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    LIV Golf Converged at Augusta…And Made Their Mark

    The year’s first major championship came and went on golf’s grandest stage, and the recently defected golfers of the LIV Tour knew this week was a moment to prove they still had world-class game and to shine. The spotlight couldn’t have been brighter at Augusta as they were back playing in the same tournament as their PGA Tour counterparts. Admittedly, the media and golf fans alike stirred the pot of drama more ferociously than what exists in actuality, as all were punctual leading up to the start of tournament play. Whatever it was that got stirred up, it certainly garnered the best out of some LIV Tour players who had been otherwise quiet until they arrived at ANGC.

    All-in-all, it was a smashing success for Greg Norman and the LIV Golf brigade as they clashed for four days with the PGA Tour’s elite and hung with them…most of the way. Here’s what The Masters week at Augusta meant for the LIV golf entourage of players, and what’s next on their path to continue playing major championships in 2023 and years beyond.

    LIV Golf Favorites at The Masters

    Of the eighteen LIV Tour golfers that were still eligible via their past status and current world ranking which gets them at least one more shot at a Green Jacket in 2023, TWELVE made the cut and played the weekend. That 66% made-cut percentage was a lot higher than many pundits forecasted and surprised many casual observers – it’s an undeniable tip of the cap on baseline performance. Defending champion at The Open Cam Smith led LIV Tour member switch pre-tournament odds as low as 18/1 – though he stumbled at times, he and 2020 champion Dustin Johnson (22/1) both finished tied for 34th. It wasn’t the mullet or the beard that excelled most for LIV golf representation – it was the brute that is Brooks Koepka.

    It was giving off plenty of 2018 vibes early in the week as Koepka backed up his LIV Golf win in Orlando with a lightning-fast start out of the gate. He led a torrid peace with rounds of 65 and 67 and then sat in the clubhouse and the comforts of his AirBnB Friday as the weather rolled in. The same dejected Koepka who appeared on “Full Swing” yearning for one more shot at major championship glory certainly got it…but he couldn’t capture the ultimate goal on Sunday. Call it rust or major championship pressure, or the 54 vs 72-hole barrier that broke him, but the game fell off and it was a tie for second in the end.

    Phil the Thrill

    So who joined Brooksy in second at The Masters? A 52-year-old Phil Mickelson, because of course he would. All week long as bettors weighed in on Augusta leading up to Thursday, there was nary a thought or even whisper of Phil playing well let alone contending the year’s first major. The most infamous and outspoken LIV golf member started his week with a surprisingly quiet and demure showing at the Champions Dinner, and then let his clubs do the talking for the rest of the week. It was a rather sleepy start that had him peering at page one of the leaderboard from a distance, but that all changed quickly on Sunday. 

    AP Photo/David J. Phillip

    After going out in two under par, he whistled home on the second nine in five under for a seven under par 65 that was fittingly capped with a birdie on 18. What followed was the biggest smile from Phil Mickelson in years – you could tell the man was at peace and thankful to be playing good golf again, especially on this stage. It’s amazing how nine months of piss-poor golf on the LIV Tour can be wiped away with one gloriously memorable day at Augusta National. The legend of Phil the Thrill lives on.

    What’s Next?

    Next up for the LIV Tour is a trip down under to Adelaide, Australia. As for when PGA Tour fans see them in action next, the PGA Championship beckons in May, and we can already begin to drum the Phil Mickelson U.S. Open hype for his seemingly never-ending quest for the career grand slam. From there, we wonder if official world golf ranking points will be doled out to LIV players or if an agreement is ever made with the big tour. Can Brooks Koepka make the Ryder Cup team on major performances alone? Questions aplenty as the LIV vs. PGA Tour drama rolls on.

    LIV Tidbits

    While there were plenty of low highlights, the lowlights of the week were undoubtedly the EASY missed cuts and trunk slams for 2019 champion Sergio Garcia (+7) and 2012 + 2014 Champ Bubba Watson (+9)

    Also a couple of curious injury withdrawals from Kevin Na and Louis Oosthuizen – maybe they just wanted the Pimiento Cheese and Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches really badly.

    The CBS was notably light on any LIV Golf references whatsoever, although Jim Nantz wins the dad joke of the week for calling the crosswalk “The CW” as Brooks Koepka passed.

    Golf FAQs

    How do PGA Golf Majors Pools work?

    In PGA Golf Majors Pools, member select six golfers to compete on a roster over the course of an event. The member with the best combined score from the six golfers wins.

    Can you include all four majors into one pool?

    Yes, but your commissioner can also customize these setting with RunYourPool. Pools can include up to all four majors, repicking golfers each time or adding bonus points for finishing positions

    How do I assemble a roster?

    Golfers are broken up in to six tiers, as members select one golfer per tier to be on their Major roster.

    What happens to golfers who miss the cut?

    Any PGA Player who does not make the cut will be given the highest score of Round 3 and Round 4, respectively.

    What are the four golf majors?

    The Masters is the first major of the season, in April. The PGA Championship and the U.S. Open follow, with the British Open ending as the final major.

    How do PGA One and Dones work?

    Members in a pool select one golfer to win a tournament, but can't pick that golfer again for the rest of the season. The member with the best score at the end of the season wins.

    What is a PGA One and Done pool?

    A PGA One-and-Done Pool is a contest similar to Survivor Pools, in which members can only select a golfer one time per season for events.

    Which tournaments are played for PGA One and Dones?

    Pool commissioners can set up the season for as many or as few tournaments as desired. Go crazy and do all of them! Or dial it back for the major events. As commissioner of a RunYourPool contest, you decide which events to play in!

    How to run a weekly golf pool?

    In order to run a golf pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like One and Done or Pick-X Pools. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    How do golf Pick-X Pools work?

    Members select a certain number of golfers per tournament, set by the pool commissioner. The member earns the total winnings that their selected golfer won for the tournament. Whichever member earns the most winnings over the duration of the season wins.

    What is a golf Pick-X Pool?

    A Pick-X Golf Pool calculates tournament winnings rather than strokes gained when deciding a winner. This amplifies the big name events that feature a higher prize purse.

    How to run a golf pool?

    How you decide to run a golf pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    What is a prop bet?

    Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

    How do Masters Prop Bets Pools work?

    Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.

    When is the Masters?

    The Masters is typically in April and the first major of the golf season. The 2023 Masters is set for Thursday, April 6 and will run until Sunday, April 9.

    Where is the Masters played?

    The Masters is annually held at the Augusta National Golf Club located in Augusta, Georgia, USA.


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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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