Jon Rahm - LIV Golf

“It’d be like playing on a non-Tiger tour back in the 2000s” seems to suggest relative skill is what you were referring to but, ok.

Regarding “absolute skill”, I will decline to get into this argument unless we dedicate
an entire thread to it.

Seems reasonable. But still, what always gets me when looking at DGs all time list, it’s not that Scottie is number 2, it’s the gap from Tiger. Hard to believe everytime.

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Yeah that’s true, that statement would be referring to relative skill. It’s like 2000s Tiger in the sense that we have a #1 player by a very wide margin.

Not sure how it throws career down toilet? Viewers wise yes it probably does but golf wise I figure thats very much up to the golfer. It’s still very much a game where competing against yourself is first and there is enough competition on LIV to stay sharp

You just become irrelevant, in my opinion. Every couple weeks I remember some player is on LIV and realize I completely forgot they existed (e.g. Pieters, Varner, Leishman, Steele, Tringale, D Lee… and now Meronk, Herbert, the list goes on).

At the moment, winning a LIV event truly means nothing. Winning a PGA Tour event–any tour event–does still mean something. Plus these guys just don’t play any golf: before the Masters Rahm had played 15 rounds in 2024, Scottie had played 31. They also don’t play good golf courses; I’m starting to think Cam Smith appears to be a lot worse than he is in these LIV events because they don’t play courses that actually test players’ short games, and obviously that’s the best part of Smith’s game.

I don’t really buy into the “majors define your career” narrative. They define a good chunk of your career, no doubt, but the fact that Koepka is not very good in non-majors matters. And so the fact that Rahm and company don’t play in any good events apart from the majors now will impact their legacies. I’m not taking a stand on how playing on LIV impacts their readiness to play in majors, I’m just saying they don’t get to play many good golf tournaments anymore. And now the problem is even more acute with Scheffler being the clear #1 player.


I was reflecting on Cam Smith yesterday. From what I can remember, we have faded him pretty much every major since last year (so last 5 majors) and everytime he seems to grind his way to finish well, even if he plays poorly on LIV. Is it just me?
Haven’t looked at the numbers but I have had miss cut bets and marchups against him everytime and from what I can remember he has a lot of good finishes in the majors since leaving for LIV.

Also sorry for sparking the LIV debate back with the Rory rumors…

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I do agree that LIV needs to get spots in majors for their top 10 in final standings, which will solve many of the problems there.

Might be true on the courses thing, but broadly best golfers still outplay worse golfers it seems like. Rumors are they will be at 15 teams soon with more events so hopefully the big gaps in schedule go away.

I think some of what you said is true, Lee/Tringale/Swafford have disappeared but that’s because they’ve been awful. But people like Burmester, Gooch, Bland, Bryson, Niemann, Casey I think LIV has helped their profile in a way. But that’s possibly because I am more from a broader golf perspective and not PGA Tour, of course people who are big into PGA Tour will not follow LIV as much

Cam has 3 top 8s and made every cut last 5 majors. Probably one of 3-5 best golfers in majors over that span?

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Not just you, Cam has been good and we haven’t liked him. I think Augusta in particular fits his game well due to the wide fairways and emphasis on tight-lie short game shots and tough greens. I’m sure we’ll be fading him again at Valhalla which should be a bad course fit. Pinehurst should be a decent fit though, at least in theory. Not sure what the data will say.


Well they shouldn’t need that, the whole point of LIV according to its supporters is the value of the infamous “franchise model”. If they aren’t creating value with the franchise model, then just fold, because otherwise you’ve just created PGA Tour 2.0 for no reason other than to divide the game and give the Saudis power in pro golf.

And whatever, it’s fine if the Saudis don’t want to fold bc they want power, but let’s at least be honest about what the purpose of LIV is then.

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yeah. might just be one of those guys we have to consider more than just auto-betting when green appears.

I think major spots definitely help the franchise model. And think the franchise model is way different than PGA theory and they certainly didn’t create PGA 2.0. the pga has copied LIV more than other way (required events w small fields and no cuts)

Yes, the franchise model is way different than the PGA Tour. My point was that if LIV wants major spots, and Rahm is calling for 72 holes, and fields are getting larger (to the point where a shotgun start might not work), then it feels like we are converging to a tour that looks pretty similar to the PGAT or DPWT (i.e. PGAT 2.0).

The franchise model to me was supposed to be about these teams creating a lot of value, and people caring a lot about team outcomes. I don’t see what that has to do with access to majors. Obviously having a major pathway helps with interest in the events, which indirectly helps the franchise model, but I don’t see the direct connection. The problem is nobody is ever going to give a crap about adding up 4 randomly-assembled players scores each day.

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Major Access gives another clear more than money goals to the Tour. In my opinion that’s basically 90% of what the PGA has now, along with some events that bring their own history. They do not have a title race/playoff system that is well thought out or meaningful and without major access winning tournaments often feel exhibition like (like LIV often do as well). I think the longer team competition goes and better they execute it the more people will care. In year 5 or whatever people will know Teams more, they know each other more and hopefully there will be more buy in and clearer transaction rules. Several bumps in road and it hasn’t run cleanly so far but it’s best idea to add to sport without any detracting at all

It’s a little of the Co-Stan-za effect from Seinfeld. Maybe they are cheesy and annoying and laughable at first but just keep pushing and sticking it out and improving it and you get something that sticks

"I don’t really buy into the “majors define your career” narrative. They define a good chunk of your career, no doubt, but the fact that Koepka is not very good in non-majors matters. "

I don’t necessarily disagree with this, but I am wondering if you can clarify a bit what you mean here. I agree that if you play bad all the time, you should not compare favorably to someone that doesn’t, all things equal.

If Brooks wins the PGA and US Open this year (not a likelihood, just purely hypothetically), but continues to trudge along in non-major events, do you really think his running average strokes-gained figure is his true skill level?

Or, to consider an absurd example, suppose he ends his career with 12 majors, but never improves outside of them. Most people would consider him the best player post-tiger. Would you agree or disagree?

I have always thought that Brooks is an amazing player, and used to lose my mind when he was on 4 majors, and people would tell me that Justin Thomas is in a different tier than Brooks because "Brooks never wins if you don’t count the majors. My response was always: what if you do count them?

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I strongly disagree that LIV has raised Bryson or Niemann’s profile. Mean Dean was the man before he went to LIV, everyone knows that. LIV has helped Paul Casey… what planet are you living on??


I don’t think anyone knew that about mean Dean. Niemann also was just sort of in the mix of people on the Tour, he’s improved a lot recently and kind of gotten a lot of press for his run. Bryson becoming this guy who makes his YouTube videos so much behind the scenes stuff would never have happened on the PGA Tour. He was clear dominant storyline for first 3 days at Masters

I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say on Niemann but he got a lot of press because of his superb winning stretch this winter, not because he is on LIV lol ?

‘‘just sort of in the mix of people’’ is far from the truth… Niemann left for LIV at what ? 22-23 ? he was one of the best young players on Tour and a rising star. Just sort of in the mix of people you’re talking like he was a regular journeyman only known to hardcore golf fans.

LIV sure has improved his bank account but that’s all.

Also saying he has improved a lot recently and trying to give credit to LIV is manipulative lol he left PGAT when he was really young and he was already more than good and had already a lot of very good results/finishes.

So I’m not sure how winning LIV Mayakoba qualifies as ‘‘improved a lot’’ …he won the Genesis at 23 years old and was a top 20 world ranked golfer. He is performing to his talent/potential, sure. Nothing is thanks to LIV lol he would have been good on PGAT too.

hogtrough will respond to this with a bunch tangential claims that don’t address the points being made. He’s a LIV bot, perhaps not intentionally but that’s the style of argumentation he’s using in here: never concede a point and constantly throw in non-sequiturs.

edit: and perhaps I’m not conceding any points either, but I’m at least trying to stay focused in the discussion (e.g. why is major access relevant to the franchise model?).

edit2: even just this last comment about Bryson’s profile being elevated post-LIV is so ridiculous. Bryson was literally the biggest story in golf for most of 2020-2021. And Paul Casey… I can’t think of another player whose profile was hurt more by LIV! He was like a top 20 player pre-LIV, now he isn’t even in any of the majors.