Good morning, golf fans. This is Easy Pars, the twice-a-week newsletter that always thinks you should drive the cart.
Here’s a look at what we’ve got for you today:
The CW was probably not the best idea
And maybe no-cut events are a good idea (aka the PGA is copying LIV)
Howell’s move to LIV really worked out for him
If a tree falls and “almost” nobody listens-…
In our last edition, we mused how more top-level golf was better for the world.
More golf = more better.
And we stand by that…BUT…after checking out the ratings results from LIV’s first event of the year, we have to ask:
Is virtually no one watching? And if so, what’s the point?
When LIV Golf announced that they had partnered with the CW Network, many of us golf enthusiasts were skeptical if it was a good fit.
It didn’t quite make a lot of sense.
You’d guess that most fans of the Flash and Gilmore Girls were probably not all that interested in watching a brand-new golf league go at it.
As it turns out, we were right. But maybe not?
To put it into context, more people tuned into The World’s Funniest Animals than to the Mayakoba tournament. (If you believe the one viewer survey source.)
If true, it’s not exactly the best way to kick off the viewership of a billion-dollar league. However, there are those who believe this is just spin to make LIV look bad.
Take this tweet:
Anyone that thinks this is about spinning bad viewership is doing a fantastic job in missing the point.
In just their 9th event LIV has increased their viewership by several multitudes, all signs point towards 400-500k viewers on Sat and Sun. There’s no need to spin them.
— LIV Golf Updates (@LIVGolfUpdates)
Feb 28, 2023
Taking “inspiration” from LIV Golf
If the LIV’s format, ratings, and rules are that bad, surely the PGA Tour won’t need to make any big changes for the 2024 season. After all, they’re showing their dominan….
Oh, wait, the PGA is making significant, LIV-like changes to their operation…again?
Earlier this week, news broke that the fields in designated events will be reduced, and they will have no cuts.
PGA Tour approves radical schedule changes, reducing fields in elevated events and ending cuts https://t.co/4Bi7WULrah via @golfweek
— Eamon Lynch (@eamonlynch)
Mar 1, 2023
It might, because these are “standard” in how LIV Golf operates its tournaments.
As you might have imagined, LIV quickly pointed it out in a tweet.
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Congratulations PGA Tour. Welcome to the future.
— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league)
Mar 1, 2023
The idea behind the move is that the change should make sure that all the top players participate in each of the designated events.
Also, they made some exceptions that would make it so some players, in particular those coming back from injury (ahem… Tiger), could participate in the designated events too.
Here’s a great meme, from Michael McEwan:
— Michael McEwan (@MMcEwanGolf)
Mar 1, 2023
Kudos, LIV, after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Does the seeming copycat behavior mean LIV is a bonafide threat to the Big Golf complex? Do the Maykoba ratings mean that “golf but louder” is on the ropes?
Charles Howell III is a happy camper
Needless to say, the PGA Tour is ultra-competitive. So maybe those at the top of the org are looking at the good things LIV has done to stop hemorrhaging top 100 players.
In the PGA, to rise to the top, you must be exceptionally skilled and have super-human consistency.
Think about both wins this past week. Chris Kirk hadn’t won since 2015, and arguably, the Honda Classic didn’t have too many heavy hitters. Mayakoba’s winner, Howell III, hadn’t won since 2019.
And this is one of the main reasons why so many players have been lured over to LIV.
Sure, there’s the whole aspect of getting a fat signing check — regardless of where you play and how you place.
But also, it means there’s an opportunity to play on a smaller field, which should give you better odds of winning.
And this is exactly what happened to both Kirk and Howell III.
Take Howell, for example.
His win at Mayakoba gave him the biggest single paycheck of his entire career. During the 2018 season, his best ever, he made around $3 million — for the whole season.
But this past weekend, he took home $4,875,000.
This is one of the reasons why more top players are likely to shift over to LIV.
Charles Howell III won a combined $2.75 million from his 3 PGA Tour wins in 609 starts. About to win in his 6th LIV Golf start and make a combined $4.75 million from individual and team win.
— Dan Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport)
Feb 26, 2023
The opportunity to make a HUGE amount of money from a less crowded field definitely appeals to a lot of players.
That said, the LIV must prove they bring the fans, too. Why?
Because some are in it for the game, others for the money, and still others for the spotlight.
Many are in it (to some degree) for all of the above.
Meme of the Day
That is it for today, golf fans. We’re glad to have you along for the ride and will be back first thing Monday morning with the latest pro golf hijinks.