Test in each week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the most well liked matters within the sport, and be a part of the dialog by tweeting us @golf_com. This week, our workforce breaks down LIV Golf’s first season, the format of the finale, and if its gamers will play for the European Ryder Cup workforce.
1. LIV Golf ended its inaugural 12 months on Sunday with the finale of its $50 workforce championship occasion at Trump Doral. Days earlier, Phil Mickelson mentioned “it’s fairly outstanding how far LIV Golf has come within the final six, seven months” and that it’s “a pressure within the recreation that’s not going away.” Now that we will put a bow on the controversial league’s inaugural season, how would you assess it? How have your emotions about it modified over the previous 12 months? What labored? Or didn’t? What stunned you?
LIV Golf’s season is over, however the query stays: Do you care?
Josh Sens, Senior Author (@joshsens): A 12 months in the past, most of us on this discussion board would have mentioned LIV had little probability of taking form in any respect. And even much less probability after Mickelson’s ‘scary mofos’ remark in February. That it not solely exists however has drawn a bunch of inexperienced jackets, a former world No. 1, the reigning Open/Gamers champ, and many others., counts as a stunning success. What LIV has didn’t do is provide a compelling product — although I’m undecided that’s a lot a flaw in LIV as it’s a characteristic of recent skilled golf. Many people began saying this lengthy earlier than Rory introduced it up. However what the world wants isn’t extra professional golf on TV however much less of it. The sport ought to pack it in for some time annually. Let individuals miss it. LIV got here into being partly by exploiting a weak spot within the PGA Tour — too many snooze-fest occasions that too few followers care about. However what LIV is providing in its place are snooze-fest occasions that too few followers care about. LIV’s downside is the Tour’s downside, writ massive: Enriching gamers is just not the identical as rewarding followers. Certain, the shortage of a TV deal doesn’t assist. However even my 83-year-old luddite mom is aware of easy methods to click on on YouTube. If tons of individuals have been , they’d be watching. They usually’re not.
Sean Zak, Senior Editor (@Sean_Zak): I needed LIV to exist for strict chaos functions. I noticed the potential it may inject into the ecosystem for change on the PGA Tour. Sadly, I believe all of it has gone a bit too far. Who’s responsible? A whole lot of people. How a lot time do you’ve got? Greg Norman didn’t work as a frontman. Not less than not as a talking frontman. The workforce championship labored, which was good as a result of it had been overvalued continually. However the workforce formation didn’t work. The one model I can actually consider is the 4 Aces, primarily as a result of they have been the very best gamers they usually solidified from the second occasion. At this level, I’m unhappy that there wasn’t a little bit of cooperation between the 2 sides, however I don’t really care responsible Jay Monahan. If you happen to give LIV an inch, it’ll wish to take a mile. So maybe we have been at all times going to finish up proper right here. I stay up for breaking down the lawsuit. Or quite, lawsuits.
Dylan Dethier, Senior Author (@dylan_dethier): I believe the largest story of LIV this season is that its future is … to be continued. LIV has signed sufficient gamers and constructed a profitable sufficient infrastructure that it’s assured to be round subsequent 12 months. Meaning subsequent 12 months will actually function its first full season. A league with much less decided backers than LIV may need waffled after its blended bag of outcomes and muted recognition. However these fellas have an extended runway, which implies they may have each probability to succeed.
2. The workforce of Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez received LIV’s workforce championship, which used a singular format of stroke play, match play and alternate shot (to not point out choosing your opponent) to resolve its winner. Now that we received to see all of it unfold, what did you consider the format for the season-ending occasion?
LIV Golf’s $50 million workforce championship is right here. That is what it seems to be like
Sens: The format was recent however — for causes talked about above — it was nonetheless a sleep of an occasion. When it comes right down to it, I simply don’t know that there’s a solution to be discovered within the format. We’ve seen it again and again. You’ll be able to throw as a lot cash — and wrinkles — on the downside as you need. Meaningless occasions are nonetheless meaningless occasions, whether or not it’s on the Tour or on the LIV circuit. Most individuals would quite watch guinea pig TikToks. Not less than they take up much less time.
Zak: Match play labored properly, and with a full season maybe there shall be a way of rivalry constructed up. However you received’t get any rivalry till you get sure groups taking meals off of different groups’ plates. That didn’t occur as soon as in the course of the common season, however it did Friday, and Harold Varner was irritated. His season ended early, simply as he beat the brakes off Brooks Koepka. Some strife is admittedly good. I’d love LIV to create a bit extra strife subsequent season.
Dethier: A whole lot of the format stuff LIV is attempting is enjoyable — particularly when taken in a vacuum. However I believe what LIV lacks is context. Wins on its tour are price a boatload of cash, however so far none of this implies something, and sports activities followers crave context and which means. For LIV, establishing that which means would possibly simply take time or it’d an un-clearable hurdle. I don’t assume there’s any strategy to know. However so far LIV garnered its consideration by means of curiosity, disruption, politicization and cash quite than the format itself.
3. Rory McIlroy advised the Guardian he felt betrayed by his European Ryder Cup teammates who left for LIV Golf, though Ian Poulter countered by saying so far as he’s conscious they’ll nonetheless qualify for the workforce. Not too long ago Jon Rahm mentioned LIV gamers must be allowed, whereas Shane Lowry was amongst those that mentioned they shouldn’t be. In fact, we don’t know the official reply but for the European squad, so now we have two questions: Will LIV gamers be allowed on Workforce Europe? And may they be?
‘First time I’ve felt betrayal’: Rory McIlroy opens up on LIV defections
Sens: I don’t assume they’ll be taking part in, however I wouldn’t thoughts seeing them within the combine. The Ryder Cup is already shot by means of with partisan divides. What’s a bit of extra pressure within the exhibition? It might be solely becoming. The groups may even serve for example, so badly wanted as of late, that you may disagree with somebody’s politics and actions with out having to deal with them as mortal enemies. As a sensible matter, although, it virtually looks like a moot level. Other than Sergio, the now-LIV golfers who performed for Europe within the final Cup at Whistling Straits have been non-factors. If you happen to actually wish to win, are you taking any of them at this level? Time for brand new blood on the workforce, anyway.
Zak: I believe they’ll be allowed AND banned. Shadow-banned, that’s. I believe they’ll have the ability to qualify mechanically, however will solely actually have the option to take action through majors and DP World Tour occasions, which they’ll have to work round their LIV schedule. And with half the workforce determined by captain’s picks, they’ll should plead to captain Luke Donald and shadow captain Rory McIlroy. It ain’t taking place.
Dethier: I’ll endorse Zak’s shadow-banned prediction. These guys will not be outright banned, however it’ll take some robust play within the majors to get them there. The extra related dialog, to me, isn’t really who can play on Workforce Europe however as a substitute who may function future captains. LIV swiped all the lot of ‘em!
4. Our newest Street Guidelines story recognized 18 objects that golfers ought to at all times journey with. Moreover the apparent, what’s the one merchandise you by no means depart dwelling with out when occurring a golf journey?
The 18 objects that golfers ought to at all times journey with
Sens: Child powder, particularly in the event you’re a walker. And duct tape. Means higher than Band-Aids for blisters.
Zak: Duct tape? Sens, do your self a favor and use athletic tape, my good friend. My golf journeys at all times appear to finish up with huge meals and drinks after. Which typically doesn’t depart as a lot area for breakfast. So investing in a single or two packing containers of granola bars can carry you thru morning tee instances.
Sens: I don’t wish to son you right here, younger man. However take it from any mountaineer — duct tape, ideally with a little bit of gauze beneath, immediately on the delicate space. Places athletic tape to disgrace. It additionally has a a lot cooler DIY high quality to it, so it provides you further avenue cred, too. I’m with you on the granola bars, although. Nice name.
Dethier: It’s good to see Sens bringing some blue-collar sensibility to this area. Duct tape! Patch up your golf bag, your heel, perhaps even your hat whereas we’re at it.
As for me? I’m stressing rain gloves and chapstick. (“Lip balm,” I assume, technically. Chapstick is in that Popsicle/Kleenex generic-brand zone.) You by no means know when a bit of sprinkle may disrupt your day — and if it’s windy, sunny or each, some chapped lips can actually put a damper on issues. Shield your self!
Sens: How’d I try this with my hats?
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