tournaments on the PGA Tour after it was this week confirmed all players competing at any LIV Golf events would be indefinitely suspended. 

However, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson are among another group of players reportedly set to make the switch to LIV Golf, which now boasts a field that includes nine major champions. 

Viktor Hovland turned the impossible possible on Sunday, overcoming a six-stroke deficit to win the Hero World Challenge.

Collin Morikawa was five shots clear at the start of the final round as the American closed in on the world number one ranking, but Hovland had other ideas in the Bahamas.

On a chaotic day, Hovland – in his first start since claiming the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba – rallied to a stunning one-shot victory with consecutive eagles and a birdie from the 14th and 16th holes.

Despite bogeying his last two holes, Hovland signed for a 66 and the winners' cheque at 18 under, ahead of Scottie Scheffler (66) in front of tournament host and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods as Morikawa capitulated in a final-round 76.

"I didn't think a win was going to be very possible," said the 24-year-old Norwegian star Hovland. "But I know this course is tricky.

"You can make birdies, but it's easy to make bogeys and doubles. If I put a good score up there, you never know what's going to happen."

An unofficial PGA Tour event, Hovland insisted the win felt like an official one given the star-studded field.

"Hell, yeah! There's only 20 guys in the field, but the players here are really good, and I feel like my wins have come when the field hasn't been as strong, so for me to do well in a field like this gives me a lot of confidence," he added.

Morikawa appeared poised to add another piece of silverware to his collection in pursuit of golf's top ranking, but the reigning Open Championship winner crumbled, missing three birdie chances from 10 feet or closer to start the round.

Two triple-bogeys and a bogey capped a forgettable front nine for Morikawa, who dropped another shot at his final hole to end the event tied for fifth – four shots adrift of Hovland, alongside Justin Thomas (64).

Sam Burns shot a three-under-par 69 to earn a share of third spot with former Masters champion Patrick Reed (69).

A four-time major winner, Brooks Koepka had to settle for a slice of ninth position at Albany Golf Club following his two-over-par 74.

Bryson DeChambeau – beaten by rival Koepka in their exhibition showdown in Las Vegas – closed with consecutive rounds in the 70s after going two over on the fourth day.

Former world number one Rory McIlroy (75) ended the tournament 12 shots back, while Jordan Spieth's nightmare Hero World Challenge resulted in a six-over-par display after shooting a 76.

Collin Morikawa is close to overtaking Jon Rahm as the world's top golfer after opening up a five-stroke lead ahead of the final round of the Hero World Challenge.

A victory for the two-time major winner in the Bahamas will see him follow Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth in becoming the fourth person to become world number one before turning 25.

Morikawa started Saturday's session at Albany Golf Club as one of three players a stroke behind leader Bryson DeChambeau after an unfortunate bogey on the final hole on day two.

DeChambeau's lead quickly evaporated with a bogey on the opening hole, however, and the American struggled with three more bogeys on the back nine to finish one-over-par for the day as he slipped down to ninth.

Open champion Morikawa took full advantage by firing an eight-under 64 in a round that included six birdies and an eagle chip-in on the par-five third.

Morikawa, who last month became the first American to win the Race to Dubai with a victory at the DP World Tour, is now 18-under after 54 holes on the 20-man field.

Fellow American Brooks Koepka shot 69, his only blemish a double-bogey on the par-three eighth, to move into second place behind Morikawa.

Daniel Berger dropped two shots on the final three holes and joins Patrick Reed, Viktor Hovland, Sam Burns and Tony Finau in a tie for third, six strokes behind Morikawa.

The performance of the day belonged to Harris English thanks to his 10 birdies, though it was not quite a blemish-free round as he dropped a shot on hole one.

Rory McIlroy earned a share of the first-round lead after the former world number one carded a six-under-par 66 at the Hero World Challenge.

McIlroy – winner of October's CJ Cup – was almost flawless on the opening day as the four-time major champion joined Daniel Berger and Abraham Ancer a stroke clear atop the leaderboard.

McIlroy had an eagle, six birdies and a double-bogey at Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas on Thursday.

"It was nice to play the back nine the way I did and put myself back in the tournament," said McIlroy, who did not drop a shot on the back nine with three birdies and an eagle, which he improbably chipped in.

Berger boasted a four-shot advantage at one point in the first round after bursting out the blocks with four consecutive birdies, though two bogeys on the back nine undid some of that good work.

But McIlroy and Ancer ensured the American must share the lead entering Friday's second round, the former going five-under following the turn at the PGA Tour tournament.

Fellow leader Ancer finished in similar style, despite also faltering with a bogey on the ninth, recording five birdies after the halfway point to join the group on six under.

It looked like there would be a different leader, however, with American star Justin Thomas a shot in front until the final hole, which he double-bogeyed.

Brooks Koepka – a four-time major champion – joins the 2017 PGA Championship winner after registering 67, with Webb Simpson also a shot off the initial mark.

The quality on display does not stop there, with Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa all managing 68 to sit two shots off the three-man leading pack ahead of day two.

Jason Kokrak rallied with four consecutive birdies as a stellar back nine helped the American claim the Houston Open.

Kokrak carded a five-under-par 65 for an impressive two-shot victory and his third PGA Tour trophy at Memorial Park on Sunday.

The 36-year-old was two strokes behind with six holes to play before birdieing the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th to trump countrymen Kevin Tway (68) and overnight leader Scottie Scheffler (69) to glory.

"Very blessed to be standing here," Kokrak said afterwards in Houston, where he found himself 10 shots adrift after two rounds.

Kokrak, who went 232 starts before his first PGA Tour victory, has now won three titles in his last 27 starts, dating back to October's CJ Cup.

"This win is very special. I was really struggling with my game at the beginning of this week," Kokrak added.

"But I was on the phone with my swing coach and worked on a few things and that worked really well. So, I have to thank him and my caddie, it was really tough at times out there."

Tway and Scheffler finished tied for second, while Kramer Hickok shot a final-round 69 to be outright fourth at seven under as Joel Dahmen (65) and Martin Trainer (70) ended the tournament a shot further back.

At the other end of the spectrum, former world number ones Adam Scott (73) and Jason Day (70) closed out the event at five over, two strokes better off than 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed (77).

Viktor Hovland is on track to retain his World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba title after a birdie spree sent him to the top of the leaderboard following the third round.

Defending champion Hovland carded a career-low nine-under-par 62 on Saturday to soar to the Mayakoba summit at El Camaleon Golf Club, where he leads by two strokes.

The Norwegian star was flawless, holing nine birdies without a bogey, as he overturned a three-shot deficit on the penultimate day, with overnight leader Matthew Wolff crumbling (74).

"I got the max out of my game, essentially," said Hovland, who is bidding to become the first player to go back-to-back at the PGA Tour tournament.

"I did hit some approaches that were 40 feet, 30 feet and even 50 feet and when that kind of happens, you're just expecting to two-putt and move on. Then when I did hit a nice approach shot, I took advantage of it.

"So I felt like I got max out of my game, but obviously to shoot 59 you've got to chip in and you've got to hole a 50-footer or some longer putts and I didn't quite do that today, but I'm not too disappointed.

"That was fun today. Obviously I got off to a nice start and it was nice to have one of those rounds where you can kind of keep it going throughout the day instead of maybe slowing down towards the end there where, frankly, there are some tough holes."

Hovland is 19 under overall through 54 holes, two shots clear of Talor Gooch (63) and three ahead of former world number one Justin Thomas (64).

Wolff – who led entering the weekend – had a nightmare round, having bogeyed four holes to be tied for 17th, nine shots adrift of Hovland heading into Sunday's decider.

American pair Rickie Fowler (69) and Patrick Reed (70) are tied for 54th and 60th respectively.

Lucas Herbert will play Augusta for the first time after earning an automatic 2022 Masters berth on the back of his maiden PGA Tour title at the Bermuda Championship.

Herbert broke through for his first PGA crown thanks to Sunday's one-stroke victory ahead of 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed (65), who was the highest-ranked player in the field, and Danny Lee (71).

A first-time winner in his 20th start, Herbert started the final round four shots off the pace before surging to the top of the summit with a two-under-par 69 at Port Royal Golf Course.

Herbert mixed four birdies with two bogeys as overnight leader Taylor Pendrith capitulated following his five-over-par 76 as the PGA rookie finished tied for fifth.

"I mean, it's pretty unbelievable," said Herbert, who became the 10th PGA player to win on Halloween and first since 2004 at 15 under overall. 

"It definitely gets me into the Masters? OK. I mean, the next 12 months are going to be really cool. I've never played Augusta, so being able to play the Masters is going to be pretty cool.

"I don't even want to try to put expectations on anything right now."

Herbert added: "I think the next few days we'll sit back and think and celebrate and then, yeah, reset some plans going forward as to what our goals are going to be and how we want to play in some of these awesome tournaments that we're going to get into.

"Getting to play in – we just talked about Kapalua, getting to play in a few of these events that I've watched growing up on TV, it's just going to be a cool experience.

"No matter how I play, it's just going to be phenomenal to play in those tournaments. It's going to be lots of fun."

Taylor Pendrith strengthened his grip on the Bermuda Championship after moving three strokes clear at the end of the third round on Saturday.

After storming into the lead via his tournament record 61 on Friday, Canadian golfer Pendrith maintained his place atop the summit following the conclusion of the penultimate round.

PGA Tour rookie Pendrith carded a six-under-par 65 to be 17 under through 54 holes, above Danny Lee (65) heading into Sunday's final round at Port Royal Golf Course.

After bogeying the fifth hole, Pendrith was flawless from that point as the 30-year-old reeled off three straight birdies prior to the turn before gaining further strokes at the 10th, 13th, 16th and 17th holes.

"I knew I was going to get on a run at some point during the round," said Pendrith, who went seven under on his last 12 holes. "Was able to get four in a row and kind of really jump start the round."

New Zealand's Lee moved into outright second thanks to his solid day, which featured eight birdies and two bogeys in Southampton Parish, Bermuda.

Lucas Herbert of Australia climbed up to third, four shots behind Pendrith, thanks to his six-under-par 65.

Should either Pendrith, Lee or Herbert win the Bermuda Championship, it would mark the fourth non-American winner in as many weeks on the PGA Tour.

Patrick Rodgers (69) and Vincent Whaley (68) are tied at 12 under, while former Masters champion Patrick Reed – the highest ranked player in the field – finds himself nine strokes off the pace following a third-round 68.

Defending champion Brian Gay is a shot further back after posting a seven-under-par 64 to climb 41 positions.

Canadian Taylor Pendrith shot a tournament record 10-under 61 to storm into the lead at the Bermuda Championship on Friday after two rounds, ahead by one stroke from Patrick Rodgers.

Pendrith eagled the 17th hole before he ran off five consecutive birdies at the turn, threatening a sub-60 round before settling for par on his final two holes.

The 30-year-old Canadian had endured the worst of the wet and windy opening day conditions at Southampton Parish's Port Royal Golf Course, shooting a 70 before his stunning second round. Pendrith's round was a tournament record score and also a career-low round.

“Yesterday was some of the worst weather I've ever played in, just almost like surviving out there," Pendrith told reporters. "Didn't really matter how you hit it, you just have to hit shots. Today was a completely different story."

Rodgers also moved up the leaderboard aided by being on the good end of the draw and conditions, carding a seven-under-par 64.

The American had six birdies, one eagle and one bogey across his round. Rodgers' chip-in eagle on the seventh hole was a highlight.

Opening day leaders Brandon Hagy and Chad Ramey slipped off the pace, with the former battling for a one-over-par 72 which included a bogey and a double bogey to be five under after 36 holes.

Ramey did not fare much better, carding an even 71 which also included a double bogey, to be six under at the halfway mark.

Former Masters champion Patrick Reed – the highest-ranked player in the field – is five under after inconsistent rounds of 68 and 69.

Vincent Whaley, who had stood a shot off the pace after the first day, remains in contention after a four-under-par 67 to be nine under.

Whaley is ahead of Danny Lee and David Skinns who are both eight under, while defending champion Brian Gay managed to avoid the cut after an improved four-under-par 67 but is 11 shots off the pace.

Brandon Hagy and Chad Ramey shared a one-stroke lead following an interrupted opening day of the Bermuda Championship.

Hagy and Ramey carded six-under-par 65s before play was suspended due to darkness in Southampton Parish, Bermuda on Thursday.

In windy and wet conditions, which initially halted proceedings in the afternoon, there were more than 10 golfers who were unable to complete their first rounds at Port Royal Golf Course.

"You see winds like this, but normally you don't play in them," said Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick, who posted a 71.

Ramey was flawless throughout, while fellow American Hagy had a double-bogey, bogey and nine birdies.

"I think it laid down a little bit for us, but it was still pretty stout,” Hagy said. "But I hit a lot of good putts and they went in.

"I think there's going to be some times where you get gusts and the ball doesn't go in, but you kind of have to keep your head down and keep trying to hit some good shots."

Vincent Whaley stood a shot off the pace, while Danny Lee, Garrick Higgo, Seamus Power, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, David Skinns and Justin Lower were four under heading into the second round.

Former Masters champion Patrick Reed – the highest-ranked player in the field – endured a rollercoaster round.

World number 24 Reed ended the day three shots behind Hagy and Ramey, having produced a stunning 210-yard eagle at the 17th hole, sandwiched between two bogeys.

Overall, Reed finished with a double-bogey, three bogeys, an eagle and six birdies.

Defending champion Brian Gay, meanwhile, opened with a forgettable four-over-par 75.

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