Major League Golf has been struggling to gain traction in a market dominated by the PGA Tour, and with an open platform like blockchain, it’s easy for outsiders to come in. This will create a battle of high stakes between two companies — one that is trying to preserve tradition and another that wants not just change golf but reinvent it from scratch.
The “Ryder Cup” is a high-stakes golf tournament that pits the United States against Europe. The Ryder Cup has been around for over 100 years and it continues to grow in popularity. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the two teams were battling for a different reason than just bragging rights. Read more in detail here: ryder cup.
LIV Golf and the PGA Tour are at war.
LIV Golf has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to lure some of the best players in the game away from the PGA Tour, including multiple major winners, using Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund as leverage. Naturally, the PGA Tour responded with penalties and the potential for lifelong bans.
The two parties will ultimately engage in this conflict in courtrooms. There have already been some lawsuits filed, and more are anticipated in the future.
But what if the PGA Tour and LIV Golf settled things on the golf course in a 12-on-12 Ryder Cup-style event? And let’s get the USGA, the R&A, the PGA of America, and the folks at Augusta National involved as well. If the PGA Tour wins, the LIV Golf guys can never again appear on the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, or participate in any major championships. And if LIV Golf wins, their guys can play whenever and wherever they like.
Let’s have it out with Jack Nicklaus leading the PGA Tour squad and Greg Norman leading the LIV Golf side. No attorneys. No legal action. Only 24 of the top athletes in the world are competing for the sport’s future. The location is, in my opinion, a no-brainer. There is no better venue to host this tournament than the Old Course at St. Andrews since golf’s future is on the line.
There is no home-course advantage as there is with the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup due to the diversity of nationalities on both sides. St. Andrews so makes complete sense.
I won’t go over the complete format, which includes matches in foursomes and four-ball, here. Let’s say heading into the 12 singles matches on the final day that the two teams are deadlocked.
Let’s begin, then. At the Old Course at St. Andrews, it’s the PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf, with the future of the sport on the line. How wonderful would it be, really?
Phil Mickelson vs Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods (PGA Tour) takes against Phil Mickelson (LIV Golf) in this matchup.
We kick things off with Phil Mickelson vs Tiger Woods. Yes, they’re both older. Yes, they’ve both been playing mediocre golf lately (and that’s being nice). But you can’t not have this marquee matchup on the docket.
And let’s be upfront about this. The largest crowd of any match on the course would still be watching Tiger and Phil. They won a combined 127 PGA Tour tournaments and 21 major championships, making them without a doubt the best two golfers of their generation and two of the greatest players of all time.
So, again, there’s no way you can’t include Phil Mickelson vs Tiger Woods in a PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf event. We’ll call them playing vice captains as each would undoubtedly be the leader of their respective teams.
Dustin Johnson vs Scottie Scheffler
Dustin Johnson (LIV Golf) and Scottie Scheffler (PGA Tour) are scheduled to compete.
In the second match, Scottie Scheffler, the current world No. 1 and the defending Masters winner, will go against Dustin Johnson, the former world No. 1 and the 2020 Masters champion. This may not seem like the most intriguing matchup given their various on-course personalities, but we’d see some darn excellent golf here.
DJ clearly has the advantage in terms of experience due to his 24 PGA Tour victories and two major titles. However, Scheffler is one of the most popular golfers in the world and is now regarded as the best player in the world. These days, he has a chance to win every event in which he competes, so taking on one of LIV Golf’s greatest players wouldn’t be a problem for him.
Patrick Reed vs Rory McIlroy
Patrick Reed (LIV Golf) against Rory McIlroy (PGA Tour) | Sportscasting
After Tiger vs. Phil, this Patrick Reed vs Rory McIlroy showdown was the first match set in stone. Come on, how could you not want to see a rematch of that instant classic from the 2016 Ryder Cup?
That day at Hazeltine, Rory and Reed battled it out, with Reed finally winning 1-up. This battle may not be as close this time around, though, considering how each is presently doing. While Reed has had some recent difficulties, McIlroy is now playing some of his best golf of his career.
But that’s the charm of golf. Every round is unpredictable, and this showdown would surely be the event’s high point.
Bryson DeChambeau vs Jon Rahm
Bryson DeChambeau (LIV Golf) against Jon Rahm (PGA Tour) | Sportscasting
I had to find a competent alternative to take on Bryson DeChambeau after Brooks Koepka destroyed everything by defecting to LIV Golf. Jon Rahm was the simple choice in this case. Imagine the tension that might result from these two U.S. Open winners facing off.
Many PGA Tour players have said that DeChambeau’s length off the tee intimidates them. But do you really believe that a man like Rahm is in danger? Furthermore, the flamboyant Spaniard is capable of hitting the long ball himself. By averaging 317.5 yards off the tee, he now has the third-best driving distance on the PGA Tour.
This match has a good chance of being among the more interesting ones on the schedule. Just picture Rahm’s emotions when Bryson inevitably criticizes a decision.
Brooks Koepka vs. Patrick Cantlay
Brooks Koepka (LIV Golf) vs Patrick Cantlay (PGA Tour) in a match broadcast by Mike Calendrillo
Speaking of intensity, we come to Brooks Koepka vs. Patrick Cantlay. There’s no doubt that Koepka is one of golf’s most intense figures. But have you seen Cantlay’s when he gets fired up? Look no further than his run toward the 2021 PGA Tour FedEx Cup title for that.
Although they both became professionals in 2012, Koepka has a stronger total résumé because of his four major title wins. Additionally, considering that this PGA vs. LIV competition would have a major championship-like atmosphere, Brooksie would seem to be interested.
Cantlay has won significant events despite the fact that he hasn’t yet claimed a major. He has two victories at the Memorial, which regularly draws one of the best fields in golf, and seven victories on the PGA Tour.
Louis Oosthuizen vs. Xander Schauffele
Louis Oosthuizen (LIV Golf) and Xander Schauffele (PGA Tour) are scheduled to compete.
Louis Oosthuizen vs. Xander Schauffele may not look like the sexiest matchup on this list, but I was excited to pair these two together. These aren’t big guys – both are a few inches shy of the six-foot mark — but they’re both tremendous ball strikers who can string birdies together at any time.
They both have experience winning on a huge stage. In addition to finishing second at each of the previous three majors throughout his career, Oosthuizen won The Open Championship in 2010 on the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Despite not having won a significant title, Schauffele is now the Olympic gold medallist. And he has consistently placed himself in a position to win a major. He finished second at The Open and The Masters, and he tied for third in the Pebble Beach U.S. Open in 2019. Undoubtedly one of the finest matchups, but also one of the overlooked ones.
Abraham Ancer vs. Cameron Smith
Abraham Ancer of LIV Golf will take against Cameron Smith of the PGA Tour.
Abraham Ancer of LIV Golf may not be well-known to certain people, but during the last year, he quietly rose up the world rankings with some outstanding PGA Tour performances, including a significant victory at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. He is really the third-ranked golfer on LIV, behind only DJ and Koepka.
Additionally, Cameron Smith from Australia has had a successful year. After winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii to start the year, he went on to win The Players Championship, which was the greatest victory of his short career. Smith has moreover been in the top 10 at The Masters four times in the last five years.
Similar to Schauffele-Oosthuizen, this battle would not be the most eye-catching, but it would be a good one.
Kevin Na vs. Justin Thomas
Kevin Na (LIV Golf) and Justin Thomas (PGA Tour) are scheduled to compete.
Since Brooks Koepka has won numerous major championships, I almost matched up Justin Thomas with him. But with Cantlay, I certainly took a different path.
I reasoned that Cantlay, all 160 pounds of him, may do a bit better than JT in a West Side Story or The Outsiders-style brawl. Seven pounds and an inch separate Kevin Na and Thomas at the start of the fight, but at least it’s closer.
All kidding aside, Kevin Na vs. Justin Thomas would be highly entertaining. Given JT’s knack for cracking jokes, it’d be great to see his take on Na’s signature quick walk to the hole. And, honestly, I like Thomas near the middle of the pack for the PGA Tour. He plays with a lot of emotion and could give his team that much-needed spark in the middle matches.
Sergio Garcia vs. Collin Morikawa
Sergio Garcia (LIV Golf) takes against Collin Morikawa (PGA Tour) in a match broadcast by Mike Calendrillo.
Sergio Garcia of LIV Golf and Collin Morikawa of the PGA Tour square off in yet another matchup of major winners. Of course, their individual routes to those significant victories differed a little.
Sergio Garcia eventually achieved the desired feat at The Masters in 2017, after a record-breaking 74 starts. As for Morikawa, he won the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in his third major tournament appearance. The 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s was his next victory, coming in start number eight.
Since winning the Masters, Garcia has never placed higher than 19th in a major and may not have many more opportunities to win again. But he excels in these team competitions and holds the record for the most Ryder Cup wins ever.
Lee Westwood vs Jordan Spieth
Lee Westwood (PGA Tour) against Jordan Spieth (LIV Golf)
Jordan Spieth will compete against Lee Westwood in a second consecutive new school vs. old school clash.
Both have held the top place in the global rankings, but we are all aware of the significant differences in each of their professional histories. Spieth, who is not even 30 yet, has holds three major titles and is one PGA Championship away from completing a career Grand Slam. Contrarily, Westwood is the player with the most major championships played without a win.
Okay, I’ll stop making fun of players like Sergio and Westwood for their big league statistics. Just so simple.
Watching Spieth and Westwood would be entertaining. They both play the game extremely methodically, and, to be honest, if Westwood didn’t have an accent, you would mistake him for Spieth, a Texas native. The Englishman can go low and compete in tournaments even in his late 40s. The PGA Tour squad and Spieth’s victory are not guaranteed.
Charl Schwartzel vs Matt Fitzpatrick
Charl Schwartzel (LIV Golf) against Matt Fitzpatrick (PGA Tour) | Sportscasting
Even as a former Masters winner, Charl Schwartzel may not have made this 12-man team if I had done this before the Saudi-backed series began, according to the whole LIV Golf roster. Talor Gooch was overlooked. Branden Grace was overlooked. Martin Kaymer was overlooked. However, Schwartzel later competed and took first place. So how is he to be left out?
In this scenario, he will compete against current U.S. Open champion and fellow major champion Matt Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood are both English, so I considered matching them up, but it seemed a little facile. Because of this, you also missed out on Sergio Garcia vs. Jon Rahm.
In all honesty, I like the Fitzpatrick-Schwartzel matchup.
Ian Poulter vs Will Zalatoris
Will Zalatoris (PGA Tour) takes against Ian Poulter (LIV Golf) in this matchup.
Last but certainly not least, we’ve got Ian Poulter vs Will Zalatoris.
Poulter definitely shouldn’t have been selected for the LIV Golf squad, much like Schwartzel, considering his previous performance. But considering his illustrious Ryder Cup accomplishments, I firmly think Greg Norman would include him on this squad if this tournament ever took place.
Viktor Hovland, who is perhaps the greatest snub of this whole imaginary tournament, was almost my choice when it came to filling the last position on the PGA Tour squad. But how could Will Zalatoris be excluded after all he’s been up to lately?
Poulter, who competed in his first professional match in 1995, the year before Willy Z was born, would be a match I would love to see Zalatoris face off against. Therefore, Poulter clearly has the advantage in experience. But for now, I’d pick Zalatoris above anybody on the LIV Golf squad. Or really anybody in the whole globe. He’s here because of it.
So there you go, everyone. LIV Golf vs the PGA Tour. One you got?
Information provided by PGATour.com and LIVGolf.com
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Fred Couples Criticizes Phil Mickelson for Joining LIV Golf in a Related Article: Has Phil ever looked so foolish in his life?