It comes as absolutely no surprise that professional whiner Bubba Watson and his surgically repaired knee are heading to the LIV exhibition series.
He fits the profile perfectly: Over 40, injury-prone, looking for a big payday, no longer competitive on the PGA Tour.
You may or may not recall and Bubba and wife Angie are the parents of not one, but two children they adopted — obviously Bubba is oblivious to, or has no issue with Saudi Arabia’s laws that prohibit adoptions.
He joins the latest defectors — Charles Howell III, Paul Casey and Saudi-logo sporting Jason Kokrak. None of the aforementioned could bring themselves to say they made the move for the big money when quizzed by a New York Times writer earlier this week up there at The Donald’s course (Trump Bedminster) where this third installment of the Saudi-backed traveling circus/exhibition/free cash handout is being staged.
So this latest LIV offering, the second on American soil, starts Friday and once again, this sports-washing league seems to live off of rumors, speculation and innuendo.
Latest is that The Lamest Commissioner In All The Land (aka Greg Norman) and his cronies are turning away bunches of top 50 players who want to join the ranks of the defectors.
Perhaps the Saudis are beginning to realize that they paid way too many millions to have Phil Mickelson shoot in the mid 70s every time he goes out in one of their events.
The more you listen to Norman and his stooges, the more you begin to realize that it’s almost like this whatever-you-want-to-call-it is making things up as it goes, if you will.
The guys like Mickelson have defected because they told everyone they want to play less, travel less and collect the huge payday.
One of the LIV’s huge downfalls is that members won’t be earning any ranking points from the Official World Golf Rankings. So The Lamest Commissioner In All The Land has a solution to that issue. Seems Sharky has announced 2023 plans for a 14-event schedule and stated players will also be expected to compete in “numerous” Asian Tour International Series events (where OWGR points are available due to the full field 72-hole format). Those tournaments are in Thailand, England, Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, Indonesia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe and the Americas. Now given that football-game-gambling Mickelson wants to play less, well, that means these guys will have to travel across International Date Lines and considering that they don’t even want to travel across state lines, well, it just makes you laugh.
As we’ve previously mentioned, these LIV events, at 54-holes with limited fields, don’t stand much of a chance of getting World Rankings points.
More from the LIV rumor front tells us that players who initially received huge offers, have found those are drying up.
Then there’s the startling revelation that the Saudis actually expected this to become a “for profit” venture.
Knowing that Norman is pretty much a front-man/ceremonial face for this league, they went out and hired a guy who used to work for our Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Atul Koshla — who was the Bucs’ corporate development and brand officer.
“I’ve worked in sports business for a long time,” Kholsla recently told Golf Digest. And if you look at the investment portfolio of our primary investor, the Public Investment Fund, they have invested all over the world in incredibly large businesses and profitable businesses. Their view of this is no different. That’s the expectation that we have from our board.”
So given this circus is already close to a billion dollars in the red, where’s this “profit” going to come from?
Well, Kholsla, who carries the title Chief Operating Office, says they’re trying to figure that out.
The big money from Kholsla’s former world — The NFL — comes from television rights. So good luck with that. LIV can go to all the television networks and show how they have literally “thousands” of viewers on U-Tube!
The Donald Effect:
Then there’s The Donald. Not sure that Trump becoming a big supporter of the LIV is a good thing. The PGA Tour has quietly had its lobbyists whispering in the ears of key Congressional and Senate members. And we know how Congress loves The Donald.
So if we were The Lamest Commissioner In All The Land — we might be a bit nervous with Trumpster singing LIV praises.
And speaking of praises, there wasn’t much to praise when it comes to LIV defectors and their collective performances in this seasons four major championships.
The results are in and here’s how they fared:
The Masters: No top 10s, five top 20s (Dustin Johnson T12, Talor Gooch T14, Kevin Na T14, Lee Westwood, Jason Kokrak T14). The PGA: No top 10s. One Top 20 (Talor Gooch T20); U.S. Open: No top 10s, no top 20s. The Open Championship: Two top 10s (Dustin Johnson T6, Bryson DeChambeau T8); four top 20s: (Kaewkanjana T11, Ancer T11).
As for the latest LIV member, good old bi-polar Bubba can bring his pissy-whiney deportment to the proceedings.
He should fit in quite nicely.
Just don’t let the Saudis know that he adopted two children.