LIV Golf gathers momentum with 2nd event


Branden Grace has accumulated over $6.6mn in two LIV events


The disruptive LIV Golf tour seemed to gather momentum in Portland, Oregon last week with only its 2nd event and first on US soil. After a spate of new entrants like the high profile US Open winner Bryson De Chambeau, former Masters winner Patrick Reed joining the likes of superstars Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, Greg Norman tweeted that the LIV Golf field was stronger than either of the events taking place at the same time on the PGA & European Tours. ( See graphic below).

Strength of Field comparison – LIV Golf, Irish Open and John Deere Classic

Portland Fans lapped up the big names which they have been starved of since no PGA Tour events take place in the state. The players also enjoyed the boisterous crowd in the final round, which were reasonably sized, as they appeared on the live stream broadcast. 

In the end 34-year-old South African Branden Grace produced a spectacular back nine 30 in the final round to shoot 69-69-65 (13-under 275) and win the first place cheque of US$4 million from the US$ 20mn purse, ahead of Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz. 

 Dustin Johnson, the highest ranked player in the field at World No. 17, held a share of the 54-hole lead but got off to a poor start and had to settle for a tie for third with Patrick Reed (67). 

“What a week,” Grace said after finishing at 13 under. “Played flawless golf. Played really well and when I needed to do something special, it came up. Managed to pull it off. What a great day. This is amazing—come out here, the new format, this new everything is amazing.”

It is by far the largest payday of Grace’s career and in two LIV events he has already earned $6.6 million which is over 50 per cent of his career earnings of just $12 million on the PGA Tour. 

On the downside, none of the players will earn World Rankings points for playing in these events as LIV’s application for World Ranking Points is under discussion by the committee. In the short term at least, that means the players on the LIV tour will see their world rankings only move downward. Although the European Tour has banned the players who will not be able to play the Scottish Open next week,  the (British) Open championship in mid July which is owned and staged by the R&A of St. Andrews and not owned by the European Tour, has so far permitted the players in LIV golf to participate just as the USGA allowed them to play the US Open soon after the first LIV event was held in London. 

LIV golf has announced that they will expand from 8 events this year to 14 events in 2023 and with big money chasing the PGA Tour’s big names, the new “Civil War” in professional golf is only going to gather more momentum as the PGA Tour and European Tour join hands to thwart the threat from Greg Norman and the seemingly bottomless pile of money being handed out by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. How will this all turn out ? India Golf Weekly will keep tracking the action as it unfolds from week to week. 

The top five at the LIV Golf event at Pumpkin Ridge, Portland, Oregon:

1st – Branden Grace -13

2nd – Carlos Ortiz -11

T3rd – Patrick Reed &  Dustin Johnson -9

5th – Louis Oosthuizen -7

The LIV Golf International will play its next event from July 29-31 at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey. Watch this space for weekly updates. 


Photo – Golf Digest

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