GOLF

LIV golfers Patrick Reed and Talor Gooch toasted after comparing the Portland event of the tour’s upstart to a Ryder Cup

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It has become increasingly difficult to give LIV Golf the benefit of the doubt about being taken seriously when so many of its players continue to say completely ridiculous things. The latest culprit is Talor Gooch, who played for the winning Four Aces at this weekend’s LIV event in Portland, Oregon, alongside Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez.

Shortly after the Aces won the tournament on Saturday night, Gooch likened their 54-hole triumph to one of the great events in all of sport.

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“I haven’t played the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup, but I can’t imagine there’s a hell of a difference,” Gooch said of his week at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. “It was as cool as it gets. We’ve been saying it all week. The energy is just different, it’s great.”

The looks on Reed and Johnson’s faces as Gooch spoke spoke volumes.

Still, Reed – who earlier this week cited the PGA Tour not listening to players as one of the reasons he quit that tour – later doubled down when interviewed after his first LIV Golf event. . He is of course one of the great Ryder Cup players of the past 25 years and has built much of his reputation over those few weeks, but he still chose to back what Gooch said.

“It was unreal,” Reed said of the fan support throughout the week. “I might move to Portland soon, there are so many fans on my side. I’m like, ‘This is amazing’.

“You know, it was awesome from start to finish. I mean, just the start of the week… really the first two days with no fans and just seeing how electric and pumped up all the guys were, felt like I was playing a team event in the Ryder Cups, Presidents Cups and events like that where everyone just is.

“I think that’s the most important thing, everybody’s in. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first day you come in, you’re playing nine-hole practice rounds or it’s the last round of the game. event. Everyone cheers for everyone, everyone plays with their hearts trying as hard as they can.”

This is, of course, completely ridiculous and other golfers quickly joined in the conversation. Double Ryder Cupper Justin Thomas said of Gooch’s comment“I’ve seen some funny stuff online, but this is one of the best.”

Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, who is currently battling for a spot on this year’s International Presidents Cup team, said“I’ve had a lot of LOL moments with LIV, but this is the undisputed number one.”

While the team vibe in Portland was surprisingly exciting and more intense than expected, comparing it to a Ryder Cup – which is by far the most outrageous vibe in all of sport – is absurd. While LIV Golf (who knows!) may one day reach the level of excitement and excitement that a Ryder Cup engenders, it’s not there yet and it’s not even close yet. To say that after six rounds of golf is – according to the most generous interpretation of what has been handed down – simply silly.

It is also an affront to the players who invested themselves in these events, who emptied all the vulnerability their hearts could hold into the Ryder Cup, not because they were paid anything, but because it supposed Something. LIV Golf is nothing like the Ryder Cup except that it is an antonym of the Ryder Cup.

I also thought of Ian Poulter, who coincidentally played in each of the first two LIV events and may never play in a Ryder Cup again because of it. He was recently interviewed for Shane Ryan’s excellent book ‘The Cup They Couldn’t Lose’ and his words on what the future of the Ryder Cup looks like for Europe was the end of the book.

I had my doubts about the young players, whether they could ever live up to living legends like him and Sergio Garcia and others, or whether they could translate the passion of decades of European heroes in the same way. He did not share my doubts.

“It’s very easy to explain” [Poulter] said. “When you put on a shirt, you are responsible for every player who has ever worn that shirt. That’s how you have to treat it, and that’s the level of passion you have to go and play with. And if you don’t don’t feel that sense of passion, then you shouldn’t waste it.”

I agreed with him, but it didn’t seem like he was answering the question about new Europeans. I pressed the problem. “Do you think that matters as much to the younger generation as it does to you? ” I asked.

The famous light came into his eyes. ” Do not worry about that. I’ll do my fucking job to let them know. If you had heard it – if you had seen him– you would have believed him too.

The week in Portland ended as it began, with an embarrassing discount on some truly historic achievements by this generation’s best players. Brooks Koepka, one of the great champions of the last three decades, seemed ashamed that his pride had a price in an early week presser and that he may not care as much about winning major championships as he once claimed.

Reed, whose entire career has revolved around incredible moments at tag team events, then had to stand alongside someone who has never even fought and nod his head like what happened at Portland was the same as what happened in Hazeltine. It’s the cost of doing business, it seems, which both makes it hard to take seriously and is surely more than some of these stars thought they were going to have to pay.

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