Phil Mickelson made a solid return to golf at the controversial LIV Golf Invitational London, shooting a one-under first round to sit four back.

Mickelson was playing alongside Dustin Johnson – the breakaway league's other superstar – at the Centurion Club.

Both men were included on a list of players suspended by the PGA Tour shortly after teeing off, with the two captains – Mickelson for Hy Flyers and Johnson for 4 Aces – starting at the first.

"I'm excited, fresh, ready," said Mickelson, who had been absent from the golfing scene since his comments about Saudi Arabia were publicised and widely criticised.

Martin Kaymer carded the first LIV Golf birdie following the shotgun start, while Mickelson showed some good form off the tee but was a little rusty with the putter.

Both he and Johnson, who made a slow start, recovered to move within four of the individual lead, although Stinger were dominating the team event.

Team-mates Charl Schwartzel (five under) and Hennie Du Plessis (four under) were first and second, with Branden Grace (two under) in a tie for fifth.