Brooks Koepka. Eric Gay
Now that the 2023 major season is complete, which of the 30 LIV Golf League members who teed it up in at least one of golf’s four biggest tournaments this year produced the best overall performance?
Well, only one of those players came away with a trophy, so the answer is easy. No LIV player had a better run in the majors this season than Smash Captain Brooks Koepka, who won the PGA Championship after tying for second at the Masters. He also made the cut in the last two majors.
As for the other 29 …
To rank the LIV players who competed in the majors, we came up with a relatively simple formula. For each $1,000 in prize money won at a major, a player receives 1 point. Thus, $50,000 in earnings is worth 50 points, $100,000 is worth 100 points and so on. The only caveat — a player must have made the cut to get those points.
While players do receive prize money at majors even if they don’t make the cut, for the majority of the majors, those purses are distributed evenly among all missed cuts regardless of score. For our purposes, we weighted points for missed cuts depending on how close a player came to the cut line. Missing the cut by one stroke = 5 points; by two strokes = 4 points; by 3 strokes = 3 points; 4 strokes = 2 points, and 5 strokes = 1 point. Players who missed the cut by more than five strokes received no points.
In using those calculations, here’s how the 30 LIV players ranked in the overall majors. And just a reminder — these are strictly unofficial rankings, purely a fun exercise in how to appraise the major starters.
1. BROOKS KOEPKA (5,057 points)
His PGA Championship win was worth 3,150 points, and his tie for second at the Masters worth 1,584 points.
2. CAMERON SMITH (1,637 points)
Most of his points came from a solo fourth at the US Open (991 points) and a tie for ninth at the PGA (465 points).
3. PHIL MICKELSON (1,622 points)
His tie for second with Koepka at the Masters was the big point-producer.
4. PATRICK REED (1,086 points)
Joins Koepka and Smith as the only LIV golfers to make the cut in all four majors this year. The majority of his points came from a tie for fourth at the Masters (744 points) and a tie for 18th at the PGA (214 points).
5. BRYSON DECHAMBEAU (965 points)
His tie for fourth at the PGA was worth 720 points. Also played well at the US Open with a tie for 20th (200 points).
6. DUSTIN JOHNSON (521 points)
A tie for 10th at the US Open gave him 435 points. Made the cut at the Masters and PGA. Alas, no need to discuss the Open.
7. JOAQUIN NIEMANN (376 points)
Finished in the top 20 at the Masters (261 points) and had a decent result at the US Open (108 points). Came close to the cut line in the other two majors (combined seven points).
8. MITO PEREIRA (286 points)
His tie for 18th at the PGA was worth 214 points.
9. HENRIK STENSON (233 points)
His only major start this year was at the Open Championship, where he tied for 13th, the best result among all LIV golfers at Royal Liverpool.
10. HAROLD VARNER III (215 points)
Tied for 29th in both the Masters (125 points) and PGA (90 points).
11. LAURIE CANTER (188 points)
Earned a spot in the Open through final qualifying and tied for 17th in his only major start.
12. ABRAHAM ANCER (170 points)
Finished consistently in the middle of the pack in three majors – Masters, US Open and Open.
13. SERGIO GARCIA (145 points)
Almost all his points came from a tie for 27th at the US Open.
14. THOMAS PIETERS (140 points)
He was middle of the pack in two majors — Masters and PGA — and made the cut at the Open.
15. LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN (122 points)
Tied for 23rd at the Open to earn all his points.
16. TALOR GOOCH (100 points)
The current LIV Golf points leader made the cut in just one of three starts, tying for 34th at the Masters.
17. DAVID PUIG (85 points)
The 21-year-old from Spain made his major debut at the US Open and tied for 39th after a sizzling final round.
18. RICHARD BLAND (84 points)
The 50-year-old from England played in just one major, tying for 33rd at the Open.
19. SEBASTIÁN MUÑOZ (49 points)
Was a qualifier for the US Open and tied for 49th.
20. CHARL SCHWARTZEL (48 points)
Tied for 50th at the Masters, a tournament in which he has a lifetime exemption thanks to his 2011 win.
21. DEAN BURMESTER (36 points)
Finished 54th in his only major start at the PGA.
22. SIHWAN KIM (32 points)
Tied for 62nd in his only major start at the PGA.
23. BRENDAN STEELE (5 points)
Came within a stroke of making the cut at the PGA.
24. ANIRBAN LAHIRI (4 points)
Came within two strokes of making the cut at the PGA.
25. MARTIN KAYMER (2 points)
The two-time major winner had to withdraw with injury at the PGA and was four strokes off the cut line at the US Open.
26. JASON KOKRAK (1 point)
Missed the cut by five strokes at the Masters.
T27. BRANDEN GRACE, KEVIN NA, CARLOS ORTIZ, BUBBA WATSON (0 points)
Na withdrew from the Masters mid-tournament with an injury, while the other three missed the cut in their respective majors by more than five strokes.