Wolff makes the first hole in 1 at LIV Golf

DEP-GLF SAUDI LEAGUE (AP)Matthew Wolff inscribed his name in LIV Golf's fledgling history with the first hole at 1, which took him to a 7-under-par


Matthew Wolff inscribed his name in LIV Golf’s fledgling history with the first hole at 1, which took him to a 7-under-par 63 round to take a one-shot lead over a pair of newcomers at the Invitational-Boston tournament of the new series sponsored by Saudi Arabia.

One of those new players was Britain’s Cameron Smith, British Open champion, among six golfers who recently joined the controversial league. Smith broke a wedge with a shot behind a tree that allowed him to save par and finished with a 45-foot eagle to finish with 64 shots.

Chilean Joaquin Niemann, who signed with Greg Norman’s league after his PGA Tour season ended at the Tour Championship, turned in a 64 card, the same as Talor Gooch.

“I’m having a ton of fun here, my first day at the office,” Niemann said.

Smith and Niemann stood out among newcomers that included Anirban Lahiri (66), Harold Varner III (67), Marc Leishman (70), and Cameron Tringale (71).

“This is a new chapter in my life. I think this is the future of golf,” Smith said earlier in the week. “I love the way things are out here. It’s a bit more relaxed in the range, with music. I love those details.”

He also cited a shorter schedule that will allow him to travel home to Australia more often, leaving the PGA Tour after a season in which he posted three wins that moved him up to second in the world rankings.

Smith was solid early on and finished with some erratic tee shots. One was on the 16th hole when he drove his driver into the trees. The ball landed off the side of a log and Smith got a break because he was able to profile himself as a lefty, the only sensible play of his was in the path where the cart passed.