[PHOTO: Andrew Redington]
LIV Golf is no longer the new kid on the block. The PGA Tour’s disruptive, diaspora competitor begins its third season of play tonight, Australian time. By the standard of an upstart sports league with no major TV contract and a leadership hierarchy that amounts to a big shrug emoji, that may as well be a stable half century. But try as it might to be take seriously, the league continues to miss around the margins.
In December, LIV Golf landed their biggest fish yet, reeling in 2023 Masters champion Jon Rahm for a reported (and astounding) $US600 million. Then they pretended he didn’t exist for nearly two months. During that time, the league also made no effort to report the happenings of its much-ballyhooed free agency and draft periods and waited until 48 hours before its first event of the season to finalise its team rosters, supposedly the single most defining characteristic of its product. On Wednesday, they finally delivered on the promise of those updated teams… only to spell their biggest, newest, shiniest (and arguably easiest to spell) name wrong. Classic LIV.
Listen, everybody makes mistakes and we’re not going to sit here and pretend the PGA Tour isn’t an equally embarrassing trainwreck right now, but this is a tough look even for a league that has specialised in tough looks since its inception. The most tangible thing LIV has going for it right now is talent. They now have Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau all duking it out on a veritable heavyweight world tour. The league’s success depends almost exclusively on its ability to leverage these guys effectively, and to do that it has to start by spelling their names correctly. You have to walk before you can crawl. You have to spell “Tyger” with an “i” before you can slap it on a Gatorade bottle.
On the bright side, however, it could have been worse for this poor social media admin: they could have misspelled Rahm’s new teammate’s name. Hell hath no fury like Tyler Hatton.