2023 LIV Golf Series
LIV Golf Tulsa
Cedar Ridge Country Club, Broken Arrow, Tulsa Arizona
I came within a whisker of picking the LIV champion in Singapore. Sergio Garcia ultimately lost in a playoff to current LIV Alpha Talor Gooch.
The Spaniard, fortunately, managed to pocket a significant payday for that runner-up finish. I say fortunately because the DP World Tour can now place significant fines on European members who play under the LIV umbrella.
Garcia still hasn’t paid an initial fine laid down prior to the arbitration ruling that favoured the DP World Tour. I just love some of this soap-opera stuff (there’s a Shonda Rhimes drama in here somewhere). Also, did anyone else see that stuff about Grange Golf Club members bemoaning the LIV’s treatment of their course? Hilarious.
LIV Golf Tulsa
The circus moves back Stateside this week for the inaugural staging of the LIV Golf Tulsa. This will serve as the final stop for LIV players aiming to tune their game ahead of next week’s US PGA Championship, where Greg Norman will be hoping his players can emulate their success at Augusta.
Cedar Ridge Country Club
Designed by Joe Finger, Cedar Ridge Country Club has never been used for a men’s professional event before. It hosted the 1983 Women’s US Open as well as an LPGA Tour event between 2004 and 2008.
It is a tree-lined parkland-style par 70 that plays to a yardage of 7,213. A creek runs through the layout and the greens feature plenty of undulations.
Ball-striking looks like it will be vital this week, with four long par 3’s and a few sizable par 4’s. Four of the five events played this season have been won by someone who ranks inside the top five for GIR.
And GIR happened to be a vital stat when this course was played on the LPGA Tour. It is quite a tough test and players will also have to contend with extremely blustery conditions on Friday.
Talor Gooch is the man of the moment on the LIV Tour. He has won both post-Masters LIV events and comes into this as one of the hottest players in world golf.
Brooks Koepka will be using this as very lucrative tune-up for next week’s US PGA Championship. Koepka won in Orlando prior to his Augusta surge and will be hoping for similar results this week. Cam Smith and Dustin Johnson will also look for some momentum ahead of next week’s Major.
And it’s always fun to watch Phil Mickelson. He will feel he has a chance of success at Oak Hill next week (especially after that scintillating final round 65 at Augusta). He became the oldest winner of a Major at the 2021 US PGA Championship hosted at Kiawah. It will be intriguing to see how he fares this week.
To Win Outright
Brooks Koepka 9/1 | Talor Gooch 10/1 | Cameron Smith 11/1 | Dustin Johnson 14/1 | Patrick Reed 16/1
Jason Kokrak- To Win 28/1 | To Place 6/1
Oklahoma sits right above Texas and the Oklahoma courses have a lot in common with Texas tracks. Many of them are tree-lined, fast-running and wind-affected. Jason Kokrak has finished inside the top 20 on five different Texas courses (winning at Memorial Park and Colonial in 2021). He was 6th last time out in Singapore and I really love his long game this week. He could be in the mix if he fine-tunes those irons.
Bryson DeChambeau- To Win 60/1 | To Place 13/1
Former US Open champ DeChambeau has really deteriorated over the past few years. Endlessly tinkering with his game, he seems to have lost some of the fundamentals along the way. But there were signs that the big-hitting American was somewhere near his best in Singapore. He shot five-under-par in his opening round and sat just a few shots off the lead. The weekend tailed off but DeChambeau’s power should give him an obvious advantage this week. Regardless of form, you have to jump on 60/1 for DeChambeau (especially in these small fields).
The Player to Beat- Talor Gooch- To Win 10/1 | To Place 22/10
I think that 10/1 is not a bad price for a man looking to make it three on the bounce. And Talor Gooch should feel very much at home this week. Born in Midwest City in Oklahoma, Gooch attended Oklahoma State. He also finished 20th when the US PGA Championship was played at Southern Hills last year (also located in Oklahoma). He is familiar with this course and should have the tools to tame it. Gooch’s solid long game will come in handy here while his brilliant iron play should give him plenty of chances.