fbpx
LIV Golf

LIV Golf Chicago: Who will be the Aces in the pack? A team-by-team rundown ahead of tee off at Rich Harvest Farms

By Matt Smith
As we prepare for Fridays shotgun start in the fifth LIV Golf event of the iaugural season, here is a quick glance at each team and their chances at Rich Harvest Farms, outside Chicago.

4 ACES
In lifting the team trophy for the third consecutive LIV Golf event, 4 Aces also captured the individual title for the first time, with captain Dustin Johnson winning a three-man playoff on the first hole with a lengthy eagle putt. In the 21 counting rounds in their three wins, the all-American foursome of Johnson, Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez are a cumulative 80-under, with 20 of those rounds under par (and the other at even par). The current line-up has yet to be beaten on American soil. A dynasty in the making, indeed.

CRUSHERS
For the second time this season — but the first time since Bryson DeChambeau became captain — the Crushers finished second in the team competition. Adding LIV Golf newcomer Anirban Lahiri to the line-up paid immediate dividends, as India’s top-ranked golfer made the three-man playoff and finished second individually. With a veteran-laden line-up that also includes Paul Casey and Charles Howell III, DeChambeau has a roster that expects to be in the mix every time out.

MAJESTICKS
Captain Lee Westwood’s team was dealt a big blow minutes before the start of the Boston tournament when Swedish star Henrik Stenson — coming off his individual win in Bedminster in his LIV Golf debut — was forced to withdraw due to vertigo. But Jordanian teenager Shergo Al Kurdi filled in admirably, while Westwood maintained his hot hand, shooting a LIV Golf-record low 62 in the final round as Majesticks secured their third podium finish of the season. Stenson is back for Chicago to join Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sam Horsfield in a foursome riding plenty of momentum.

IRON HEADS
Midway through the final round in Boston, Kevin Na’s squad held a five-stroke lead and seemed on the verge of breaking 4 Aces’ stranglehold on the top. Although the Iron Heads struggled down the stretch to finish outside the money, Na and teammates Sadom Kaewkanjana, Phachara Khongwatmai and Sihwan Kim — the latter producing an amazing 24-shot improvement from the first to the second round -— showed they are capable of making serious noise.

TORQUE
New LIV Golf member Joaquin Niemann set the tone for his team in Boston, vying for the individual title as part of the three-man playoff. As the Torque captain, Niemann also was pleased to see Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent and Australia’s Jediah Morgan produce some low scores. For Chicago, Torque will undergo a line-up adjustment, as young star David Puig from Spain replaces Spanish veteran Adrian Otaegui.

FIREBALLS
For the first time with their current line-up, captain Sergio Garcia’s team did not finish in the top three, as the all-Spanish-speaking foursome finished sixth in Boston. Still, there were some encouraging signs. Abraham Ancer produced his best performance as a LIV member, and Garcia joined him inside the top 10 on the individual leaderboard. Carlos Ortiz and rookie Eugenio Chacarra also finished under par, one of just four teams in Boston to have four under-par results. Fireballs will be looking to return to the podium in Chicago.

Cameron Smith during practice at LIV Golf Chicago. LIV Golf

PUNCH
The all-Australian team led by then-world No. 2 Cameron Smith entered Sunday’s final round in Boston in fourth place before drifting back to seventh on the final leaderboard. Even so, there were plenty of positive elements. Smith finished just one stroke out of the playoffs, Marc Leishman chipped in with a 65, and Matt Jones contributed three counting rounds for the third consecutive start. Wade Ormsby rounds out the improved Punch .

HY FLYERS
For the first two rounds in Boston, Phil Mickelson’s squad were certainly flying high, just three strokes off the lead entering Sunday and sitting in second place. Hy Flyers fell back to Earth on Sunday, but Mickelson is buoyed by what he saw. Cameron Tringale was solid in his LIV Golf debut, Bernd Wiesberger had his best result, and Matthew Wolff can go low at a moment’s notice (he shot an opening 63 to share the first-round lead).

SMASH
For the first time this season, Smash saw one of their players finish inside the top 10 on the individual leaderboard, with Jason Kokrak taking seventh overall in his second LIV Golf start. Captain Brooks Koepka produced three rounds of par or better, and his brother Chase chipped in with a 66 on Sunday. Peter Uihlein rounds out the all-American roster that seems overdue to make some noise.

STINGER
After winning by 14 strokes in the inaugural event in London and finishing second in Portland, the all-South African team has finished outside the podium in the last two tournaments. The 10th-place finish in Boston was the first time Stinger had been in the bottom half on the team leaderboard. Captain Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace carried the team with a combined 19-under, while London winner Charl Schwartzel and Shaun Norris will look for better results in Chicago.

CLEEKS
Although captain Martin Kaymer’s all-European team finished 11th, there were some positive signs in Boston. Three of the four Cleeks players finished under par — good news for a team in which just one player finished under par in the first three tournaments. Kaymer has produced 11 consecutive counting scores, while Englishmen Richard Bland and Laurie Canter finished with final-round 66s. Once veteran Graeme McDowell returns to his London level, where he finished 10th, Cleeks should make a move up the standings.

NIBLICKS
Non-playing captain Bubba Watson, still rehabilitating after knee surgery, knows his all-American team has work to do. Niblicks was the only team to not finish double-digits under par, finishing 14 strokes behind their nearest competitors and 25 strokes outside the top three. New LIV Golf member Harold Varner III delivered a solid under-par effort, and Watson will hope for improved play from Hudson Swafford, Turk Pettit and James Piot.

You may also like:
Golf Digest Middle East presents Oktoberfest 2022
Cam Smith has Aussies punching hard on LIV Golf tour
WSJ examines Monahan’s use of PGA Tour jet
All you need to know ahead of PGA Tour season
Van Dam aims for double impact in New York
Team Europe should fancy Ryder Cup chances
DP World Tour Championship set for a week of fun
Meet Carl Yuan, your favourite golfer you don’t know yet
Puig prepares for life as a pro in Chicago
Dubai Desert Classic set for January return — without Slync
DP World Tour set for a band of brothers
How did LIV Golfers get on in rankings points race at DP World Tour BMW PGA?
Watch Nelly Korda nail Sawgrass 17th — left-handed
Annika Sorenstam to get her own LPGA event
How Smith’s departure may have influenced Scheffler’s PGA Tour Player of the Year win
Puig to go pro in Chicago
The Sergio saga takes a new twist
LIV Golf Chicago field revealed
DP World Tour players set for Italian Open challenge
DJ in control in LIV Golf standings ahead of Chicago
Each player’s pay out from the BMW PGA Championship
McIlroy edged out by Lowry at BMW PGA
Patrick Reed makes case for his defence
Get your FREE September edition of Golf Digest Middle East here

 

Facebook Comments

Check Also

Dermot Davitt Wins 29th Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup

Dermot Davitt Wins 29th Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup

Advertisement

Advertisement