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LIV Golf Team Championship - What Did You Miss?

By: | Tue 24 Oct 2023

LIV Golf concluded its second season of their history in Miami during October, which saw the format of the tour alter solely for the season ending event.

LIV is unique as all golfers are not only expected to play for themselves, but the team that they also represent.

As we have seen throughout their tournaments, there are two trophies: one for the individual and the other is awarded to the team who has carded the best collective score.

It is well documented that LIV are hopeful of shaking up the professional golf scene, and the format of their Team Championship was interesting to say the least.

The event kicked off with two days of match play before the Championship Round culminated on the final day of the season.

LIV Golf

Image Credit Doug DeFelice/LIV Golf

The quarter finals took place on the opening day, with the 4Aces, HyFlyers, Crushers, Cleeks, Torque, Stingers, RangeGoats and Fireballs all progressing through to the semifinals. 

Team Championship Semifinals

With eight LIV teams competing in the semifinals, each team faced off against another in a bid to qualify for ultimate glory during the Championship Round.

Each semi-final included three matches. The first two were 1 v 1 match play and the opening match saw each captain face each other. The final match was contested in a 2 v 2 better ball scenario.

The 4Aces defeated the HyFlyers as Dustin Johnson beat Phil Mickelson 2 & 1 before Cameron Tringale evened the scoreline after defeating Patrick Reed 4 & 3.

It all came down to the final 2 v 2 match, with Pat Perez and Peter Uihlein besting James Piot and Brendan Steele 4 & 3 to help the 4Aces progress to the final by winning 2 – 1.

The Crushers also progressed to the finale after beating Cleeks 2-1. Bryson DeChambeau won his singles match against Martin Kaymer 4 & 3, whilst Paul Casey dominated Richard Bland by a 7 & 5 scoreline.

Due to their singles success, the Crushers were already through to the final before the 2 v 2, where Graeme McDowell and Bern Wiesberger restored some pride for the Cleeks after winning 3 & 2 for a small consolation.

The only whitewash of the semifinals took place during the third match, where Torque comfortably beat Stinger 3 – 0.

Joaquin Niemann narrowly defeated Louis Oosthuizen 2 & 1 in the captain’s match and Sebastian Munoz demolished Branden Grace 7 & 6 to secure Torque’s presence in the final.

Mito Pereira and David Pluig added the icing to the cake after winning their doubles match 2 up.

RangeGoats produced a brilliant comeback to book their place in the final after Sergio Garcia fell to a scoreline of 4 & 3 in the captain’s battle.

Talor Gooch, who won 2 up, and the fantastic team of Thomas Pieters and Harold Varner, ensured the comeback would come to fruition in readiness for Sunday’s finale.

Championship Round

LIV Golf

Image Credit Doug DeFelice/LIV Golf

After the semifinals, only four teams stood a chance of winning the Team Championship, with the final round contested in a traditional LIV manner.

All 48 players among the 12 teams competed in a single round of stroke play, with the collective score of all four making up the team’s standing.

The Crushers were crowned Team Champions largely thanks to the efforts of Anirban Lahiri (65) and DeChambeau (67) contributing towards a total of -11.

Bubba Watson led the resistance for RangeGoats by carding 67, but the combined effort of Talor Gooch (70), Thomas Pieters (70) and Harold Varner III (72) saw them trail the Crushers by two strokes.

Torque (-6) finished third, whilst the 4Aces had a day to forget, only managing to muster a combined score of even par – with Peter Uihlein the only member to shoot in the 60s (69).

Now that the LIV Golf season has concluded, could it be argued that this was a successful second year for the organisers?

There is no denying that LIV is trying to add different flavours to the professional golf scene, but was there a demand for it in the first place?

The focus on LIV are the teams and implementing a Team Championship would be a brilliant idea if fans felt a connection with a specific team – such as football or rugby.

Perhaps the biggest challenge LIV will face is drumming up interest in their teams and encouraging fans to pick a side.

If the tour can capture the tribalism found in other sports, then future Team Championships could see a spike in viewership and interest, which would certainly help to ‘grow the game’.

The Ryder and Solheim Cups continue to bring first-class entertainment, so there’s certainly a market for team golf. 

If we also consider TGL will be launching soon and has managed to capture some impressive names, will team-based competition become a crucial aspect of professional golf?

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Tags: LIV Golf

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