Ancer leads in Saudi as DJ (back) withdraws


KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia — Abraham Ancer had a 7-under 63 for a 1-shot lead over Sebastian Munoz after the first round of the Saudi International on the Asian Tour.

Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner of the tournament when it was part of the European tour schedule, withdrew Thursday before the start with an injury the Asian Tour described as “tweaking his back.”

The $5 million tournament has several players who have signed with Saudi-backed LIV Golf and whose season is still three weeks away from starting.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Munoz will be signing with LIV.

Cameron Young, the PGA Tour rookie of the year, received a conflicting event release from the PGA Tour to play. He was at 65, along with Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen.

British Open champion Cameron Smith, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 4 in the world, opened with a 73.

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