LIV Golf Team Championship has Ryder Cup components that will surely produce fireworks

LIV Golf Team Championship has Ryder Cup components that will surely produce fireworks

The LIV Golf season concludes this weekend with its team championship at Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami.

Starting Friday, teams will give fans more Ryder Cup vibes as they compete for the 2023 title.

Last week at LIV Jeddah, players battled it out for the individual crowns. Five-time major champion and Smash GC captain Brooks Koepka defended his title, earning $4 million for his first-place finish. That marked Koepka’s second victory on the Saudi-backed circuit this year, as he won the LIV Golf – Orlando event a week before the Masters in April.

But in an interesting twist, three-time LIV Golf winner Talor Gooch won the season’s individual title, despite losing to Koepka in a playoff in Saudi Arabia.

Gooch took home $2.25 million for his second-place finish and an $18 million bonus for finishing first in the season-long points race.

That bonus gave him more than $35 million in individual earnings in 2023, per ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

Koepka finished third in the individual race, which earned him a $4 million bonus, giving him $8 million total on the weekend.

Funny enough, Koepka did not know about the additional $4 million bonus, prompting a viral reaction with a reporter.

But Koepka played well outside of LIV Golf this year too.

He tied for second at the Masters and won the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, New York.

The five-time major winner was then the only LIV golfer selected for the Ryder Cup, as his American side lost to Team Europe emphatically in Italy.

Nevertheless, Koepka has had some difficulties within his own LIV Golf team.

His captaincy has been at the focal point this season as he has publically criticized Matthew Wolff for not working hard enough.

Ahead of the team championship, Koepka admitted that he had enough with the former Oklahoma State Cowboy and continued to voice those concerns to the media.

LIV Golf, Ryder Cup, Chase Koepka

Chase Koepka
Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Not to mention, Koepka’s brother Chase is on the brink of being relegated by the league. Chase Koepka is not the only one, as James Piot of HyFlyers GC, Sihwan Kim of Iron Heads GC, and Jed Morgan of Ripper GC are also in danger.

There is much on the line this week in Miami for those four players as they try to keep their spots. But the entire field will feel the pressure and intensity of the team championship, which comes with a massive $50 million purse. The $14 million going to the first-place team is a season-high.

What is the LIV Golf Team Championship format?

The LIV Golf team championship does not compare to the Tour Championship seen on the PGA Tour; rather, it resembles the Ryder Cup more than anything.

Twelve four-man teams are seeded one through 12 based on their finishes in the points race.

The top four seeds are Dustin Johnson’s 4Aces GC, Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC, Joaquin Niemann’s Torque GC, and Bubba Watson’s Rangegoats GC.

These four teams receive a bye for the quarterfinals and will play for the first time in the semifinals on Saturday.

As for the eight other teams, they will compete in the quarterfinals beginning on Friday. The higher-ranked seeds picked their opponents.

Thirty-two players will compete in two singles matches and one foursome alternate shot match on Friday. Each match is worth one point—none can end in a tie.

Whichever team wins two points first will win the match and advance into the semis.

After Friday’s matches, the captains from the top-four teams will pick their opponents.

The top seed will pick first, and the other teams will follow from there to select the semifinal matches.

Four teams will advance to Sunday’s finals. Those groups will finish first to fourth, the teams eliminated on Saturday will finish fifth to eighth, and those who lost on Friday will sit between ninth and 12th rankings.

A change from last year’s team championship, all 48 players will compete in Sunday’s finals. Each of the four players’ scores will count toward their overall team total.

That last day will consist of 18 holes of stroke play, a departure from the match play seen during the Sunday singles at the Ryder Cup. But for every golfer to tee it up on Sunday still resembles the biennial competition, as all 24 players play in singles.

Friday’s LIV Golf Team Championship schedule:

Fireballs GC vs. Majestics GC
Sergio Garcia vs. Henrik Stenson (singles)
Eugenio Chacarra vs. Sam Horsfield (singles)
Abraham Ancer/Carlos Ortis vs. Ian Poulter/Lee Westwood (foursome)

Smash GC vs. HyFlyers GC
Brooks Koepka vs. Phil Mickelson (singles)
Jason Kokrak vs. Cameron Tringale (singles)
Chase Koepka/Matthew Wolff vs. James Piot/Brendan Stelle (foursome)

Stinger GC vs. Iron Heads GC
Louis Oosthuizen vs. Kevin Na (singles)
Branden Grace vs. Scott Vincent (singles)
Dean Burmester/Charl Schwartzel vs. Sihwan Kim/Danny Lee (foresome)

Ripper GC vs. Cleeks GC
Cameron Smith vs. Martin Kaymer (singles)
Marc Leishman vs. Richardson Bland (singles)
Matt Jones/ Jed Morgan vs. Graeme McDowell/Bernd Wiesberger (foursome)

LIV Golf has taken much of what people love about the Ryder Cup and turned it into their finals format.

Who will take home the second LIV team championship?

Will Johnson and the 4Aces GC do it again, or will someone else emerge victorious? Let us know in the comments below.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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