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2023 LIV Golf Greenbrier Preview, Picks & Analysis

By: | Mon 31 Jul 2023

THE 10th event of the LIV Golf season takes place at The Greenbrier this week.

As tends to be the way of things with LIV, most of the headlines could be made off the course after Brooks Koepka recently chose to launch an attack on Matthew Wolff. The reason this made headlines is because the pair are teammates.

Wolff has suffered some mental health issues and, by his own admission, has struggled with his well-being. So it came as something of a surprise that Koepka, who has been through his own highs and lows, told Sports Illustrated it was "very tough to have a team dynamic when you've got one guy that won't work" and that he had "given up" on Wolff.

The worst thing in all of this is that Koepka, a man who is not normally backwards in coming forwards, chose to criticise Wolff through the written media rather than sitting him down and having a conversation with him.

If you watched the Netflix series Full Swing you will know that Koepka was in despair at the time it was filmed, not knowing where his next good round was coming from. There was a huge amount of sympathy for a man who had won four majors and was then blighted by a series of injuries and a complete loss of form.

He has been lucky. He has managed to fight his way back to full fitness and rediscovered his form to such an extent that he won the US PGA Championship in May and all but secured his place in the US Ryder Cup team.

Brooks Koepka

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

So it will be fascinating to see how the dynamic between Koepka and Wolff plays out this week. It is fair to say that the atmosphere between the two might be somewhat frosty. You can be sure of one thing - many people will be rooting for Wolff.

Wolff said: "I read the interview with our captain Brooks Koepka and it was beyond disappointing to me. When I chose to join his team in 2023, I did so with much optimism about my new home as part of Team Smash and equally as important the chance to be around and learn from a player of Brooks' stature.

"Like everyone who has ever played the game at the highest level, I have had competitive moments in the past that I feel I have let myself down and even others in our new team environment. This has been quite difficult for me. My challenges on and off the golf course with my mental health has been well documented. I deal with those challenges every day."

Wolff pulled out of an event in Washington in May after completing the first two of his three rounds. "I mean, when you quit on your round, you give up and stuff like that, that's not competing," said Koepka.

It is likely that we will see Koepka, Talor Gooch and Cameron Smith battling it out for this week’s $4m first prize.

Given that there is a peace deal in the offing, Gooch really should come into consideration for the Ryder Cup, and if he manages to win his third title of the season at The Greenbrier it will make it increasingly difficult for US captain Zach Johnson to ignore him.

Local fans will welcome two-time major winner Bubba Watson, a former West Virginia resident who dedicated significant time and resources to helping West Virginia communities recover from 2016 flooding that devastated the region.

Danny Lee, in 2015, Kevin Na in 2018 and Joaquin Niemann have each been victorious at The Greenbrier and will look to build off their former success as the race for the Individual Championship and Team Championship hit the homestretch.

The individual standings are currently led by Gooch on 137 points, closely followed by Smith (130), Koepka (112), Patrick Reed (102) and Dustin Johnson (96). At the conclusion of the regular season, the player at the top of the individual standings will be crowned the league’s Individual Champion and the top three players receive bonuses.

LIV players compete as individuals but remain part of a dozen four-man teams in the 54-hole competition.

The Course

The Greenbrier opened in 1914 and was designed by Charles Blair Macdonald. It is a par 70 that measures 7,246 yards and features tree-lined fairways and largely flat, well-protected greens.

Form Guide

Talor Gooch is the form man in LIV Golf, with two wins already this season, although 2022 Open champion Cameron Smith is always going to be a threat on a course that demands such a strategic approach. Branden Grace is another this course may suit.

To Win:

Talor Gooch. Having a ball this year

Each Way:

Cameron Smith. In peak form

Each Way: 

Kavin Na. Previous winner here

Five to Follow:

Talor Gooch. A really impressive player

Cameron Smith. Has no weaknesses

Kevin Na. Fierce competitor

Branden Grace. Accurate driver and great iron player

Joaquin Niemann. Terrific short game

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Tags: LIV Golf

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