How Can Anybody Invest Their Support in LIV Golf Teams
For his latest View From The Fairway opinion article - Golfshake's Derek Clements looks at the team element of LIV Golf and asks whether anyone can genuinely care about the individual sides?
Is it just me? Is anybody interested in the fact that four guys in a “team" called Crushers GC pocketed $14m as the curtain came down on another LIV season in Miami?
Crushers are captained by Bryson DeChambeau, who droned on afterwards about the joys of team golf. Hmmm…. When I think of DeChambeau several words come to mind but I have to tell you that “team” is not one of them.
Please don’t get me wrong here. I have nothing but admiration for the way he reinvented himself and for the way he has developed a technique all of his own to play this wonderful game.
But a team player? I don’t think so. And, in any event, how can four people possibly constitute a team? Singing the praises of LIV’s team aspect is quite obviously a swipe at the Ryder Cup, for which DeChambeau is no longer eligible.
This is what he had to say: "I can't be happier with this team of mine. Any time you get a win with a team, I'd say honestly that's more important than individual stuff. Look, majors are great but there's a team behind you there. I've got a team, my own team.”
Oh please Bryson. As John McEnroe once famously said: You cannot be serious.
When it comes to golf, the team format is a unique one. In professional golf there is nothing quite like the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and, to a lesser degree, the Presidents Cup. And the ultimate honour for any amateur golfer is to be chosen to represent their national colours in events such as the Walker Cup.
From a spectator’s point of view, you need to feel invested in the team you are supporting - that is why Premier League football clubs have such huge followings.
And that is why people get so excited about international tournaments such as the rugby World Cup, cricket World Cup and Ryder Cup. You are supporting the country (or continent) of your birth.
How on earth is it possible to feel the same way about Crushers GC? Or RangesGoats?
Let’s not pretend that the team element of LIV Golf is anything other than another exercise in generating huge amounts of prize money for the 48 golfers who signed for the breakaway circuit.
For the record, the Crushers beat 11 teams over the 2023 season to scoop $14m (£11.5m) in prize money at Trump National Doral.
Anirban Lahiri, Charles Howell III and Paul Casey supported captain DeChambeau in their successful campaign.
The top four seeds - 4Aces GC, Crushers GC, Torque GC and RangeGoats GC - came through the semi-finals to reach the finale in which all four squads competed in a strokeplay event, with all four players' scores counting.
India's Lahiri produced a bogey-free round, signing for a seven-under-par 65, while DeChambeau carded a 67, which featured five bogeys on the back nine. Howell contributed a level-par 72, while England's Casey shot a 73 for a combined total of 11 under.
It was enough to put them two shots clear of Range Goats GC in second, with Torque GC finishing third and defending champions 4 Aces GC fourth.
Lahiri did not win an individual title in 2023, but had two runner-up finishes.
I am all for different formats - and it is blindingly obvious that the PGA Tour has been influenced by LIV but I am sorry, for most golf fans, the team element of LIV Golf just doesn’t work.
Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)
comments powered by Disqus