Charl Schwartzel in action today – photo Getty Images / Liv Golf

The much awaited appearance of Liv Golf has arrived and the opening round held in cool windy condition at the Centurion Club in St Albans has seen South African Charl Schwartzel leading after day one, his round of 65 giving him a one shot lead over his fellow countryman Hennie Du Plessis.

“Yeah, 6-under, I actually wasn’t aware of it,” said the leader. “It’s (shotgun start for the field of 48) such a weird way of starting, when I turned on 18, I made that eagle and I was sort of — I had so much adrenaline and I was relieved, having a good finish.

“And then I was like, no, you’ve got to play another two holes. I knew the back nine would play a little easier with the three par 5s and the way the wind was blowing, that they were all reachable, and you know, I just, I putted well today and I gave myself a lot of opportunities on the back nine.”

Once the first shots had been hit, PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan, came good with his promise to penalise players for taking part in the breakaway tour, imposing a suspension on those members of the PGA Tour who are taking part this week.

While there is no indication as yet as to how long the suspension will be, Schwartzel was asked his reaction to the decision

“Well, Jay said it,” said the leader. “He said that’s what he was going to do. So in a way, it probably wasn’t a surprise, and I guess the timing, you know, we needed to hit a shot for him to have put a statement out.

“So yeah, it’s unfortunate. I would love — I respect the PGA TOUR a lot and I would love to be able to play on, and for that matter, play wherever you want.

“Yeah, you know, it’s not something that you wanted to do (face penalties). I played all over the world for 20 years pretty much wherever I wanted to, and you know, this was another opportunity for me to play on a different tour.

“Yeah, I mean, like I said, I respect the PGA TOUR. I respect The European Tour; in fact, all the tours that’s out there. I hope it changes one day.”

Wade Ormsby heads the six Australians in the field after his opening round of 1 over 71 to be in a share of 16th place.

Australian PGA Champion, Jed Morgan, and Sydney’s Kevin Yuan had 73, Matt Jones 74, Travis Smyth 75 and Blake Windred 78.

Scores