Sat, 09 Dec 2023

Sebastian Munoz breaks away from pack to lead at LIV Golf Chicago

Field Level Media
24 Sep 2023, 10:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports)

Colombia's Sebastian Munoz broke out of a logjam at the top with an 8-under-par 63 to lead by three strokes after the second round Saturday of LIV Golf Chicago in Sugar Grove, Ill.

Munoz was part of a five-way tie at 5 under through the first day at Rich Harvest Farms, then he opened with three birdies and an eagle in his first five holes Saturday en route to 13 under.

He carded a second eagle on the par-5, 626-yard No. 10, gave one shot back with a bogey at the par-4 No. 13, then recovered with birdies at Nos. 14 and 15.

"Got off to a hot start birdieing the first three and then on 5 just hit two perfect shots," Munoz said of the par-4, 427-yard No. 5. "Then it was tough to kind of keep my emotions in check a little bit, and then eagled No. 10. It was just hot. It was nice."

Munoz said he hasn't had good experience with taking care of leads such as his three-shot margin through two of three rounds. He said he will try to set the tone early and collect birdies in the next round.

"I feel like there's some tricky pins out there, there's some tricky shots," he said. "I couldn't avoid bogey free (Saturday), but -- I made a bogey, so it wasn't as clean as I would have wished, but it's looking good and feeling good, and I think it was good."

He's up by three shots over another first-round co-leader, India's Anirban Lahiri, who is at 10 under after a bogey-free round of 66 featuring an eagle at No. 2 and birdies at Nos. 4, 10 and 13.

"Chipped in for eagle on the second, which was my first hole," Lahiri said. "Got out of position, then made a nice birdie on 4. So yeah, quick start, but then I really didn't give myself that many close looks at birdie; lots of 15-, 20-footers that I just didn't make any.

"Then yeah, it was just one of those rounds where I shot a good score, I played good overall, but it could have been so much better."

Three players are tied for third at 8 under: Thomas Pieters (67 on Saturday) of Belgium, Abraham Ancer (66) of Mexico and Dustin Johnson (66).

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen (70 on Saturday) slipped from a share of the 18-hole lead to a tie for sixth at 6 under. Spain's Sergio Garcia fell even farther with a 2-over 73 to tie for 26th at 3 under. Australian Jediah Morgan, another of the five co-leaders on Friday, dropped to a tie for 38th at 1 under after a 75.

The team competition is tied between Munoz's Torque GC and Ancer's Fireballs GC at 22 under. Munoz's 63 on Saturday was combined with David Puig's 68 and Mito Pereira's 70.

Ancer's 66 was totaled with Carlos Ortiz's 68 and Eugenio Chacarra's 69.

Third place is a tie at 18 under between 4Aces GC -- with Johnson, Peter Uihlein and Pat Perez scoring on Saturday -- and Crushers GC with Lahiri, Bryson DeChambeau and Paul Casey.

--Field Level Media

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