OLIVER HOLT: LIV isn’t Golf But Louder… it is Golf But Richer
- Dustin Johnson urged that everybody ought to expertise a LIV Golf occasion
- Jon Rahm was not impressed by the rowdy crowd in Las Vegas on the weekend
- Teofimo Lopez retained his WBO super-lightweight title in controversial style
Dustin Johnson, as soon as golf’s world primary, urged in Las Vegas on the weekend that everybody ought to go and expertise a LIV Golf occasion at the very least as soon as of their lives. ‘I would invite you to come out and watch because you’re going to love it,’ he mentioned.
I had a free day on Saturday and LIV had been doling out free tickets to their match on the Las Vegas Country Club like they have been confetti. I’d by no means been to a LIV occasion. But DJ promised I’d prefer it and DJ is called considered one of sport’s nice thinkers, so why not?
Well, I’m sorry to spoil issues right away however I didn’t prefer it. Maybe I’d have favored it if I used to be being paid $150m to love it, like Johnson is. Maybe I’d have favored it much more if I used to be being paid $500m to love it, like Jon Rahm.
Maybe if the Saudi PIF, who bankroll the tour, had been handing out fats wads of money to spectators on the way in which in, that may have made me prefer it, too. But the very best supply I obtained was from on line casino hustlers outdoors the occasion shouting ‘spend a hundred, get a hundred’. Even to recent, gullible Vegas meat like me, that didn’t sound like a lot of a deal.
Anyway, that is Vegas, so time for extra playing cards on the desk. The smartest thing about LIV Las Vegas was attending to see the statue of Dean Martin close to the clubhouse. I’d been hoping to see the rear view of the home on Ottawa Drive the place Sonny Liston died, too, nevertheless it turned out that backed on to a special golf course.
Former world No 1 Dustin Johnson urged that everybody ought to expertise a LIV Golf occasion
LIV-branded indicators on the Las Vegas Country Club blared the message: ‘Golf But Louder’
Late in both their lives, Liston hung out with another former heavyweight champion, Joe Louis, who had hit the skids by then. Nick Tosches’ good e-book about Liston, Night Train, quotes a mutual buddy of the 2 fighters as saying Louis had perfected the artwork of ‘turning money into s***’. Anyway, again to LIV.
LIV-branded indicators on the entrance to the Las Vegas Country Club blared the message: ‘Golf But Louder’. There’s a ‘Golf But Louder’ signal on just about each gap, actually. And sure, if these indicators might solely converse, there are such a lot of of them that they’d certainly be deafening.
But LIV isn’t Golf But Louder. It’s Golf But Richer. That’s its principal level of distinction. Sure, there’s the 54-hole format and the shotgun begin and the gamers symbolize groups they usually all love one another they usually’re all about having enjoyable and never travelling as a lot however all that actually issues is that it pays extra. That’s why golfers play on it. They’re not there to develop the sport of golf. They’re there to make some huge cash.
I’m not saying the gamers on the PGA Tour are beacons of sunshine, by the way in which. Recently their aim appears to be to repeat a lot of what LIV has initiated. Particularly the cash half. Still, when Rahm walked down the twelfth fairway in Vegas underneath blue skies with the Stratosphere looming above him, if he regarded actually laborious, he may need been in a position to see his checking account up there someplace.
The different factor about Golf But Louder is that it isn’t fully correct. It’s laborious to be louder when a number of of the teams on Saturday seemed to be being adopted by family and friends and barely anyone else. Some of the time, there have been extra individuals queuing on the Jackpot Grille close to the twelfth tee than there have been watching the gamers. Saturday was the busiest day, too, apparently.
Yes, there have been wholesome galleries following the group that contained Rahm, DJ and Bryson DeChambeau however on loads of the opposite holes, you may hear a pin drop. Phil Mickelson, one of many best golfers of all time, ambled round in close to anonymity. The couple of holes I walked along with his group, they have been perhaps 50 spectators across the greens. It felt unhappy.
Rahm, the latest and most necessary and most high-profile defector to LIV Golf, doesn’t fairly appear to have obtained the Golf But Louder memo but, both. His caddy spent an terrible lot of time making an attempt to shush spectators across the tee. Rahm regarded awfully glum for a man who’s being paid half a billion bucks to hit a ball round a subject.
Jon Rahm (above) was not impressed by the rowdy crowd in Las Vegas on the weekend
LIV’s signature vacation spot on the Las Vegas Country Club was its Party Hole, the par 3 eighth. It was solely truthful to have a look. There have been loads of spectators there, too, and one other DJ(this one was known as Gryffin and he had been seconded from an evening membership on the Strip and my guess is he was being paid lower than $150m) was enjoying along with his decks on a stage subsequent to a lake.
Gryffin gave the impression to be fairly common. Which meant that the large display confirmed him and his funky strikes. Not the golf. Nobody seemed to be watching the golf. But then perhaps that’s the purpose of a Party Hole. It’s for individuals who don’t like golf however do like events.
And whenever you get all the way down to it, that’s the entire thing with LIV Golf. It’s a celebration. Not a very enjoyable get together however a celebration nonetheless. It’s not a contest, actually. It’s an occasion performed by males who’ve already received. All of them have already received.
They received the second they signed the deal that earned them cash past the wildest desires of the wealthy males they already have been. And so, wherever they end every week, they’ve received. They would possibly make a bit extra in the event that they end increased up the sphere however make loads in the event that they end decrease down the sphere, too. So they’ve all received.
I left earlier than the tip. I didn’t actually care who received. Winning isn’t the purpose of LIV. Money is the purpose of LIV. Golf, however richer.
No love in Vegas for swaggering Lopez
It shall be laborious to search out many neater illustrations of satisfaction coming earlier than a fall in sport than the destiny that befell WBO world light-welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.
Lopez swaggered to the ring for his struggle in opposition to Jamaine Ortiz carrying a showman’s prime hat and flanked by a bearded woman and a sword-swallower.
WBO super-lightweight world champ Teofimo Lopez retained his title in controversial style
Ortiz proceeded to outbox him comprehensively and though Lopez was awarded a controversial factors victory, the gang booed him lustily when he tried to deal with them after the struggle.
‘Suck a d***, homos,’ Lopez informed them by means of the microphone. Sometimes, sport doesn’t go fairly the approach it’s speculated to.
Last days of the Tropicana
I stayed on the Tropicana whereas I used to be in Las Vegas for the build-up to the Super Bowl final week. It isn’t fairly the place it was when James Bond checked in throughout a scene in Diamonds Are Forever.
In truth, it misplaced its lustre way back. But staying there nonetheless felt like being a little bit a part of sporting historical past. The Tropicana will shut its doorways for good on April 2, to be demolished by the tip of the yr.
From its ruins, a $1.5billion baseball stadium will rise as the house of a brand new Major League workforce inherited from the Oakland A’s. Sport, dancing hand in hand with playing, is constructing a brand new Vegas.
Celebration placed on ice for Oilers
The San Francisco 49ers couldn’t declare a monopoly on sporting heartbreak over the last seven days in Las Vegas.
Actor Will Ferrell cheers on the Las Vegas Golden Knights in opposition to the Edmonton Oilers
On Tuesday evening, I went to the T-Mobile Arena simply off the Strip within the fond expectation of seeing the Edmonton Oilers ice hockey workforce equalling an all-time NH L file by beating the Las Vegas Golden Knights and recording a seventeenth win in a row.
Thousands of Oilers followers had flown in from Canada like snow birds to observe the sport they usually obtained off to an important begin when Connor McDavid, the very best participant within the sport, put them forward.
But, buoyed by a febrile ambiance, the Golden Knights got here again to win. As the Oilers skated disconsolately off the ice, it felt like a brutal destiny.
One win in need of immortality, similar to Brock Purdy and the 49ers a couple of days later.