Yes, that president is Donald Trump, a golf fanatic and friend of the great white shark, that no one was surprised when he was ready to open the doors of his establishment in Bedminster for the Saudi-backed series this week.
Aside from the host, who you can expect to make an appearance on the pitch this week as he did when hosting a women’s major several years ago, this week’s event sees three other established players join the fray in Henrik Stenson, Charles Howell III and Jason Kokrak.
Stenson of course lost his Ryder Cup captaincy following his decision to pick up a handsome check to play the remaining six events on the 2022 calendar, while news of former Ryder Cup player turned popular commentator David Feherty will be welcomed by those who connect.
With coverage of the second event improved after much commentary, it will be interesting to see what kind of product is delivered this week as 42 of the 48 players attempt to end South Africa’s dominance on the top step of the podium.
RIGHT: Branden Grace won the last LIV event when the circuit made its American debut. PHOTO: Jamie Squire/LIV Golf via Getty Images.
And maybe the former president could join Norman in handing out beers to the crowd like he did in Portland.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Inaugural event.
South African Charles Schwartzel won the first event held at the Centurion Club outside of London before Branden Grace won the Portland event at Pumpkin Ridge.
CLASSES: The attachment to the name “Trump” inevitably creates a lot of emotions when it comes to buildings, news and even golf courses, but from a purely golfing perspective, this week’s host venue fits the bill.
Trump National Golf Club Bedminster is not at all an architectural classic, but it has all the necessary facilities and infrastructure to host a professional tournament and a course that will put the field to the test.
Two courses are on the property an hour’s drive from Manhattan that was once known as Lamington Farm and included the home of John Z. DeLorean, the founder of the car brand bearing his name.
Trump bought the property in 2002, and the Tom Fazio designed old course was opened two years later, with a second layout added by his son later.
Water is in play on almost half the holes, there is a semi-island (massive) green, white sand bunkers and pristine tree-lined playing surfaces.
Trump National is inevitably presented in immaculate condition and is a serious test of golf. PHOTO: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images.
The main takeaway for many visitors to the Old which will host LIV players this week is its difficulty, with the course able to be pushed to heights of 7,700 metres.
Host of the US Women’s Open in 2017, the course was to host this year’s PGA Championship until the PGA of America withdrew hosting rights following the events of January 6, 2021 at the Capitol in Washington DC.
PRIZE CASH: US$25,000,000 ($20 million for the individual event; $5 million to be split among the top teams)
PLAYERS TO WATCH: He remains the highest ranked player on the LIV circuit and Dustin Johnson comes after a break from his T6 arrival at the Open which has remained largely invisible to those watching at home, with some believing it was an intentional avoidance.
Johnson will find the plot this week in his driveway and clearly has form on his side after closing in on Portland.
Close behind Johnson in St. Andrews was Mexico Abraham Ancer who shared 11e and finished strong with a Sunday 65.
The former Australian Open winner is a top-notch ball striker, but this week is likely to play into the hands of the longest hitters on the court, so the world No. 22 will have his work cut out for him. the board in New Jersey.
RIGHT: Having fought at The Open, Dustin Johnson is the man to beat in Bedminster. PHOTO: David Canon/Getty Images.
Speaking of long hitters, Bryson De Chambeau missed the low-LIV player at the Open in one shot, his best finish by some margin through injury and interrupted surgery in the 2022 campaign.
One would imagine that DeChambeau, a Trump Golf ambassador, knows the course this week and even celebrated his US Open victory with members of the Trump family at another of their courses in Westchester.
A test review is the kind of golf that thrills the American, and that’s exactly what will be served this week and his adaptation to links golf was a positive sign that he will return to the kind of form that got him a very large pay package to join LIV Golf.
While the players above have all shown good signs in Scotland, Brooks Koepka failed to make the weekend before going on vacation to Europe.
Koepka remains an intriguing prospect due to his well-known lack of interest in non-major golf, and while there is little form to go without a piece of the Grand Slam puzzle, that indifference has been heightened in the past. .
Among the latest signings, Jason Kokrak stands out as the most likely contender based on his 2022 form, while Henrik Stenson will deserve attention after his big decision that cost him one of the most coveted jobs in golf.
Stenson’s former European teammate Sergio Garcia is another with a story to follow having suggested he would leave the European Tour after the Open before now delaying the decision as he may hope to return to the biennial event where he was among the best ever .
AUSTRALIANS ON THE GROUND: Matt Jones, Jed Morgan, Travis Smyth, Wade Ormsby
COVER: Beginning Friday local time, coverage will be available through LIV Golf’s website, YouTube and Facebook channels.
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