Brooks Koepka brought some major joy to the rebel tour last week after winning the PGA Championship. This week, he lines up alongside the likes of Cam Smith and Dustin Johnson for LIV Golf DC.
2023 LIV Golf League
LIV Golf DC
Trump National Golf Club, Potomac Falls, Virginia
There is no doubt that last week’s US PGA Championship was a gigantic success for Greg Norman’s rebel tour. Koepka became the first active LIV Golfer to win a Major Championship. It certainly does have the affect of bringing an air of legitimacy to the entire LIV enterprise (despite my continued reservations about the team approach).
This despite the fact that Koepka has been quite openly critical of his decision to defect. Be that as it may, two of the reigning Major champions compete on the LIV roster. And that does feel like a significant development going forward.
The LIV Golf League will be making its first appearance in DC this week after breaking the record for the highest-attended US LIV Golf event in Tulsa. This will be the seventh event of this extended LIV Calendar, marking the halfway point of the entire season.
Trump National Golf Club
Opened in 2016, the Championship Course at Trump National Golf Club was the site of the 2017 Senior PGA Championship. The links-style Championship Course utilizes holes from two existing courses created by famed designers Tom Fazio and Arthur Hills.
The layout is quite stunning, with the Potomac River offering some breathtaking backdrops. It is an absolute beast at 7,693 yards. Length has been a chief characteristic of many LIV Golf venues. It actually perfectly prepares their players for the rigours of playing Major Championship golf (especially Stateside).
But I digress. Players who can bomb it will have a massive advantage this week (particularly with four par 5’s in play). Also look for players who have some understanding of the vagaries of links golf.
Koepka will obviously be the main draw after his ironman showing last week. The guy is just a killer in the most high-pressure situations. It will be interesting to see what level we get from Koepka following a week of raucous celebration.
DJ couldn’t quite get his game together at Oak Hill. But he is fresh off becoming only the third multiple LIV Golf winner in Tulsa. I am fascinated to see how DeChambeau fares this week. He flirted with contention at Oak Hill before fading somewhat on Sunday. Elsewhere, LIV specialists Talor Gooch and Peter Uihlein both have the tee-to-green game to tame this beast.
2023 LIV Golf champions
LIV Golf Mayakoba: Chalres Howell III (-16)
LIV Golf Tucson: Danny Lee (-9) *playoff
LIV Golf Orlando: Brook Koepka (-15)
LIV Golf Adelaide: Talor Gooch (-19)
LIV Golf Singapore: Talor Gooch (-17) *playoff
LIV Golf Tulsa: Dustin Johnson (-17) *playoff
Betting Favourites (To Win): Brooks Koepka (7/1), Cameron Smith (8/1), Dustin Johnson (12/1), Joaquin Niemann (16/1), Talor Gooch (16/1
Bryson DeChambeau- To Win 22/1 | To Place 48/10
DeChamebeau has to be favoured on a behemoth such as this. It’s actually not too dissimilar in length to Winged Foot (the site of his famed 2020 US Open victory). The big-hitting American has struggled to get back to his best following a series of physical setbacks. He underwent wrist surgery and an extensive weight-loss campaign.
But he also required surgery on a cyst in his nose that was beginning to impede his breathing. But his brilliant showing at Oak Hill seems to suggest that he might be somewhere near his best. I was extremely impressed with the number of clutch par-putts he was able to make. Seventh place at LIV Golf Tulsa was perhaps the first glimpse of his recent improvements. I think this is a brilliant chance for him to continue his career revival.
The Man to Beat- Cameron Smith- To Win 8/1 | To Place 7/4
Cam Smith looks absolutely nailed-on to contend this week. Firstly, he is in fantastic form. He has four top-six finishes in this year’s LIV Golf League. He lost to DJ in the LIV Tulsa playoff and he just produced a spirited Sunday display to finish inside the top 10 at Oak Hill. He’s one of the best links players in world golf. The reigning Open Champion’s game should suit this course like a glove and I fully expect him to be in the mix this week.