Top Links:

Get A Golf Handicap

UK Golf Guide

Golfshake Top 100s

Find Golf Travel Deals

Golf Competitions


Community Forum


Tee Times | Search | Reviews


Gear | Tour | Industry Insider


Video Library | Tuition Sections


Join | Log In | Help | Useful Links


2024 LIV Golf Jeddah Preview, Picks & Analysis

By: | Mon 26 Feb 2024

LIV Golf returns this week, with the circus heading to Jeddah, home of the circuit’s paymasters.

And the men who pay the big bucks must be feeling pretty happy with themselves. Jon Rahm may not have won either of the two season-opening tournaments but he did enough to show that he is taking this pretty seriously. Why wouldn’t he? In just over a month he will be defending his Masters title at Augusta National and he will want to ensure that he arrives there at the peak of his powers.

I remain bitterly disappointed by Rahm’s departure from the PGA Tour but I remain a fan of the way the Spaniard plays the game. He had a wonderful year in 2023, winning the Tournament of Champions, the American Express, the Genesis and The Masters. He should also have won the Farmers Insurance Open and starred for Europe as they won the Ryder Cup in Italy.

The big news this week is that the tournament will see the return to action of Anthony Kim, who has accepted a wild card. Don’t expect too much from the American. It is 12 years since his last competitive appearance and, if reports are to be believed, he has spent little time on the golf course. He once reached the top 10 in the world rankings, is a three-time PGA Tour winner and a former Ryder Cup player, but he could find things pretty challenging. It will be fascinating to watch his progress.

The winner last time out in Las Vegas was Dustin Johnson, who birdied three of the last six holes to claim the title by one shot. It was his third LIV victory and earned him $4m.

Over the years he has developed something of a reputation for throwing away tournaments from winning positions. However, Johnson won the US Open in 2016 and added The Masters in 2020. He has won 24 times on the PGA Tour and has played for the USA in the Ryder Cup five times and the Presidents Cup four times.

His victory at the Travelers Championship in 2020 saw Johnson become only the third man after Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to win at least once in each of his first 13 seasons on Tour.

He joined LIV in 2022 and won his first LIV event in Boston in September 2022. 

He made 311 starts on the PGA Tour, making 254 cuts, winning 24 times, finishing second 16 times, third nine times, and in the top five on an incredible 70 occasions. He also recorded 116 top-10 finishes.

It is interesting though not entirely unsurprising to discover that the total TV audience in the USA for LIV Las Vegas peaked at 297,000 viewers. To put this in perspective, there were 50 sports broadcasts in America that beat it. These figures must be a worry for a circuit that continues to divide the game. 

Sergio Garcia

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Joaquin Niemann won the opening tournament at Mayakoba, beating Sergio Garcia in a playoff, with Rahm finishing third. 

Niemann survived starting the day with a two-stroke penalty to beat Garcia at the fourth playoff hole. The Chilean was adjudged to have taken an incorrect drop during the second round and instead of going into the third and final round with a four-stroke lead it was slashed in half.

But he shrugged it off to collect the $4m winners’ cheque after a titanic struggle in Mexico with Garcia and Rahm.

He began the week with a sensational round of 59 but it all became something of a battle thereafter. 

Tournament favourite Rahm struggled to find his best form over the first 12 holes in the final round with erratic driving, poor iron play and multiple missed birdie attempts from inside of 20 feet. As a result of some indifferent play, Rahm found himself three strokes behind by the time he made the turn. 

But he made three birdies in a row from the 13th to pull level at the top of the leaderboard with Garcia. Niemann had fallen one shot back at the time but then quickly joined the duo with a birdie on the par-four 16th. 

With Garcia in the clubhouse at 12-under par following a final-round 66, Rahm took an iron off the tee on par-four 17th but found the penalty area well left of the fairway and it led to a costly bogey-five to fall out of the lead. Rahm pushed for a birdie down the last but he found the bunker with his tee shot and went on to make a consecutive bogey to finish tied third on 10-under par. 

Playing alongside Rahm in the final group, Niemann had a birdie putt from inside of 12 feet on 18 but he missed on the left side.

It meant a playoff down 18 with his former mentor Garcia. After three tied holes in par down the 18th, Garcia and Niemann were asked by a rules official whether they wanted to return on Monday morning due to fading light. But they both agreed to play the 18th one more time. Garcia made his first big mistake in the playoff by sending his second shot into the deep rough to the right of the green by the bunker, and Niemann then sent a wedge into 15 feet. The Spaniard chipped up to some 12 feet but it mattered little as Niemann then drained the birdie putt for the win in darkness. 

Form Guide:

After two near-misses, Jon Rahm will be absolutely determined to win this week but Talor Gooch is currently treating LIV Golf as a personal cash dispenser and could surprise the Spaniard - but not himself.

The Course:

Royal Greens is a spectacular course that features several water hazards, generous fairways, large, well-contoured greens - and plenty of bunkers. Opened in 2017, it is a par 72 measuring 7,040 yards.

To Win:

Jon Rahm. Has every shot in the book

Each Way:

Talor Gooch. Has become a serial contender

Each Way:

Brooks Koepka. Back to his brilliant best

Five to Follow:

Jon Rahm. Impossible to ignore

Talor Gooch. Such a shame we won’t see him in the majors

Brooks Koepka. Fit and firing

Louis Oosthuizen. Fabulous golf swing

Sergio Garcia. Off to a good start in 2024

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? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

Tags: LIV Golf Golf Previews

Scroll to top