July 23, 2024

This week’s International Series event in Macau features several LIV Golf stars, but Sergio Garcia and Anthony Kim both had difficult first rounds.

After focusing on the Asian Tour instead of the breakaway league, Sergio Garcia and Anthony Kim of LIV Golf had difficult beginnings at the Macau International Series event.

Kim and Garcia are among several other LIV celebrities who chose to travel to Macau this week after their initial round performance was lackluster. Garcia began his week with a dismal two-over-par 72. This is the first Official World Golf Ranking-sanctioned event outside of the majors that Garcia has participated in this year.

The former Masters champion started the round well behind the lead and in a tie for 124th place after making three birdies in his first eighteen holes, which were negated by five bogeys.

After narrowly missing out on winning his first LIV title at Mayakoba last month due to a playoff loss to Joaquin Niemann, Garcia would have undoubtedly entered the week with high expectations of leaving his mark. But things did not go as planned on Thursday, and the Spaniard now has to work hard to make the 36-hole cut.

Somewhere else Kim is participating in his first Tour event outside of LIV following his unexpected 12-year hiatus from the professional game. Kim’s comeback has been difficult to maintain, despite his impressive five-under-par 65 in the last round of the LIV Hong Kong last week.

And on Thursday in Macau, he shot a four-over 74 through his first eighteen holes, finding himself near the bottom of the leaderboard once more. The 38-year-old’splansfor the weekend appear uncertain as he is presently tied for 136th place going into his second round.

Both would be extremely disappointed if they missed the cut, especially since those in the breakaway league have the opportunity to gain some much-needed world ranking points this week. Garcia and company will only fall farther down the rankings after it became public that LIV had given up on getting recognized by the OWGR.

On the opposite end of the leaderboard, Li Haotong of China is in the lead following an incredible seven-under 63 that featured eight birdies. However, Li is under pressure from two LIV stars, Pat Perez and Mito Pereira, who are only one back at six-under.

Perez, who has struggled for form on the LIV setup since making the Saudi switch, made seven birdies and just the one bogey across his opening round. “To be honest, I have been working really hard on my game and it’s showing,” he said post-round. “It was nice today, I hit it really good, the wind was blowing.

“There are some tight tee shots out there, I played great. I just screwed up one hole. I have been playing good all week, the course kind of fits my eye. I was excited to play. You need to keep your driver in play here. It’s cool being here, it’s mini-Vegas, and I love Vegas.”

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