Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    LIV and PGA Golfers Converge at Oak Hill

    The year’s second major championship is here, and it’s staged at one of the classic Northeast US courses that has one reputation – tough. Oak Hill is undoubtedly going to be a brute, and it should present a bevy of player and tournament storylines since it’s a major championship week. What that also means is we get our fun little reunion of the PGA Tour and LIV golf elite at the same venue. Now that we are fully in the thrusts of year two of the PGA vs. LIV standoff and the tension has subdued a bit, it still hasn’t stopped the storylines and player comparisons across the golf Twittersphere. 

    What makes this week’s major unique for the LIV Golf and PGA Tour convergence is the nature of the test at Oak Hill. See, at Augusta, that’s an annual stop with boatloads of good vibes that allowed players like Brooks, Phil, and PReed to say “Oh, yeah…I know this place well” and use familiarity as their ally. Now, we head to a course not in the regular rotation that hasn’t hosted a major in a decade. It will take some quick learning from everyone in the field and might be a true test of just how in form the departed LIV golfers are on a DOG of a course.

    Tensions Cooling?

    “Are we cool, bro?” – seems to be the vibe in the PGA Tour vs. LIV Tour battle these days, and the question mark needs to be noted. While many of the game’s elite will tell you that the tensions have cleared and the rival tour stars are no longer at each other’s throats, there’s still that unspoken awkwardness that is leading to compelling majors this year and potentially in years to come. It’s similar to that moment on the kickball field when you’re separated from your friends. They’re still your friends but now that they’re on the other team, the will to want to crush them is natural in competition. While I’m sure it will be all fun and games at the practice facility, here’s to hoping for some sort of Masters-esque duel to rev their engines up in this ongoing golf rivalry.

    LIV Golf Favorites at the PGA

    Coming off of the impressive performance at the Masters and at recent LIV Golf events, you have to start by factoring in two-time PGA Champion Brooks Koepka as a threat to win this week. He’s leading the oddsmakers amongst LIV Golfers to win at 18-1 odds and deservedly so. Koepka and Dustin Johnson (20-1) are both in spots here at Oak Hill and seem to love the “grind it out” nature of long, brutal tracks. Despite neither of them professing love for the game of golf itself, you can tell the competitor and athlete emerges at these extra-tough tests. From there, Aussie and 2022 The Open Champion Cameron Smith checks in 30-1 odds and seems due for a major performance after some dormant golf as of recent. Speaking of recent, back-to-back LIV Golf individual champion Talor Gooch (40-1) is sure to get some money thrown his way on bet slips this week. For Phil the Thrillseekers, the 2021 PGA Champion is coming into Oak Hill as an 85-1 underdog to do the unthinkable and win this week. 

    After the battle at Augusta, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf are set for another clash at the PGA Championship. Read our preview here.
    AP Photo/Mark Baker

    Alex’s LIV Plays

    Brooks Koepka 18-1

    Talor Gooch  40-1

    Joaquin Niemann 75-1

    PGA Tour Favorites at the PGA

    Based on the PGA Tour narrative so far in 2023, I’m starting the PGA Tour conversation for wagering this week around Jon Rahm. He’s the betting favorite alongside Scottie Scheffler at a 7-1 win, and the only reason that Rahm isn’t the prohibitive favorite is he hasn’t played in a few weeks. Adequately rested and ready to go on a grueling course, he’s going to have to harness a little of that 2021 Torrey Pines US Open to get it done but he’ll be hard to beat. Scheffler comes off of a good showing (no win) at the Byron Nelson but already has two big-time wins at the Waste Management and The Players under his belt. Then there’s Rory – despite little to no form since Bay Hill, I’m still drawn to him on courses like this. The Northeast US vibe…tree-lined, filled with thick rough to punish the weak. This has the feel of a course he can contend at, the wild card is what form he brings into a track that fits him eerily well.

    Alex’s PGA Tour Plays

    Rory McIlroy 11-1

    Max Homa 28-1

    Matt Fitzpatrick 30-1

    Who to Take: LIV or the PGA Tour at Oak Hill?

    The answer to that question this week is dependent on what type of play you’re making. Overall, for batch group selections and pool play, I’m catering more of my picks toward the PGA Tour players. This isn’t Augusta where familiarity ran rampant: it’s a more unknown tougher track that we haven’t seen competition on in a decade. If you’ve got your eyes on a Brooks or a DJ to win outright there are LIV golf elites that can get it done, but two-thirds of your card should lean towards the brass of the PGA Tour.

    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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