Johnson, DeChambeau share lead at LIV Golf Las Vegas, with Rahm 2 strokes back with day left

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Jon Rahm reacts to his putt on the ninth green during the second round of LIV Golf Las Vegas at Las Vegas Country Club on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Doug DeFelice/LIV Golf via AP)

LAS VEGAS – Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau each shot 8-under 62 on Friday to share the lead at LIV Golf Las Vegas, with fellow major champion Jon Rahm two strokes back with a day left in his second event on the Saudi-funded tour.

In the shadow of the Super Bowl, Johnson and DeChambeau reached 11-under 129 at Las Vegas Country Club on another chilly day with the temperature barely in the 50s. Rahm had a 63 to join Peter Uihlein (65) and Matthew Wolff (66) at 9 under.

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“Just really solid,” Johnson said. “Drove it really well. Hit a lot of nice iron shots. Gave myself a lot of looks at birdie. A couple times I got out of position, I was able to make a nice up-and-down.”

Talor Gooch (66) and Jason Kokrak (67) were 8 under. Paul Casey, tied with Harold Varner III for the first-round lead after a 63, had a 70 to drop into a tie for eighth at 7 under with Bubba Watson (68), Cameron Smith (66) and Laurie Canter (64).

In the team competition, Johnson's 4Aces were tied for the lead at 26 under with a RangeGoats team featuring Uihlein, Wolff and Watson. DeChambeau's Crushers were two strokes back with a round left.

Rahm is still getting used to the 54-hole format.

“Up until you mentioned it, I completely forgot,” Rahm said. “It’s just competition. You go out there, shoot the lowest you can, and that’s it.”

Johnson birdied Nos. 16, 17 and 18 in a bogey-free round.

DeChambeau had nine birdies and a bogey. After a bogey on the par-3 12th, he birdied the next three.

“Very pleased with the way I played,” DeChambeau said. “Wedging felt a little off. I putted well and drove it pretty well for the most part and just got to tidy up some things for tomorrow.”

Last year, Johnson won LIV Golf Tulsa and DeChambeau topped fields at Greenbrier and Chicago.

Rahm also had a bogey-free round.

“It was a very good day, very organized day, I would say,” Rahm said. “I drove it really well. When you have a traditional golf course like this one, it might not be the longest, but it is pretty narrow. If you can put those drives in the fairway, you’re definitely going to give yourself a few birdie chances, like I feel like I did today.”

The Masters champion tied for third last week in the season-opening event in Mexico, finishing two strokes out of a playoff that Joaquin Niemann won on the fourth hole of a playoff with Sergio Garcia.


AP golf:

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