LIV Discount for PGA Championship?

Is it just me or is the model discounting most, if not all LIV players in matchups and simulations this week? Most of the big edges I’m seeing are fading LIV guys.

Anyone have any insight on this? Can we take it at face value?


I just ran the custom 3-balls and I was stunned at how devalued the LIV guys are. I can’t remember if the Masters was the same (and LIV fared well there). But, yes, seems a bit abnormally skewed, but I’m sure there is a reason. Certainly have faith in DG

Edit: Didn’t even notice yesterday in the race to grab the value after the predictions were released, not one of the “DG value” selections I grabbed for outright and T20 was a LIV guy.
Im not sure I like that, haha.

Surprised Betcris has DJ over Koepka.

We haven’t done anything special with the LIV guys, so I guess that is just what the field strength adjustments are producing. In our rankings, which is just using round scores (adjusted), the highest LIV guys are Smith and DJ at 18th and 19th, respectively. I have a few bets against DJ, Koepka, Smith, Mickelson… who are obviously all LIV… but they are also all kind of guys that people are just expecting to elevate their games for the majors (which we try to account for, but the market tends to adjust more). So there could be a bit of that going on too.


I’ve long backed, loved and promoted DG, and will continue to do so, but I will say, whoever’s idea it was to put a clown face on Norman’s major chart doesn’t help things when wondering if there is a LIV slant. An invaluable resource like what you guys have built should be just that, without any obvious reason for people to wonder. I’m sure it’s an unpopular opinion, but it was a bit jarring to see.

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Yeah, that is fair enough.

Both my brother and I agreed on the Norman clown face. We both think LIV is horrible for professional golf, so it’s hard not to express that displeasure from time to time. Also, we do have an “editorial” side to the site, and sometimes our Twitter account, where we express opinions, so I guess we kind of view tweets like that as separate from the prediction portion of the site. But I get that some people wouldn’t necessarily see the separation.

In any case, it hopefully goes without saying that we would never do anything to intentionally hurt the quality of our model, as our reputation and business depends on it.


I really appreciate your response. Definitely get what you mean. I caddie and I’m also in the media. What I think about other players or caddies or officials can’t bleed into my job and the facts necessary to win, but I certainly have the opinions!
Like I said, it hasn’t and won’t stop me from promoting and using the site. Just caught me off guard, haha.

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Re the race for value, I ended up getting Varner, Burmester, and Pereira at big +EV at Fanduel for T20s.

In the minutes it took me to place everything, those were gone! Still got some decent stuff though, at least I hope. I assume it’s probably better to filter and place the T20s first … seems like those get nerfed faster and harder than outrights.

You could argue that there’s a “just showing up so I don’t get fined” aspect to the LIV guys with these huge guaranteed contracts who then turn it on for the majors (Phil’s Masters performance wtf?). This would result in sandbagging their LIV round SG baselines which even the DG model major adjustment would not overcome.

Obviously with such a small sample size that’s not exactly provable, although even as the DG model stands 3 of the 6 highest major baseline adjustments are LIV guys at +20%-40% (Koepka, Reed, Mickelson). DJ and Cam not far off around +10%. Could be understating a bit but feels like anyone flipping a 50%+ performance switch is unrealistic.

Interested why you guys think it’s so bad for golf. To me a lot of their innovations have been great and it’s entertaining to watch at times because it’s so different and has pushed PGA to embrace new things (elevated events, clearer standings, NLU guys on TV, micd up players, etc). It also makes majors even better as it’s now only chance to see top golfers together, and for other events it’s not so crucial as there is no “title race” in any real way on PGA

I think I’ve covered it elsewhere in the forum, but to start, I don’t like people coming into professional golf who don’t really understand it and essentially just trying to buy the game. I don’t think that’s healthy.

But then you get into the specifics of what LIV is doing, and there is just nothing good about it in my opinion. All their “innovations” make the product worse: every week they play I almost forget there is an event because it’s midday Friday and nobody has even hit a shot yet. The shotgun and the way they cover it (just racing around showing random shots with little storytelling) doesn’t allow viewers to get to know the course at all. Like this week we’ll probably all quickly learn that the start of the back 9 is an easy stretch at Oak Hill. The broadcast is also terrible too even ignoring this stuff. The announcers treat the audience like babies, thinking we’ll just believe the propaganda they are spouting off every week: the merch tent sold out in an hour this week! this course is a great test (when describing a certified dog track in Orange County National)! I’ve never seen [insert_player] look as happy as this week… and on and on. It’s nauseating to listen to. And then finally the shitty club / pop music that is always somehow within earshot no matter where you are on the course… like maybe i’m being a traditionalist, but if we are supposed to take a golf tournament seriously I don’t think that’s going to help. And if you want it just be a big party that’s fine… but honestly I don’t think that’s what golf fans want, and they aren’t achieving that anyways other than the Australia event.

I think LIV would be way more successful if they just changed their format to 72 holes individual stroke play with sequential tee times and full fields. But then of course we already know that business model isn’t sustainable with their spending habits, so they have to keep going with the ‘innovative’ format they started with. Also I forgot to mention the team concept: I don’t think this is LIV’s fault, team golf just isn’t interesting. Outside of the Ryder Cup I don’t think it can work, and it seems to have been a complete failure for LIV in generating interest.

But I think the reason that I actually get upset about LIV is that it has taken some great, young players in Bryson, Cam Smith, Brooks, and others, and essentially just stalled their careers. I would be shocked if Cam is truly happy with his decision to go to LIV; other than the 4 majors he doesn’t get to play golf with any real consequences anymore. And maybe he wants that (DJ does, I think), but I don’t know. And then of course LIV has also fractured the top of the game for no real benefit to fans. I’m probably in the minority in thinking that the PGA Tour didn’t need to innovate, but none of the changes they are making with designated events are to benefit the fans, it’s just to benefit the top players. Over the last year I think it’s the fans that have truly been forgotten; none of the decisions are being made right now with the fan in mind.


How accurate can the LIV data be without shot level data?

Shot-level stuff isn’t critical… all you need is round scores to get total SG.

I don’t understand the bashing of 54 or shotgun start, both are extremely minor differences and certainly speed up the round for viewers which I understand to be a positive.

Don’t you think that saying these careers are stalled is totally wrong based on these Major results? LIV golfers have wildly overperformed expectations at masters and PGA and people continuing to say it kills their career or isn’t competitive is just clearly wrong.

Team I think remains more potential than realization but I think the potential remains one of the possible largest leaps in golf there is. Needs clearer rules on how they Add and move players.

Many of the presentation changes are helping fans, and it helps fans to have top players together. PGA was lazy forever and did not even try to really make it a fun sport to follow

I don’t really want to litigate point by point. The only point I want to clarify is the one on careers being stalled – I didn’t mean that Brooks et al. couldn’t play well in majors (although I certainly wasn’t expecting what happened in the last 2 majors); I meant it sucks that they don’t get to play any good events outside of the majors. The majors are the most important, but to really become a top player in the game you have to do it elsewhere too (Koepka may be the exception that proves the rule here). Cam Smith really burst on to the scene in 2022, and it would have been great to see what he could do with another full PGA Tour season. Instead, we get to see him play 4 majors and a bunch of events with no meaning behind them (and maybe they’ll gain some meaning in future years, but right now they don’t have much).

From a fan’s perspective (and maybe I’m not the target fan), LIV has blown up the top of professional golf outside of the majors for… what, exactly? I don’t think there is a revolutionary golf product out there; golf is pretty boring most of the time. That’s why LIV is pretty boring: it’s just golf at the end of the day. They aren’t going to make a golf product that can match F1 in excitement, that’s just not what golf is.

But… it’s possible you are right and LIV’s product will become very popular and attract a lot of new golf fans. I think it’s more likely LIV folds by 2025, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the market decides (assuming the Saudis are somewhat responsive to the market).


I generally agree with you about market wise I don’t think it will work. Golf only appeals to small share of sports watching market and those people are generally old and conservative and don’t want to use an app or find CW to watch it