Ancer leads LIV field in Nashville; Bryson 3 back


COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn. — Abraham Ancer shot a bogey-free 7-under 64 on Friday to take the first-round lead in LIV Golf Nashville, with Bryson DeChambeau three strokes back during his personal celebration tour that started with his second U.S. Open victory.

Ancer is looking for his second victory in six events after winning in Hong Kong in a playoff in March. Tyrrell Hatton was a stroke back at The Grove, the course designed by LIV Golf Commissioner Greg Norman that opened in 2012.

Ancer won the 2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis for his lone PGA Tour title. The 33-year-old former Oklahoma player was born and raised in Texas and has dual American and Mexican citizenship.

John Catlin was at 66. DeChambeau shot a 67, matching Eugenio Chacarra, Sebastian Munoz and Sam Horsfield.

Ancer opened with a birdie on his first hole on the par-4 18th. He parred the next four before stringing together six birdies over the next 11 holes, including four of five to take the lead to himself.

DeChambeau bookended two bogeys with four straight birdies and a par. The two-time U.S. Open champ rolled in a birdie putt on the party hole at the par-3 15th and then put his right index finger to his ear urging fans to get louder.

When the ball he tried tossing into the grandstands came up short, DeChambeau ran around a bunker to grab it and flipped it up to a fan before jogging to the next hole.

“I feel like a bit of a zombie right now, but luckily the crowd is giving me a lot of energy. … Man, they’re just pushing me forward,” DeChambeau said. “I can’t thank them enough. It’s so cool to see the support out there.”

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