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World No. 3 Jon Rahm is the favorite in his second LIV start
Expect fireworks at LIV’s first U.S. event of the year
Note that it’s a Thursday start and Saturday finish
Odds from bet365. Follow our link and get $2,000 Safety Net Bet OR $150 in Bonus Bets at bet365.
*Note that not all bookmakers offer odds on LIV Golf and some states limit options too. BetRivers, bet365, and Caesars Sportsbook have priced it up and these states are permitting wagers at DraftKings: Arizona, Connecticut, Wyoming, Oregon, and Illinois. There are many good golf betting sites that are available across the US.
It was a great start to the 2024 LIV Golf League for us as we tipped Chile’s Joaquin Niemann at +1200 and he claimed the win after a tense playoff battle with Sergio Garcia.
It was quite a week for Niemann who carded a 59 in the first round and later in the week was handed a two-shot penalty, but he stood firm to land the spoils.
This week the circuit moves north of the border to the U.S. and the first LIV Golf League tournament in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Country Club has hosted the PGA Tour but not in over 30 years so there are few clues in the course.
But the gambling capital of the world is at altitude and that is always an important factor.
The ball flies further which some golfers enjoy while others struggle to do the math.
Who will take the honors this week? Let’s find out.
|Champion and Winning Score
|Andrew Magee (U.S.A.) -31 (Playoff)
|Bob Tway (U.S.A.) –26 (Playoff)
|Scott Hoch (U.S.A.) -24 (Playoff)
|Gary Koch (U.S.A.) -14
|Paul Azinger (U.S.A.) -17
|Greg Norman (Australia) -27
|Curtis Strange (U.S.A.) -17
|Denis Watson (Zimbabwe) -15
|Fuzzy Zoeller (U.S.A.) -18
The course is a par 70 that plays to 7,089 yards
It hosted the PGA Tour’s Shriners Children’s Open between 1983 and 1991
LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman won one of those events (in 1986)
It is a flat parkland layout
All four of the par-3s, and also the par-4 18th hole, feature greens protected by water
It features bent grass green and fairways with Bermuda grass
Las Vegas is 610m above sea level so the ball flies further than normal
Rahm is unquestionably the superstar of LIV Golf and he made a solid start last week, but he’ll be a little frustrated that, having started the final round two shots off the lead, he wasn’t closer by the end of the tournament. He’s twice finished third at altitude in Mexico City.
Can he go back-to-back? Well, he’s got plenty of experience playing at altitude in South America, has three top 15 finishes in Las Vegas on the PGA Tour and he’s on a tear right now. He’s landed six top 10s in his last seven starts including two wins in his last three.
Rahm was not the only man making his LIV debut last week - his English Ryder Cup team-mate was too and, after a slow start, he carded an excellent 64 in the final round to finish eighth. It was his fifth top-15 finish in his last six starts worldwide.
Hatton does not play for the HyFlyers (Phil MIckelson’s team) but he does enjoy playing at altitude.
In the European Masters, high in the Swiss Alps, he has finished third three times in four starts.
At Chapultepec in the WGC Mexico Championship, he was 4-for-4 at finishing top 20 with a pair of top sixes.
And in Las Vegas, he has finished third and 18th in the CJ Cup.
Take him each way with Caesars Sportsbook offering +1200 and paying five places.
Might Chile be in line for a second win in a fortnight?
Consider this: Mito Pereira’s best performance on LIV came when he was second at The Old White, at altitude in West Virginia last August.
In Las Vegas? He was fourth there at the end of 2022 on the PGA Tour.
And his first victory on the Korn Ferry Tour? In the thin air of Bogota, Colombia.
Pereira is not only, like Niemann, from Chile - they also both play for Torque GC so they will have enjoyed the last week.
Pereira will want a bit of the action himself this week and the altitude will suit his challenge.
He’s an excellent each-way option from among the bigger prices.
South Africa’s Dean Burmester is in the form of his life.
Before Christmas, he won the DP World Tour’s Joburg and South African Opens back-to-back, both of them by three shots.
And he opened 2024 with third place last week at Mayakoba, his third top 10 in his last five LIV starts.
But here’s the killer detail: those two wins at the end of last year came at altitude on parkland tracks.
And in his last 10 starts back home in Johannesburg on such courses, he has landed seven top 10s.
Tournament: LIV Golf Las Vegas
Location: Las Vegas Country Club, Nevada, U.S.A.
Date: Thursday, February 8 - Saturday, February 10
How to Watch: Thursday-Friday on The CW App. Saturday on The CW Network. And all three days on LIV Golf Plus and YouTube
Matt Cooper has been a sports journalist since 2009 with his work appearing at ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, Sporting Life and the Planet Sport Network among many others, in addition to guest appearances on the BBC and CNN. Although a specialist in golf, who has traveled the world to cover the sport, Matt has also covered rugby, cricket, football and the Olympics. Email: [email protected]More info on Matt Cooper
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